China passes laws to protect country's rare and ancient trees

July 30, 2013 at 3:45 PM

HAIKOU, China, July 30 (UPI) -- Officials in China's southernmost province, Hainan, say people chopping down ancient trees can be fined as much as $65,000 per tree under a new law.

A regulation passed by the provincial legislature Tuesday set fines of between $32,500 and $65,000 for people who fell rare trees or trees over 300 years old, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Those who chop down trees between 100 and 300 years old will be fined $16,000 to $32,500, officials said.

The new regulation also calls for landscape and forestry departments to remove facilities that would hinder the growth of rare and ancient trees, they said.

Under the legislation, such trees can be transplanted if the environment is not appropriate for their growth or the construction of national and provincial key projects cannot be avoided, the officials said.

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