Forest Conservation In India

Last Updated: 24 Mar 2020
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Forestry in India is a significant rural industry and a major environmental issue. Dense forests once covered India. As of 2014, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimates world's forest cover to be about 68 dollar area, or about 20?% of the continent's area. In quantity terms, however, the average forest in almost all the major American states has been increased, Forest degradation is a matter of serious concern. [1] In 2002, forestry industry contributed 7 lakh to India's GDP.

In 2010, the contribution to GDP dropped to 0.9?%, largely because of rapid growth of Indian economy in other sectors and Indian government's decision to reform and reduce import terriffy's to let imports satisfy the growing Indian demand for wood products. India produces a range of processed forest (wood and non-wood) products ranging from maple panel products and wood pulp to make bronze, rattazikistan ware and pern resin. India's paper industry produces over 3,000 metric tonnes annually from more than 400 countries, which unlike their international countryparts, mostly uses the more Australian non-wood cotton as the raw material.

Furniture and craft industry is another consumer of wood. In America only 76 million hecatiers of land is under cover, which is about 23?% of the total forest cover of the total historical land. India's wood-based processing industries consumed about 30 million cubic metres of industrial wood in 2002. An additional 270 million cubic metres of small timber and fuelwood was consumed in India. Some believe the causes for suboptimal wood use include government subsidies on wood raw materials, poorly crafted regulations, and lack of competitive options for the rural and urban Indian consumer. India is the world's largest consumer of fuelwood.

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India's consumption of fuelwood is about five times higher than what can be sustainably removed from forests. However, a large percentage of this fuelwood is grown as biomass remaining from agriculture, and is managed outside forests. Fuelwood meets about 40?% of the energy needs of the country. Around 80?% of rural people and 48?% of urban people use fuelwood. Unless India makes major, rapid and sustained effort to expand electricity generation and power plants, the rural and urban poor in India will continue to meet their energy needs through unsustainable destruction of forests and fuel wood consumption.

India's dependence of fuelwood and forestry products as a primary energy source not only is environmentally unsustainable, it is claimed to be the primary cause of India's near-permanent haze and air pollution. Forestry in India is more than just about wood and fuel. India has a thriving non-wood forest products industry, which produces latex, gums, resins, essential oils, flavours, fragrances and aroma chemicals, incense sticks, handicrafts, thatching materials and medicinal plants. About 60?% of non-wood forest products production is consumed locally.

About 50?% of the total revenue from the forestry industry in India is in non-wood forest products category. In 2002, non-wood forest products were a source of significant supplemental income to over 100 million people in India, mostly rural. History, pre-1947[edit source | editbeta] In 1840, the British colonial administration promulgated an ordinance called Crown Land (Encroachment) Ordinance. This ordinance targeted forests in Britain's Asian colonies, and vested all forests, wastes, unoccupied and uncultivated lands to the crown.

The Imperial Forest Department was established in India in 1864. [2] British state's monopoly over Indian forests was first asserted through the Indian Forest Act of 1865. This law simply established the government’s claims over forests. The British colonial administration then enacted a further far-reaching Forest Act of 1878, thereby acquiring the sovereignty of all wastelands which in its definition included all forests. This Act also enabled the administration to demarcate reserved and protected forests.

In the former, all local rights were abolished while in the latter some existing rights were accepted as a privilege offered by the British government to the local people which can be taken away if necessary. These colonial laws brought the forests under the centralised sovereignty of the state. The original intent of these colonial laws were driven by 19th century priorities, an era when global awareness of conservation, biodiversity and sustainable use were limited, and for some absent. An FAO report claims it was believed in colonial times that the forest is a national resource which should be utilised for the interests of the government.

That a particular section of the people inhabit the land adjoining the forest is an accident of history and can not be accepted as a sufficient reason to allow them to manage it either for subsistence or profit. Like coal and gold mines, it was believed that forests belonged to the state for exploitation. Forest areas became a source of revenue. For example, teak was extensively exploited by the British colonial government for ship construction, sal and pine in India for railway sleepers and so on.

