A farmer in Henan Province, central China, has been ordered to plant 500 trees to replace those he illegally felled to sell as lumber.
Zhang Shunhe was also sentenced three years in prison and fined 2,000 yuan (US$241) by the People's Court of Yuanhui District, Luohe City.
But the court suspended the jail term and ordered Zhang to plant trees because he was a first offender and had shown sincere regret for his actions.
The court heard that Zhang, a farmer of Hexizhang Village of Houxie Township, had hired people to cut down 345 trees along roads outside the village from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, 2001, despite warnings and orders to desist from the local forestry bureau.
The court ordered Zhang to plant 500 aspens, the same type of tree he had felled, and guarantee the survival of all of them to March next year.
(Xinhua News Agency June 30, 2003)