304 finally gets wildlife corridor

24 Jul 2014 06:11 - 24 Jul 2014 06:13 #2135 by Paul TW
Paul TW created the topic: 304 finally gets wildlife corridor
The National Environment Board (NEB) has finally approved the long discussed plan to build a "wildlife corridor" to aid wild animals crossing Highway 304 in the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai World Heritage Site to link Khao Yao and Thap Lan national parks. There will be two elevated sections and two tunnels, totalling 1500 metres.

Construction should start next year.

Read the Bangkok Post Article

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24 Jul 2014 08:35 #2136 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: 304 finally gets wildlife corridor
Wow, that might be the best news I've heard in years! A 3 billion project just for nature.
In my home country they've made bridges (ecoduct) over the highway. So animals use the bridge to cross the highway. I estimate these are just about 100 m wide, so perhaps a bit smaller than the tunnel sections they plan to make. But when you walk on the top you don't have the feeling you're on a bridge except that you hear traffic. And it has proven to work!
There is concern that this would turn into a poaching spot.
Maybe useful to create a ranger station nearby and place 24hr surveillance cams in the crossing areas.
Anyway I suppose they will set up permanent camera traps to see if the crossings are actually used by animals.

Thanks for sharing, great news to start the morning just before I'm going for another KY visit.

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24 Jul 2014 10:02 - 24 Jul 2014 10:03 #2137 by Bagheera
Bagheera replied the topic: 304 finally gets wildlife corridor
Just awesome news! Lets hope it can get underway before any political difficulties disrupt it's process.
How brilliant it would be to interlink these two vast areas, maybe onflipflops you might even get some previously extirpated carnivores back in your neck of the woods..........

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24 Jul 2014 21:11 #2139 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: 304 finally gets wildlife corridor
Yes Bagheera, I'm ready for a sighting of a large striped creature ;)

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02 Aug 2014 08:24 #2145 by NN
NN replied the topic: 304 finally gets wildlife corridor
It seems the original BP story didn't provide the full details about the tunnels being part of a four lane superhighway, which has been criticized is a recent BP editorial www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/422948

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02 Aug 2014 10:25 #2146 by Xenocrab
Xenocrab replied the topic: 304 finally gets wildlife corridor
There was never any secret about the road expansion, this is why the whole story came to the attention of the public many years ago, even before UNESCO included the problem of the road in a set of conditions to be rectified if World Heritage Status was to be granted.

The DNP, along with public opinion, managed to stop the Highways Department from expanding the road to four lanes at the two points the parks converge. If you ever go there you will see the sheer amount of traffic that flows through 24hrs a day. Its impossible to not see the road expanding as its the main gateway from the eastern seaboard to the northeast of Thailand.

As the road was made prior to the need for EIA's let alone SEIA's there is no legal requirement to consult anyone about its expansion. Well minded groups who want to stop the expansion, albeit underground or on raised fly-overs, need to suggest other solutions and potential problems before dismissing this trade-off opportunity.

Note, the other major problem for wildlife in the complex is the SE to NE road though Noen Din Daeng #348. This is seeing a lot of expansion, but has largely remained unmentioned, except by UNESCO in their WHS scoping mission. Already it is almost as busy as #304 and unless receives serious public scrutiny will be heading towards motorway standard within 10 years and another site needing a huge budget to mitigate it.

Who knows if NGOs and protesters make too much noise maybe the business sector will flex their muscles and demand more roads through the complex to ship their produce to the port.. then what ?

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02 Aug 2014 12:06 #2147 by NN
NN replied the topic: 304 finally gets wildlife corridor
I agree with most of what you're saying and just posted the link for information. The crackdown on encroaching in the area is a positive step, let's hope it continues. When I was last in the area I noticed restaurants with wild boar on the menu. It would be great if locals could see NPs and wildlife as benefit to the community.

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31 Aug 2014 10:59 #2232 by Xenocrab
Xenocrab replied the topic: 304 finally gets wildlife corridor
More ill informed comments from afar.