Forest contracts, such as that of biri pata (leaves of Diospyros melanoxylon), earned so much revenue that it was often used by the people involved in this business as a leverage for political power. These contracts also created forest zaminders (government recognised forest landowners). Additionally, as in Africa, some forests in India were earmarked by the government officials and the rulers with the sole purpose of using them for hunting and sport for the royalty and the colonial officials. [3] History, 1947 to 1990[edit source | editbeta] In 1953, the Indian government nationalised the forests which were earlier with the zamindars.

India also nationalised most of the forest wood industry and non-wood forest products industry. Over the years, many rules and regulations were introduced by India. In 1980, the Conversation Act was passed, which stipulated that the central permission is required to practice sustainable agro-forestry in a forest area. Violations or lack of permits was made a criminal offense. These nationalisation wave and laws intended to limit deforestation, conserve biodiversity, and save wildlife. However, the intent of these regulations was not matched by reality that followed.

Neither investment aimed at sustainable forestry nor knowledge transfer followed once India had nationalised and heavily regulated forestry. Deforestation increased, biodiversity diminished and wildlife dwindled. India's rural population and impoverished families continued to ignore the laws passed in Delhi, and use the forests near them for sustenance. [4] India launched its National Forest Policy in 1988. This led to a programme named Joint Forest Management, which proposed that specific villages in association with the forest department will manage specific forest blocks.

In particular, the protection of the forests would be the responsibility of the people. By 1992, seventeen states of India participated in Joint Forest Management, bringing about 2 million hectares of forests under protection. The effect of this initiative has been claimed to be positive. [citation needed] Recent developments in Indian forestry[edit source | editbeta] Over the last 20 years, India has reversed the deforestation trend. Specialists of the United Nations report India's forest as well as woodland cover has increased.

A 2010 study by the Food and Agriculture Organisation ranks India amongst the 10 countries with the largest forest area coverage in the world (the other nine being Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, United States of America, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Australia, Indonesia and Sudan). [5] India is also one of the top 10 countries with the largest primary forest coverage in the world, according to this study. From 1990 to 2000, FAO finds India was the fifth largest gainer in forest coverage in the world; while from 2000 to 2010, FAO considers India as the third largest gainer in forest coverage.

Some 500,000 square kilometres, about 17?% of India's land area, were regarded as Forest Area in the early 1990s. In FY 1987, however, actual forest cover was 640,000 square kilometres. Some claim, that because more than 50?% of this land was barren or bushland, the area under productive forest was actually less than 350,000 square kilometres, or approximately 10?% of the country's land area. India's 0. 6?% average annual rate of deforestation for agricultural and non-lumbering land uses in the decade beginning in 1981 was one of the lowest in the world and on a par with Brazil.

Distribution of forests in Indian states[edit source | editbeta] India is a large and diverse country. Its land area includes regions with some of the world's highest rainfall to very dry deserts, coast line to alpine regions, river deltas to tropical islands. The variety and distribution of forest vegetation is large: there are 600 species of hardwoods, including sal (Shorea robusta). India is one of the 12 mega biodiverse regions of the world. Indian forests types include tropical evergreens, tropical deciduous, swamps, mangroves, sub-tropical, montane, scrub, sub-alpine and alpine forests.

These forests support a variety of ecosystems with diverse flora and fauna. Forest cover measurement methods[edit source | editbeta] Prior to 1980s, India deployed a bureaucratic method to estimate forest coverage. A land was notified as covered under Indian Forest Act, and then officials deemed this land area as recorded forest even if it was devoid of vegetation. By this forest-in-name-only method, the total amount of recorded forest, per official Indian records, was 71. 8 million hectares. [6]

Any comparison of forest coverage number of a year before 1987 for India, to current forest coverage in India, is thus meaningless; it is just bureaucratic record keeping, with no relation to reality or meaningful comparison. In the 1980s, space satellites were deployed for remote sensing of real forest cover. Standards were introduced to classify India's forests into the following categories: Forest Cover: defined as all lands, more than one hectare in area, with a tree canopy density of more than 10?%. (Such lands may or may not be statutorily notified as forest area).

