Interview with Dr. Lewison
Fanjingshan has been renowned as a cultural, spiritual and natural destination for centuries, and impacts its visitors deeply, but differently each time. What are some of the most distinctive impressions we come away with after our first visits to Fanjingshan? Now we have the distinct pleasure of discussing some of Dr. Rebecca Lewison’s thoughts on her return from fieldwork in October. She was deeply impressed by the natural scenery, particularly some of the remotest parks of the Reserve, and agrees the best way to get to know the place is to just hit the Mountain! Below are some of her thoughts.
Q: What were some of your first impressions of the Reserve?
Rebecca Lewison: I found the reserve to be beautiful. Hiking up the mountain, the views are breathtaking. The views into the forest is just as good. Both the canopy and the understory are amazing to see.
Q: Were there any people who were really helpful or memorable?
RL: Kefeng Niu was an incredible and generous guide. We also spent some wonderful evenings with Director Yang and even met his wife and grandson. We were also delighted to be able to join Shi Lei at this wedding dinner. It was quite an honor.
Q: Do you have a favorite place? Can you tell a story about this place?
RL: The Golden Peaks were of course spectacular. But I think my favorite place was visiting Mimashu, a village in the southwest corner of FNNR. The valley was amazing.
Q: What were some difficulties you had carrying out your work?
RL: Despite the help of Kefeng and Mr. Dong and Mr. Lee, we weren’t able to see the snub-nose monkeys during our time in FNNR. We did see the macaques, which was wonderful. We also saw more than 150 different bird species, which was incredible.
Q: Did your first visit change your ideas about FNNR much? In what way?
RL: After reading so much about FNNR, it was so helpful to be able to see it and experience it firsthand. The trip was extremely important to help me get a better idea on how best to help the project progress.