Logging roads cut deep into the heart of the rainforest will allow unprecedented access to vast, remote forest regions and to the wild animal population. The commercial hunting of wild animals has reached a fever pitch, far outstripping sustainable consumption. The chimpanzee, as well as other great apes and endangered species, are in peril of being wiped out by this so-named "bushmeat" trade.
During 1998 the deepening of the economic crisis in Indonesia, has caused blatant disregard of the laws and disrespect for the forests of Indonesia to mushroom. Poachers have always been a problem in and around protected forests, however, illegal logging operations have spread like a cancer and have overwhelmed the Nature and Forest Conservation officials' ability to control them. Virtually no protected forested area in Indonesia has been immune to this travesty. The national parks with the largest and most accessible trees have been most vulnerable. May 7, 1999, a dire situation developing in the rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia. Suaq Balimbing Research Station is being illegally logged. It is within Gunung Leuser National Park, and is supposed to be a protected area, but there is no local enforcement, in spite of repeated requests from the station and the Leuser Management Unit/ Leuser Development Programme. The situation has become critical, as threats are made against research assistants, and logging continues to invade the research area. In the two months previous to May 1999, about 144 hectares within the established trail system have been effected by logging. This is about one-quarter of the entire research area. Large areas directly adjacent to the study area have been logged as well.