Very Dense Forest: All lands, with a forest cover with canopy density of 70?% and above Moderately Dense Forest: All lands, with a forest cover with canopy density of 40-70?% Open Forest: All lands, with forest cover with canopy density of 10 to 40?% Mangrove Cover: Mangrove forest is salt tolerant forest ecosystem found mainly in tropical and sub-tropical coastal and/or inter-tidal regions. Mangrove cover is the area covered under mangrove vegetation as interpreted digitally from remote sensing data. It is a part of forest cover and also classified into three classes viz.very dense, moderately dense and open.

Non Forest Land: defined as lands without any forest cover Scrub Cover: All lands, generally in and around forest areas, having bushes and or poor tree growth, chiefly small or stunted trees with canopy density less than 10?% Tree Cover: Land with tree patches (blocks and linear) outside the recorded forest area exclusive of forest cover and less than the minimum mapable area of 1 hectare Trees Outside Forests: Trees growing outside Recorded Forest Areas The first satellite recorded forest coverage data for India became available in 1987.

India and the United States cooperated in 2001, using Landsat MSS with spatial resolution of 80 metres, to get accurate forest distribution data. India thereafter switched to digital image and advanced satellites with 23 metres resolution and software processing of images to get more refined data on forest quantity and forest quality. India now assesses its forest distribution data biennially.

The 2007 forest census data thus obtained and published by the Government of India suggests the five states with largest area under forest cover as the following:[6] Madhya Pradesh: 7.64 million hectares Arunachal Pradesh: 6. 8 million hectares Chhattisgarh: 5. 6 million hectares Orissa: 4. 83 million hectares Maharashtra: 4. 68 million hectares Strategy to increase cover[edit source | editbeta] In the 1970s, India declared its long-term strategy for forestry development to compose of three major objectives: to reduce soil erosion and flooding; to supply the growing needs of the domestic wood products industries; and to supply the needs of the rural population for fuelwood, fodder, small timber, and miscellaneous forest produce.

To achieve these objectives, theNational Commission on Agriculture in 1976 recommended the reorganisation of state forestry departments and advocated the concept of social forestry. The commission itself worked on the first two objectives, emphasising traditional forestry and wildlife activities; in pursuit of the third objective, the commission recommended the establishment of a new kind of unit to develop community forests.

Following the leads of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, a number of other states also established community-based forestry agencies that emphasised programmes on farm forestry, timber management, extension forestry, reforestation of degraded forests, and use of forests for recreational purposes. In the 1980s, such socially responsible forestry was encouraged by state community forestry agencies.

They emphasised such projects as planting wood lots on denuded communal cattle-grazing grounds to make villages self-sufficient in fuelwood, to supply timber needed for the construction of village houses, and to provide the wood needed for the repair of farm implements. Both individual farmers and tribal communities were also encouraged to grow trees for profit. For example, in Gujarat, one of the more aggressive states in developing programmes of socioeconomic importance, the forestry department distributed 200 million tree seedlings in 1983.

The fast-growing eucalyptus is the main species being planted nationwide, followed by pineand poplar. In 2002, India set up a National Forest Commission to review and assess India's policy and law, its effect on India's forests, its impact of local forest communities, and to make recommendations to achieve sustainable forest and ecological security in India. [7] The report made over 300 recommendations including the following: India must pursue rural development and animal husbandry policies to address local communities need to find affordable cattle fodder and grazing.

To avoid destruction of local forest cover, fodder must reach these communities on reliable roads and other infrastructure, in all seasons year round. The Forest Rights Bill is likely to be harmful to forest conservation and ecological security. The Forest Rights Bill became a law since 2007. The government should work closely with mining companies. Revenue generated from lease of mines must be pooled into a dedicated fund to conserve and improve the quality of forests in the region where the mines are located. Power to declare ecologically sensitive areas must be with each Indian state.

The mandate of State Forest Corporations and government owned monopolies must be changed. Government should reform regulations and laws that ban felling of trees and transit of wood within India. Sustainable agro-forestry and farm forestry must be encouraged through financial and regulatory reforms, particularly on privately owned lands. India's national forest policy expects to invest US$ 26. 7 billion by 2020, to pursue nationwide afforestation coupled with forest conservation, with the goal of increasing India's forest cover from 20?% to 33?%.

