The Info List - Shennongjia

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Forestry District (Chinese: 神农架林区) is a county-level administrative unit (a "forestry district") in northwestern Hubei
province, People's Republic of China, directly subordinated to the provincial government. It occupies 3,253 square kilometres (1,256 sq mi) in western Hubei, and, as of 2007 had the resident population estimated at 74,000 (with the registered population of 79,976). On July 17, 2016, Hubei
was listed as World Heritage Site, the 50th World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
in China. The population is predominantly (95%) Han Chinese, the remaining 5% being mostly Tujia.


1 Administration 2 Geography and nature 3 Economy 4 Transportation 5 Mythology 6 References


An isolated farmhouse near Wenshui Village, Hongping Town

The administrative status of Shennongjia
is rather unusual, in that it is the only county-level administrative unit of the People's Republic of China designated a "forestry district" (林区), rather than a more usual county or county-level city. Shennongjia's status within Hubei
is also somewhat unusual, in that this county-level unit is directly administered by the provincial government as opposed to be part of a prefecture-level city or prefecture, as are Hubei's all "normal" counties. However, this arrangement is not unique to Shennongjia, as Hubei
also has three county-level cities (Xiantao, Tianmen, Qianjiang) which are directly under the provincial government, without being part of a prefecture-level unit. The district was created in 1970 from the adjacent areas of Badong County, Xingshan County, and Fang County. Shennongjia
is further divided into 5 towns, 2 townships, and 1 ethnic township.

Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin

Songbai Town 松柏镇 Sōngbǎi Zhèn

Yangri Town 阳日镇 Yángrì Zhèn

Hongping Town 红坪镇 Hóngpíng Zhèn

Muyu Town 木鱼镇 Mùyú Zhèn

Xinhua Town 新华镇 Xīnhuá Zhèn

Songluo Township 宋洛乡 Sòngluò Xiāng

Jiuhu Township 九湖乡 Jiǔhú Xiāng

Xiaguping Tujia Ethnic Township 下谷坪土家族乡 Xiàgǔpíng Tǔjiāzú Xiāng

The county seat is in Songbai Town in the northern of the district; the main tourist center is Muyu Town, near the southern border of the district. There are numerous tourist attractions throughout the district, but, as of 2009, most of the district is closed to foreign tourists, with the exception of a narrow strip along its southern border (south of Yazikou Junction). The open area includes the Shennongjia
National Nature Reserve. Geography and nature[edit]

On top of the Shennong
Ding (Shennong's Peak)

Forestry District is named after the Shennongjia mountainous massif, which is usually considered to be the eastern (and the highest) section of the Daba Mountains
Daba Mountains
(Daba Shan). It lies within the Daba Mountains
Daba Mountains
evergreen forests ecoregion.[1] Some of Hubei's highest mountains - which are also the highest mountains of the Daba Shan - are located within the district. The three tallest peaks, located west of Muyu town, are Shennong
Deng (3,105 metres (10,187 ft) elevation), Da Shennongjia
(3,052 metres (10,013 ft)), and Xiao Shennongjia
(3,005 metres (9,859 ft), on the border with Badong County). Laojun Shan, 2,936 metres (9,633 ft) tall, is located northeast of Muyu. The mountains of Shennongjia
form a divide between two parts of the district: the central and northern part drains north, into the Han River (a tributary of the Yangtze
which joins the Yangtze
much farther east, in Wuhan), while the southern section drains into the Yangtze
in a more direct way, via a number of short streams flowing south, such as Shen Nong Stream.