'A global tragedy' in the making? Thailand plans highway expansion through World Heritage Site
Read more at news.mongabay.com/2014/0829-gfrn-morgan-...#XrAiWdHEHIRWA4Vh.99

The DNP have conducted a lot of background research on the situation. There have been numerous hearings in which the public participated, where were these complaining folks when this was happening? The writing in the Mongabay piece is skewed to make readers believe this is all something new. If no effort was being made to do the right thing this would have been a 6 lane highway many years ago.
If anyone out there wants a cause - help stop a road being proposed from Kanchanaburi to Umpang. Originally built as a military security road along the Thai Burma border there are plans to renovate this abandoned route and open to public. It passes through prime tiger, elephant and tapir habitat.
or
How about saying something about the Kanchanaburi to Dawei road? Eight lanes, 2 railway tracks, power lines..all creating a 200m wide manmade barrier which will dissect the Tenasserim landscape from east to west.

All in all building bridges and tunnels in the 304 corridor is the least of the worries.

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31 Aug 2014 15:03 - 02 Sep 2014 18:36 #2233 by Paul TW
Paul TW replied the topic: 304 finally gets wildlife corridor
Wholeheartedly, agree as well - that is quite an "article". Written by someone with no first hand knowledge, quoting a bunch of people who have no perspective of the situation locally, and the only person "named" in the article as having a local perspective is "unnamed".

I see this as a new kind of "pseudo-journalism" which is nothing more than an op ed piece masquerading itself and pandering to the perceived audience stereo-type of the organisation/publication.

I used to drive the road often and as one of the 3 major arteries into Issan from central and eastern Thailand, the fact that it is two lanes in sections makes it incredibly dangerous as road traffic and has already eclipsed capacity in the two lane segments. Indeed in some sections it is already a modern 6 lane highway. For me we have to be practical and road closure is not an option, Issan has long been overlooked and its people have some of the lowest incomes in Thailand, despite its size and importance. I would like to see more sections of road bridges/tunnels but it is not me who has to pay for it - its the Thai populous.

In some ways I also find the article poorly timed. We now have a "government" that has supported forest protection and conservation more in just a few months than has been the case for many cummulative years past in Thailand. Indeed they have even announced plans to increase forest cover from 33% to 40% of the country. I want them to succeed.

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31 Aug 2014 22:00 #2239 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: 304 finally gets wildlife corridor
If environmentalists/ conservationists are not on one line, then I'm afraid the situation will remain as it currently is which is a big loss for wildlife.
I might be pessimistic, but I think the government is not going to finance wildlife crossings without expanding the highway.

Still, I too am a bit worried how they will actually construct this. I think it is not so hard, as long as it looks natural. I'm sure it will work if done properly, but if not it will indeed not be used by any wildlife.
Being the first wildlife crossings in Thailand (or are there any I don't know about), will it become a big tourist attraction with food stalls and everything, haha?

Anyway I hope they don't cancel this project. If the structures are there, hopefully the 'landscape designers' will design the areas around and on/ under these crossing good enough to direct the wildlife towards these crossings.

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04 Sep 2014 19:35 - 05 Sep 2014 07:55 #2260 by Xenocrab
Xenocrab replied the topic: 304 finally gets wildlife corridor
I understand the road will be widened, but that will be at about 30m above ground level, something like Bang Na trad highway. See photo of possible plan and graphic of road and tunnel. One possible problem I see is that it will still be below hill top level in the Nadi section, so any wildlife looking down will see it and noise will be projected upwards. I do have doubts if the Southern section will be used much as behind the hill is all farmland anyway.




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22 Feb 2016 20:31 #3441 by onflipflops
onflipflops replied the topic: 304 finally gets wildlife corridor
I don't use the 304 road often, but happened to do so 2 days ago, and back today for a visit to Pangsida NP. And I was pleasantly surprised to see that the whole wildlife corridor thing was not just talk, there is quite a bit of construction in process.
Can't wait to see the end result.








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