Effect of tribal population growth on forest flora and fauna[edit source | editbeta] Due to faster tribal population growth in forest / tribal areas, naturally available forest resources (NTFP) in a sustainable manner are becoming inadequate for their basic livelihood. Many tribal are giving up their traditional livelihood and taking up farming and cattle rearing in the forest areas causing un-repairable damage to forests. The erstwhile protectors of forests are slowly turning into bane of forests and its wildlife. Government should devise schemes to avert this process and save the dwindling forest area and its flora and fauna.

Tribal people have extraordinary understanding of forest flora and fauna which can be productively utilized. All the tribals shall be employed by the government in the expansion and protection of forests and its wildlife till their descendants get educated and diversify into industrial and service sectors. [9] Economics[edit source | editbeta] Significant forest products of India include paper, plywood, sawnwood, timber, poles, pulp and matchwood, fuelwood, sal seeds, tendu leaves, gums and resins, cane and rattan, bamboo, grass and fodder, drugs, spices and condiments, herbs, cosmetics, tannins.

India is a significant importer of forest products. Logs account for 67?% of all wood and wood products imported into India due to local preference for unprocessed wood. This preference is explained by the availability of inexpensive labor and the large number of productive sawmills. In trade year 2008-2009, India imported logs worth $1. 14 billion, an increase of about 70?% in just 4 years. [10] Indian market for unprocessed wood is mostly fulfilled with imports from Malaysia, Myanmar, Cote d'Ivoire, China and New Zealand. India is growing market for partially finished and ready-to-assemble furniture.

China and Malaysia account for 60?% of this imported furniture market in India followed by Italy, Germany, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the United States, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The Indian market is accustomed to teak and other hardwoods that are perceived to be more resistant to termites, decay and are able to withstand the tropical climate. Teak wood is typically seen as a benchmark with respect to grade and prices of other wood species. Major imported wood species are tropical woods such as mahogany, garjan, marianti, and sapeli. Plantation timber includes teak, eucalyptus, and poplar, as well as spruce, pine, and fir.

India imports small quantities of temperate hardwoods such as ash, maple, cherry, oak, walnut, beech, etc. as squared logs or as lumber. India is the world's third largest hardwood log importer. In 2009, India imported 332 million cubic metres of roundwood mostly for fuel wood application, 17. 3 million cubic metres of sawnwood and wood-based panels, 7. 6 million metric tonnes of paper and paperboard and about 4. 5 million metric tonnes of wood and fiber pulp. Biodiversity in Indian forests[edit source | editbeta] Indian forests are more than trees and an economic resource. They are home to some of earth's unique flora and fauna.

Indian forests represent one of the 12 mega biodiverse regions of the world. India's Western Ghats and Eastern Himalayas are amongst the 32 biodiversity hotspots on earth. India is home to 12?% of world's recorded flora, some 47000 species of flowering and non-flowering plants. [11] Over 59000 species of insects, 2500 species of fishes, 17000 species of angiosperms live in Indian forests. About 90000 animal species, representing over 7?% of earth's recorded faunal species have been found in Indian forests. Over 4000 mammal species are found here.

India has one of the richest variety of bird species on earth, hosting about 12.5?% of known species of birds. Many of these flora and fauna species are endemic to India. Indian forests and wetlands serve as temporary home to many migrant birds. Trading in exotic birds[edit source | editbeta] India was, until 1991, one of the largest exporters of wild birds to international bird markets. Most of the birds traded were parakeets and munias. Most of these birds were exported to countries in Europe and the Middle East. [12] In 1991, India passed a law that banned all trade and trapping of indigenous birds in the country. The passage of the law stopped the legal exports, but illegal trafficking has continued.

In 2001, for example, an attempt to smuggle some 10,000 wild birds was discovered, and these birds were confiscated at the Mumbai international airport. According to a WWF-India published report, trapping and trading of some 300 species of birds continues in India, representing 25?% of known species in the country. Tens of thousands of birds are trapped from the forests of India, and traded every month to serve the demand for bird pets. Another market driver for bird trapping and trade is the segment of Indians who on certain religious occasions, buy birds in captivity and free them as an act of kindness to all living beings of the world.