Entrance to Shennongjia
National Nature Reserve

There are a number of conservation areas in the district's mountains and wetlands, in particular the world-famous Shennongjia
National Nature Reserve (神农架国家自然保护区), listed on UNESCO's World Network of Biosphere Reserves.[2] The reserve includes 2,618 square kilometres (1,011 sq mi) of forest,[3] and, due to a variety of natural conditions at different elevations, has high plant diversity. One survey by Chinese botanists reports 3,479 higher plant species found in a certain area.[4] The protected animal species include golden snub-nosed monkey, whose population in the district was reported to have grown between 1990 and 2005 from 500 to over 1200. A specially protected 100-square-km area is designated for this endangered primate species.[5] Shennongjia
has sites of scientific interests to paleontologists as well. The Rhino Cave in Hongping Town has been described by Chinese paleontologists as the richest fossil site in the country after Zhoukoudian.[6]

Virgin forest at approx 2500m above sea level


A hydroelectric dam under construction south of Hongping Town, Shennongjia

The district is mountainous and (as its name suggested) heavily forested, which, historically, made forestry the main industry. Over 100,000 cubic meters of timber was produced in the district annually from the 1960s to 1980s[5] (over 1,000,000 cubic metres (35,000,000 cu ft) in the 1970s[3]), but in the late 1990s the focus was switched from logging to forest conservation.[5] Officially, felling of natural forest completely ceased in March 2000.[3]

Tea plantations on a valley slope north of Muyu

The district's low population, compared to a typical Hubei
county of a similar size, means comparatively small amount of agriculture; nonetheless, the district tries to put itself on the world map as a tea producer. There are mining operations throughout the district. As elsewhere in the mountainous western Hubei, numerous small hydroelectric plants utilize the energy of Shennongjia's rivers and streams. Numerous tourist facilities operate along the China National Highway 209, in particular in and around Muyu Town. On average, the area remains comparatively poor, with the GDP per capita lower than any of Hubei's prefecture-level units.[3] Of course, direct comparison between Shennongjia
and a prefecture-level unit of Hubei
such as Yichang
or Huangshi
can be misleading, since nearly all of Hubei's prefecture-level units have a large urbanized core (with corresponding higher incomes), while Shennongjia
does not. Transportation[edit]

A Cultural Revolution-era bridge on G209

The main north-south route throughout the district is China National Highway 209 (G209), which, however, as of 2009 is still "unimproved" in many places both within district (north of the national park entry at Yazikou) and in Badong County
Badong County
south of it. In practice most visitors enter the district from its southern border, traveling along a provincial highway from Yichang, which merges with G209 near Gaoyang in Xingshan County. This route is a good paved road, designated as the Yi-Shen (Yichang-Shennongjia) Route. Hubei
Provincial Route 307 (S307) runs through the northeastern part of the district, from G209 east to Songbai Town and on into the neighboring Baokang County
Baokang County
(part of Xiangyang
prefecture-level city). Due to the mountainous terrain, the district has no rail or water transport, and until recently, no air transportation. Despite the difficult and fragile terrain, construction of Shennongjia
Airport started in April 2011 with an investment of 1 billion yuan.[7] Located west of Hongping Town, the airport opened in May 2014. Mythology[edit] The name Shennongjia
comes from the name of the mythical deity/legendary emperor Shennong
and jia, meaning ladder: literally, "Shennong's ladder", after a mythical rattan ladder which Shennong
was said to use to climb up and down the mountain (later, the ladder was said to have magically transformed into a deep forest). The people of Shennongjia
preserved the Epic of Darkness, a collection of tales and legends of primeval China in epic poetry. References[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shennongjia.

