Palawan Environmental Enforcement Museum And The Infamous STIHL Chainsaw Tower

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The Palawan Environmental Enforcement Museum is a unique attraction in the Philippines, showcasing confiscated items used in illegal activities such as chainsaws, boats, trucks, and mining equipment.

The museum displays over 1000 confiscated chainsaws, emphasizing the impact of illegal logging on Palawan’s natural resources. It is best known for its tower of powerful Stihl Chainsaws, which has brought tears to the eyes of many chainsaw enthusiasts worldwide.

Chainsaw Tower

Palawan Environmental Enforcement Museum chainsaws
Image: Tripadvisor/Blanchie2101 tower of confiscated chainsaws

We can see that STIHL is the preferred chainsaw of illegal loggers.

More specifically, they favor two of the brand’s most powerful chainsaw models, the 105 cc Stihl 070 and the 137 cc Stihl 090.

These two saws are perfect for bringing down the huge hardwood trees found in the tropical rainforests of the Philippines. We think it’s a shame they can’t be sold for use in legal forestry work, rather than being piled up and wasted.

illegal logging stihl chainsaws
Image: Tripadvisor/Loislim high-powered STIHL Chainsaws

Illegal loggers in Palawan target these species:

  • Philippine Mahogany (Shorea spp.)
  • Narra (Pterocarpus indicus)
  • Kamagong (Diospyros blancoi)
  • Yakal (Shorea astylosa)
  • Molave (Vitex parviflora)

These species are highly sought after for their timber, often leading to overexploitation and significant ecological impact on the region’s forests.

Illegal loggers typically operate by covertly felling trees within the forest, targeting the high-value species first. Then the process can vary; sometimes, trees are milled on-site to make transportation easier and avoid detection. In other instances, logs are transported whole to a different location for processing.

fence made of stihl chainsaws
Image: Tripadvisor/Loislim STIHL Chainsaw fence

Authorities catch illegal loggers by conducting patrols, surveillance, and checkpoints within known logging areas and forests. They work closely with local communities, use satellite imagery, and rely on tips from informants.

Once they are detected, law enforcement personnel can confiscate chainsaws and other equipment used in the illegal activity. This process often involves coordination between local environmental agencies, the police, and sometimes non-governmental organizations dedicated to environmental protection.

Illegal Logging In Palawan

phillipines chainsaw tower
Image: Tripadvisor/marifim chainsaws confiscated from illegal loggers

The tower of chainsaws at the museum was created using chainsaws that were confiscated from illegal loggers.

This display was created as a visual representation of the enforcement efforts against illegal logging and the commitment to protecting Palawan’s natural resources.

For those who love chainsaws, it’s a bit sad to see them piled up like this – especially such valuable and useful chainsaws like the 090 and 070 – but if they’re going to be misused, what else can you do?

The 070 is still being made and continues to be a highly popular saw in many parts of the world. It’s also commonly copied or faked, so perhaps some of these saws stacked into the tower or made into a fence aren’t genuine STIHL. The thought makes us feel better about it anyway!


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