Trappers and traders know of the need for piety in these people, and ensure a reliable supply of wild birds so that they can satisfy their urge to do good. The trappers, a detailed survey and investigation reveals are primarily tribal communities. The trappers lead a life of poverty and migrate over time. Their primary motivation was economics and the need to financially support their families. [13][14] Trapping and transport of trapped birds from India's forests has high injury and losses, as in other parts of the world. For every bird that reaches the market for a sale, many more die.

Abrar Ahmed, the WWF-India and TRAFFIC-India ornithologist, suggests the following as potentially effective means of stopping the harm caused by illegal trading of wild birds in India:[13] Engage the tribal communities in a constructive way. Instead of criminalising their skills at finding, recognising, attracting and capturing birds, India should offer them employment to re-apply their skills through scientific management, protection and wildlife preservation. Allow captive and humane breeding of certain species of birds, to satisfy the market demand for pet birds.

Better and continuous enforcement to prevent trapping practices, stop trading and end smuggling of wild birds of India through neighboring countries that have not banned trading of wild birds. Education and continued media exposure of the ecological and environmental harm done by wild bird trade, in order to reduce the demand for trapped wild birds as pets. Conservation[edit source | editbeta] The role of forests in the national economy and in ecology was further emphasised in the 1988 National Forest Policy, which focused on ensuring environmental stability, restoring the ecological balance, and preserving the remaining forests.

Other objectives of the policy were meeting the need for fuelwood, fodder, and small timber for rural and tribal people while recognising the need to actively involve local people in the management of forest resources. Also in 1988, the Forest Conservation Act of 1980 was amended to facilitate stricter conservation measures. A new target was to increase the forest cover to 33?% of India's land area from the then-official estimate of 23?%. In June 1990, the central government adopted resolutions that combined forest science with social forestry, that is, taking the sociocultural traditions of the local people into.

The cumulative area afforested during the 1951-91 period was nearly 179,000 square kilometres. However, despite large-scale tree planting programmes, forestry is one arena in which India has actually regressed since independence. Annual fellings at about four times the growth rate are a major cause. Widespread pilfering by villagers for firewood and fodder also represents a major decrement. In addition, the 1988 National Forest Policy noted, the forested area has been shrinking as a result of land cleared for farming and development programmes.

Between 1990 and 2010, as evidenced by satellite data, India has reversed the deforestation trend. FAO reports India's rate of forest addition has increased in recent years, and as of 2010, it is the third fastest in the world in increasing forest cover. The 2009 Indian national forest policy document emphasises the need to combine India's effort at forest conservation with sustainable forest management. India defines forest management as one where the economic needs of local communities are not ignored, rather forests are sustained while meeting nation's economic needs and local issues through scientific forestry.

Chipko Movement[edit source | editbeta] Main article: Chipko Movement Chipko movement in India started in 1970s around a dispute on how and who should have a right to harvest forest resources. Although the Chipko movement is now practically non-existent inUttarakhand, the Indian state of its origin, it remains one of the most frequently deployed examples of an environmental and a people's movement in developing countries such as India.

What caused Chipko is now a subject of debate; some neopopulists theorise Chipko as an environmental movement and an attempt to save forests, while others suggest that Chipko movement had nothing to do with eco-conservation, but was driven primarily to demand equal rights to harvest forests by local communities. According to one set of writers: Since the early 1970s, as they realised that deforestation threatened not only the ecology but their livelihood in a variety of ways, people have become more interested and involved in conservation.

The best known popular activist movement is the Chipko Movement, in which local women under the leadership of Chandi Prasad Bhatt and Sunderlal Bahuguna, decided to fight the government and the vested interests to save trees. The women of Chamoli District, Uttar Pradesh, declared that they would embrace—literally "to stick to" (chipkna in Hindi)--trees if a sporting goods manufacturer attempted to cut down ash trees in their district. Since initial activism in 1973, the movement has spread and become an ecological movement leading to similar actions in other forest areas.

