The cacti forests covered the plateaus of the planet Lan Barell until deforestation and mining reduced much of the planet's surface to a parched, uninhabitable land. Human bioengineering sciences were employed to manufacture grasses to take root in the dry soil; by the time of the Galactic Civil War, the seeding effort had been successful, and life was slowly returning to the plains.
The forests were the native habitat of wild dingory packs. Drawn to Qieg settlements, the were thrown into a frenzy when scenting a Qieg. Shortly after the arrival of Humans on Lan Barell, and the introduction of blaster technology, the dingory was hunted to near extinction by the Qieg. Since that time, the breeding of dingories was controlled in the settled areas and became one of Lan Barell's most important industries. However, the wild dingory population rose in the wild to large levels.
The cacti forests were home to millions of Qieg, who carved their hives in the giant cacti which were reinforced with ceramics and plasteel, and guarded with traditional and modern weapons. Some hives in the deeper parts of the forest were the abode of the Qiemal, a sect of Qieg who wanted nothing to do with off-worlders.