^ Olson, D. M, E. Dinerstein; et al. (2001). "Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth". BioScience. 51 (11): 933–938. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2001)051[0933:TEOTWA]2.0.CO;2. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ Shennongjia
Nature Reserve ( UNESCO
World Heritage site) ^ a b c d What's wrong in Shennongjia? Retrieved 2009-10-04. ^ Altitudinal Pattern of Plant Species Diversity in Shennongjia Mountains, Central China. Authors: ZHAO, Chang-Ming1; CHEN, Wei-Lie; TIAN, Zi-Qiang; XIE, Zong-Qiang. Source: Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, Volume 47, Number 12, December 2005 , pp. 1431-1449(19). Publisher: Blackwell Publishing ^ a b c Number of golden monkeys doubled (Xinhua, www.chinaview.cn, 2005-08-08) ^ Tong, Haowen; Wu, Xianzhu (2010), "Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis (Rhinocerotidae, Mammalia) from the Rhino Cave in Shennongjia, Hubei" (PDF), China Science Bulletin, 55 (12): 1157–1168  ^ 神农架机场4月正式动工 从武汉起飞50分钟航程 Retrieved 2011-10-24.

v t e

County-level divisions of Hubei


Sub-provincial city


Jiang'an District Jianghan District Qiaokou District Hanyang District Wuchang District Qingshan District Hongshan District Dongxihu District Hannan District Caidian District Jiangxia District Huangpi District Xinzhou District

Prefecture-level cities


Huangshigang District Xisaishan District Xialu District Tieshan District Daye
City Yangxin County


Zhangwan District Maojian District Yunyang District Danjiangkou
City Zhushan County Fang County Yunxi County Zhuxi County


Xiling District Wujiagang District Dianjun District Xiaoting District Yiling District Zhijiang City Yidu
City Dangyang
City Yuan'an County Xingshan County Zigui County Changyang Autonomous County Wufeng Autonomous County


Xiangcheng District Fancheng District Xiangzhou District Laohekou
City Zaoyang
City Yicheng City Nanzhang County Gucheng County Baokang County


Echeng District Liangzihu District Huarong District


Dongbao District Duodao District Zhongxiang
City Shayang County Jingshan County


Xiaonan District Yingcheng
City Anlu
City Hanchuan
City Xiaochang County Dawu County Yunmeng County


Shashi District Jingzhou
District Shishou Honghu
City Songzi
City Jiangling County Gong'an County Jianli County


Huangzhou District Macheng
City Wuxue
City Hong'an County Luotian County Yingshan County Xishui County Qichun County Huangmei County Tuanfeng County Longganhu Administrative District


Xian'an District Chibi
City Jiayu County Tongcheng County Chongyang County Tongshan County


Zengdu District Guangshui
City Sui County

Autonomous prefectures


Enshi City Lichuan City Jianshi County Badong County Xuan'en County Xianfeng County Laifeng County Hefeng County

Sub-prefecture-level cities

City Tianmen
City Qianjiang City Shennongjia
Forestry District

v t e

World Heritage Sites in China


Classical Gardens of Suzhou Fujian Tulou Lushan Huangshan Mount Sanqing Mount Tai Wuyi Mountains Temple and Cemetery of Confucius
Cemetery of Confucius
and Kong Family Mansion in Qufu Xidi, and Hongcun West Lake Kulangsu

South Central

Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains Historic Centre of Macau Shennongjia Kaiping Diaolou
and Villages Longmen Grottoes Historic Monuments of Dengfeng, including the Shaolin Monastery
Shaolin Monastery
and Gaocheng Observatory Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Wulingyuan Yinxu


Chengjiang Fossil Site Dazu Rock Carvings Potala Palace, including the Jokhang
and Norbulingka Honghe Hani Rice Terraces Huanglong Jiuzhaigou Old Town of Lijiang Mount Emei
Mount Emei
and Leshan Giant Buddha Mount Qingcheng
Mount Qingcheng
and Dujiangyan Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries Three Parallel Rivers


Mount Wutai Chengde Mountain Resort, including Putuo Zongcheng Temple, Xumi Fushou Temple and Puning Temple Forbidden City Zhoukoudian Pingyao Summer Palace Temple of Heaven Xanadu Yungang Grottoes


Koguryo sites Mukden Palace


Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor Mogao Caves Xinjiang Tianshan Qinghai Hoh Xil

Multiple regions

Great Wall China Danxia Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties South China Karst Grand Canal Sil