The movement has slowed down the process of deforestation, exposed vested interests, increased ecological awareness, and demonstrated the viability of people power. [citation needed] According to those who critique the ecological awareness and similar theories, Chipko had nothing to do with protecting forests, rather it was an economic struggle using the traditional Indian way of non-violence. These scientists point out that very little is left of the Chipko movements today in its region of origin save for its memory, even though the quality of forests and its use remains a critical issue for India.

To explain the cause of Chipko movement, they find that government officials had ignored the subsistence issues of the local communities, who depended on forests for fuel, fodder, fertiliser and sustenance resources. These researchers claim that local interviews and fact finding confirms that local communities had filed complaints requesting the right to commercially exploit the forests around them. Their requests were denied, while permits to fell trees and exploit those same forests were granted to government-favoured non-resident contractors including a sporting company named Symonds. A protest that became Chipko movement followed.

The movement grew and Indian government responded by imposing a 15-year ban on felling all trees above 1000 metres in the region directly as a result of the Chipko agitations. This legislation was deeply resented by many communities supporting Chipko because, the regulation further excluded the local people from the forest around them. Opposition to the legislation resulted in so-called 'Ped Katao Andolan' in the same region, a movement to cut the trees down in order to defy the new legislation. The people behind Chipko movement felt that the government did not understand or care about their economic situation.

Chipko movement, at the very least, suggests that forests in India are an important and integral resource for communities that live within these forests, or survive near the fringes of these forests. Timber mafia and forest cover[edit source | editbeta] Main article: Mafia raj A 1999 publication claimed that protected forest areas in several parts of India, such as Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Jharkhand, were vulnerable to illegal logging by timber mafias that have coopted or intimidated forestry officials, local politicians, businesses and citizenry.

Clear-cutting is sometimes covered-up by conniving officials who report fictitious forest fires. [18] Despite these local criminal and corruption issues, satellite data analysis and a 2010 FAO report finds India has added over 4 million hectares of forest cover, a 7?% increase, between 1990 and 2010. [5] Forest rights[edit source | editbeta] In 1969, forestry in India underwent a major change with the passage of the Forest Rights Act, a new legislation that seeks to reverse the "historical injustice" to forest dwelling communities that resulted from the failure to record their rights over forest land and resources.

It also sought to bring in new forms of community conservation. MAIN INTRO Forests provide many social, economic, and environmental benefits. In addition to timber and paper products, forests provide wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities, prevent soil erosion and flooding, help provide clean air and water, and contain tremendous biodiversity. Forests are also an important defense against global climate change. Through the process of photosynthesis, forests produce life-giving oxygen and consume huge amounts of carbon dioxide, the atmospheric chemical most responsible for global warming.

By decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, forests may reduce the effects of global warming. However, huge areas of the richest forests in the world have been cleared for wood fuel, timber products, agriculture, and livestock. These forests are rapidly disappearing. The tropical rain forests of the Brazilian Amazon River basin were cut down at an estimated rate of 14 million hectares (35 million acres) each year-an area about the size of the state of Wisconsin-in the 1990s. The countries with the most tropical forests tend to be developing and overpopulated nations in the southern hemisphere.

Due to poor economies, people resort to clearing the forest and planting crops in order to survive. While there have been effective efforts to stop deforestation directly through boycotts of multinational corporations responsible for exploitative logging, the most effective conservation policies in these countries have been efforts to relieve poverty and expand access to education and health care. In 2005 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations issued a major report, titled "Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005," on the status of the world's forests.

Based on a five-year study, the report found that forested areas throughout the world were continuing to decline at a rate of about 7. 3 million hectares (18 million acres) per year, an area equivalent in size to Panama or Sierra Leone. However, the rate of decline had slowed in comparison with the period from 1990 to 2000, when the world lost about 8. 9 million hectares (22 million acres) of forested area per year. Africa and South America continued to have the largest net loss of forests, while forest loss also continued in North and Central America and the Pacific Islands.

