On Thursday, October 6th, we held our first public hearing in Urasar, a village near Stepanavan in the North of Lori province. The public hearing is the first step of the application for the environmental impact assessment (EIA) that is required before undertaking the project.
Needless to say, the villagers were quite happy that we selected their village for our reforestation activities. The population is rather small, so we will certainly use workers from surrounding villages as well.
The surface of the land is 380 hectares, and the altitude ranges from 1700 to 2000m. The soil quality is very good, and most are ideally oriented towards the north. We can plant many different broad-leaf species and shrubs there. Because of the nature of the land, a forest here will grow easier and faster than in our other areas.
One issue we had to resolve is improving the accessibility of the area. As much as the area is beautiful, it is also very remote, more than 5 km away from a dirt road. There is a narrow trail that we will enlarge and stabilize somewhat so that a bus carrying the workers or a small pick-up truck carrying the seedlings can safely reach the foot of the mountain. As the planting season is short, we cannot afford to lose one day of planting because of unreachability due to rain and muddy roads.
The mayor of the city of Stepanavan is attuned to the problems caused by climate change and is particularly keen to see reforestation efforts in his enlarged community, we are grateful for his enthusiastic support.