Tane’ Olen

Two of the large and rather imposing trees in the Tane’ Olen forest upriver of Setulang, North Kalimantan, Indonesia. One (and possibly both) of them is a Yellow Meranti (Shorea faguetiana). They grow TALL – the biggest recorded one is 93m, found in nearby Sabah province of Malaysia).

Some people like to refer to the Tane’ Olen as the ‘Forbidden Forest’ – the name coming from a decision by the local Dayak Kenyah community of Setulang to prohibit extractive activities such as logging.

If it’s not ‘forbidden’, these trees were certainly difficult to get to: from Balikpapan it required two flights, one hour of driving, one hour in a ‘perahu’ canoe, and one hour on foot ascending a track up a steamy slippery ridge. Worth every bit.

Karen is standing beside Ran and Dongo from Setulang, who ensured that we got there (and got back) safely, and managed to patiently and knowledgeably field every one of our many questions…

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