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A Cool Breeze for the National Capital

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换得清风拂京华——张家口京津风沙源治理侧记
A Cool Breeze for the National Capital -- A Sidenote on Controlling the Source of Beijing and Tianjin’s Sandstorms at Zhangjiakou
说张家口是悬在北京头上的“大沙盆”,真的不算夸张。张家口离北京太近了,200多公里路程,走高速公路只要3个多小时;坝上地区大面积沙化,对内蒙古高原沙尘的南侵几乎毫无遮挡,海拔又比北京高出1000多米,沙尘暴一经形成,立刻长驱直入,简直就像站在北京的院墙上往下倒沙子。
To say that Zhangjiakou is a "big sand trough" which hangs over Beijing is not an exaggeration. Zhangjiakou is very close to Beijing; it takes a little more than three hours to drive the 200 kilometre distance by highway. As large areas of the Bashang region have turned into sand, it provides no shelter at all from the sand and dust that comes from the Inner Mongolian plains. Moreover, the elevation of the area is more than 1,000 meters higher than Beijing, so as soon as a sandstorm forms it passes right down into Beijing. It simply is as if sand is poured down the courtyard walls of Beijing.
4月的北京,早已暖意融融,可是坝上地区新落了场雪,树枝还没发芽。在康保县满德堂乡的万亩项目区里,乡党委书记于力指点着,这一片是杨树、榆树和沙棘混交林,那一片是多年生的加拿大优质牧草,还有新栽的山杏林和李子树……在地里转了几个小时,也只是走了这个项目区的一小部分。
In April, Beijing is already quite warm, but the Bashang region has just had another snowfall and the branches of the trees have yet to show any buds. In the Thousand Mu of Project Fields in Mandetang township, Kangbao county, the township party committee secretary, Li Yu, was showing me that one area is a mixed forest of poplar, elm and sea-buckthorn, while another area is high quality perennial Canadian foraging grass; there are mountain almond groves and plum trees that are newly planted…. We went around the area for several hours and only saw a small part of the project.
“有变化,变化挺明显。”于力兴奋地说,过去,我们这里动不动就是黄沙漫天,“坝上一场风,年初到年终,春天刮出山药籽,秋天刮出犁底层”。那草长得稀稀拉拉,跑只老鼠都看得一清二楚。可是这两年树绿了,草高了,雨水多了,最起码,老百姓不翻弄那点地了,本地的风沙就起不来了。你过几个月再来看看,那才叫漂亮呢,遍地是鲜花,草高得能没过胸口,百灵鸟成千上万地飞来,兔子、狐狸也露面了。
"There have been changes, very obvious changes." Li Yu excitedly said. In the past, there was often just yellow sand everywhere in this area. "The wind in Bashang blows all year long. In the spring it blows away the potato seeds, in the fall it blows the soil off." The grass is so sparse that you can clearly see the field mice as they run. However, these past two years the trees became green, the grass grew high, and there has been more rain. At least the peasants no longer till the soil, so the local sand and dust aren't blown away. If you were to come and take a look in a few months, it would be very beautiful; flowers everywhere, chest high grass, tens of thousands of larks flying, and rabbits and foxes also will have returned.
张家口市林业局副局长康成福,20多年没离开过林业,他说,种树种草,张家口也种了几十年,但和过去相比,国家投入最多,建设力度最大,效果最明显的还是这两三年。京津风沙源治理工程,采取的是综合治理的办法,植树种草,退耕还林,封山育林,飞播造林,小流域治理和禁牧舍饲等等。统计数字显示,截至年初,张家口市已完成京津风沙源工程林业建设350万亩,其中人工造林48万亩,飞播造林21万亩,封山育林42万亩,退耕还林240万亩。植被覆盖率增加4个百分点,速度高于全国的平均水平。从河北省到张家口市,上上下下都把这个工程当作一次重要的发展机遇。
Assistant Commissioner of the Zhangjiakou city forestry bureau, Chengfu Kang, has been working in the forestry industry for more than 20 years. He said that Zhangjiakou has been planting trees and grass for several decades; however, compared with the past, the last two to three years have seen the greatest national investment, the largest construction and the most obvious effects. The government project devoted to bringing under control the causes of the Beijing and Tianjin sandstorms has adopted comprehensive programs, such as planting trees and grass, changing the land from farmland into forests, closing off hillsides to facilitate reforestation, using aircraft to sow seeds, controlling small river basins, prohibiting herding and keeping livestock in pens, and so on. The statistics show that up to the beginning of the year, Zhangjiakou city has forested 3.5 million mu of land for the project, of which 480,000 mu were planted by hand, 210,000 mu were planted using aircraft, 420,000 mu were closed off hillsides, and 2.4 million mu were converted farmlands. The amount of land covered by vegetation increased four percent; the rate of increase is higher than the normal national average. From Hebei province to Zhangjiakou city, everybody, from common people to high officials, treat this project as an important developmental opportunity.
改编自:http://gloss.dliflc.edu/Default.aspx