MKT speaks for the trees
The soil found on the lower slopes of Mount Kenya is incredibly fertile. Over the years, farmers have capitalized on this resource and quickly snatched up sections to cultivate. The creation of farms or shambas meant entire chunks of indigenous forest were cleared to make room for agriculture. Additionally, there’s continuing pressure on the remaining forests to provide timber and firewood for the local communities.
Partners like the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) are working with the Trust to pursue methods to help combat the effects of farming and illegal logging on the mountain. Tree plantations have been established to meet the demand for humans and wildlife.
At Ontulili Forest Station, it’s a dual approach to tree planting – cypress for harvesting; red cedar for reforesting. The balance created by planting both exotic and indigenous tree species is sustainable forestry at its best.
Seedlings grown and matured at Ontulili will eventually make their way to the mountain. It’s the hope of Mount Kenya Trust and its partners that this reintroduction will off-set the pressure on the forests and restore habitat lost.