By The Nation
In her latest post, Facebook user Panida Nong, shared a Thai PBS report quoting DNP spokesman Somphot Maneerat that all races in conserved areas were prohibited. She also said she was waiting to hear a similar confirmation from the Royal Forest Department (RFD) – which can also allow access to forests.
Somphot was quoted as saying the Khun Phawo National Park chief had confirmed that the park does not permit motor races. However, since this park overlaps area under the jurisdiction of the RFD, Somphot said the event organiser may have sought permission from RFD.
“In principle, the DNP doesn’t allow vehicle races in national parks…,” Somphot said, adding that groups of 10 to 20 motorcycles to a national park were welcome provided they remained within authorised zones only. The inner forest area and wildlife sanctuary areas had clear regulations against activities that can affect wildlife or the environment, he added.
Panida had objected against the mid-June race involving more than 100 motorcycles, as she feared it would use the route of last year’s race, in which the motorbikes allegedly ventured into the RFD-controlled Ban Sam Muen Conserved Forest and the DNP-controlled Mae Tuen Wildlife Sanctuary.