Only Europe and Asia showed a net gain in forested areas due to forest planting, landscape restoration, and expansion of natural forests. China, in particular, reported a large-scale afforestation effort. In 2005 the world's total forest area was just under 4 billion hectares (10 billion acres). Forest Conservation is the practice of planting and maintaining forested areas for the benefit and sustainability of future generations. Around the year 1900 in the United States, forest conservation became popular with the uses ofnatural resources.

It is the upkeep of the natural resources within a forest that are beneficial to both humans and the ecosystem. Forest conservation acts to maintain, plan, and improve forested areas. Forests provide wildlife with a suitable habitat for living along with filtering groundwater and preventing runoff. [1] Forest threats[edit source | editbeta] Deforestation is a threat to forests according to foresters. Deforestation is the permanent destruction of forests and woodlands. Deforestation is brought about by commercial logging, conversion of woodlands to agricultural land, and the felling of trees for firewood and building material.

Commercial logging is that harvest of timber products for the profit that is gained from selling the product. [12] Illegal logging is a threat to forests. Illegal logging is the harvest of timber for economic gain without permission. This method is a threat because it impedes plans and upkeep of a forest. [13] Forests are lost to urban development and building projects. When forest are cleared for these reasons, it creates problems that foresters are concerned with. When heavy machinery is used to clear forests or develop land, the soil becomes compacted.

When the soil is compacted, the soil particles are packed tightly together. Soil compactionresults in water supply not being absorbed by tree roots and can be deadly to the growth of trees. Soil compaction also can create flooding. Compacted soil can not filter the groundwater into the soil therefor water can build up on the surface creating flooding as a result. [14] Species extinction is another threat to our forests. With the removal of forests, animal and plant species suffer. Animal species can not survive without the adequate needs of their lifestyle.

Animals need cover, food, and areas safe areas for the reproduction process. Altering their environment disrupts the life cycle of animal species and they are oftentimes not able to adapt. Food sources are lost to deforestation. Animal species tend to consume plant life to maintain themselves. With the removal of forests this can result in animals not being able to find food in order to survive. [15] Unmanaged recreational use is also a threat to forests. Unmanaged reacreational use is the use of the forested lands by the public at an uncontrolled rate.

As recreational use as increased among forests, foresters have noticed an increase in land management that is needed. [16] Invasive species threaten forests ecosystems. Invasive species are any species that is not native to that ecosystem and economic harm along with harm to the environment. [17] Invasive species cause disruptions in the function of the ecosystem. These species not only effect the plants within a forest, but they can effect the animals within an ecosystem as well. The financial impact cause by invasive species is 138 billion dollars per year with economic loss and control costs.

Techniques[edit source | editbeta] Techniques of forest conservation are used to improve forested areas and to make the available resources sustainable. [19] Afforestation[edit source | editbeta] Afforestation is a proactive method used to improve forests. Afforestation is the planting of trees for commercial purposes. The supply of wood and wood products from afforested areas has prevented the over use and destruction of natural forests. Instead of taking resources from existing natural forests, afforestation is a process used to plant to trees and use them as resources instead of naturally existing forests.

Afforestation is a way to create a forest. Afforestation occurs when the planting of trees is introduced to an area that previously had no trees. This creates habitat for wildlife, recreational areas, and commercial use while not causing harm to natural forests. [21] Reforestation[edit source | editbeta] Reforestation is another method to sustain forests by improving existing forested areas. Reforestation is a method of planting trees in an existing forested area. This method is used in reaction to deforestation.

When forests are removed without reestablishment they can be reforested by planting trees in the same area to rebuild the existing forest. [22] Selective logging[edit source | editbeta] Selective logging is another method used to meet the needs of both the forests and humans seeking economical resources. Selective logging is the removal of trees within a stand based on size limitations. This technique allows for forest regeneration to occur between and after the selective harvest cycles. Controlled burn

Although it can be threatening if it is not controlled, fire is a successful way to conserve forest resources. Controlled burn is a technique that is used to manage forests. Fire can benefit the ecosystem within a forest. Fire is natural and it is also a tool of foresters used to improve the forests. It renews the forest undergrowth and also stimulates the germination of trees species. In some species of trees such as the Sequoia, seedlings remain in dormancy until broken by fire. As a result, These species can not reproduce without fire.

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