Introduction To Forest Management

by | Jul 17, 2023 | Forest Management

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Forest management is described as the application of scientific, technological, and economic concepts to forestry to maximize the number of people who profit. It is a field of forestry that deals with administrative, economic, legal, and social issues, as well as scientific and technical issues, including silviculture, forest preservation, and forest regulation.

Forest resource management is described as “the use of scientific, technological, and economic knowledge to develop, conserve, and manage the diverse resources of forests for the benefit of governments and the general public.

History of Forest Management

Forest management has its roots in Europe, notably Germany. Large tracts of woodland were destroyed from the Middle Ages to the 16th century as humans overused them for various purposes. Firewood, grazing, manuring, and other uses were common. The forest was sufficiently devastated in the 17th century, and the scenario we currently face is not the same as it was 300 years ago; for example, the barren hills of the Himalayas in Pakistan are owing to illegal forest cutting in the area. This usage, on the other hand, may have been scientific if they had just taken the mature tree. As a result, the wooded area may not be destroyed and hence reduced. This was the sort of sensible utilization.

Beckman coined the term “forest” for the first time in Germany in 1759. Harting created the “Sustain yield idea” in forestry after Beckman in 1791, where yield is accessible over a long period of time. He also described Forest Management as “the assessment of the forest’s current and future productivity.” Forest management was later described by another German Cotta in 1804 as “the assessment of forest production.”

Also Read: Degradation Of Forests Is Continuing At An Alarming Rate

Scope and Objective of Forest Management

Forest management, like any other business, entails formulating and implementing policy choices in order to meet the owner’s goals. A plan of action follows these choices. In the case of State-owned forests, planning is the responsibility of the States and the Centre, with basic concepts enshrined in the National and State Forest Policies.

Forest Managers make detailed plans at the professional level, which technicians then carry out. The Forest Manager must continually manage the increasing stock in order to reach certain management objectives; as part of this process, he must decide “how much, when, where, and how to chop.”

The scope of forest management is fairly vast; it includes the following major activities:

  • Controlling the structure and composition of the growing stock
  • Produce distribution and marketing
  • Forest Property Administration

It is a complication unlike any other commercial enterprise because forests, particularly state-owned forests (which account for 95.8% of all forests in India), are managed for a variety of purposes – productive, protective, climatic, wildlife, recreational, and bio-aesthetic – with one use dominating, namely the production of wood.

Although forest land may be managed for several purposes at the same time, some of them are incompatible; for example, grazing is incompatible with wood production, environmental conservation, and recreational usage. The owner – whether the State or a private individual – establishes priorities in each situation, and management is directed toward achieving the set goals.

Characteristics of Forest Management

The following are the most generally used definitions of sustainable forestry, which come from a number of sources and are difficult to quantify.

World Commission on Environment and Development (1987), often known as the Brundtland Commission —Development fulfils current needs without jeopardizing future generations’ capacity to meet their own needs, including two fundamental elements:

  • The idea of “needs,” particularly the basic needs of the world’s impoverished, should be given first attention.
  • The concept of technological and societal restrictions limits the ability of the environment to satisfy current and future demands.

The enhancement of human well-being through the use, development, and protection of resources at a rate and in a manner that allows people to meet their current needs while also providing future generations with the means to meet their needs while also meeting environmental, economic, and community goals.

Even human-centred goals like forest health and biodiversity are human-centred. Many people cherish healthy, diversified forests because they feel that these characteristics will help forests last longer for future generations.

Principles of Forest Management and Their Applications

The following are important forest management principles:

  • Forests and forest areas should be adequately safeguarded, and their output should be increased.
  • Forestry should not be allowed to take over good and profitable agricultural land. Biological diversity must be effectively strengthened and expanded.
  • To avoid forest depletion, fuelwood, food, small timber, and meadows must be available near or around communities to prevent forest depletion.
  • Minor forest products should be conserved since they are tribal or impoverished people’s livelihoods.
  • Provision for shared forest management should be considered so that villages may participate in forest-related activities. Forestry, reforestation, social forestry, agricultural forestry, agro-forestry, and Silvi-pasture must all be prioritised.
  • Forest plantation productivity will be boosted by scientific and technical interventions, encouraging the use of more timber and reducing reliance on alternative high-carbon-footprint wood replacements.
  • The network of national parks, sanctuaries, conservation reserves, community reserves, biosphere reserves, significant wildlife corridors, and biodiversity heritage sites shall be sufficiently fortified and extended for the conservation of flora, fauna, and total biodiversity.
  • Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) such as medicinal and aromatic plants, oilseeds, resins, wild foods, fibre, bamboo, and grass, among others, will be sustainably maintained to help tribals and other forest-dependent groups improve their income.
  • Promotion of trees outside of forests and urban greens will be undertaken on a mission basis in order to meet the national aim of putting one-third of the country’s land area under forest and tree cover, as well as the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets.

Development of Forest Management in USA and India

USA

Early medieval Europe was the birthplace of organized forest management, with regulations governing the cutting of trees and the use of wood for hunting. Private forestry schools were created in Europe throughout the nineteenth century, and the United States government allowed its first wooded land reserves in 1891. Many countries engaged in reforestation or afforestation efforts during the twentieth century.

Forest Management, Forested land, as well as accompanying rivers and wastes, is managed primarily for timber harvesting but also for conservation and enjoyment.

Though wood harvesting and replanting are the principal operations, in the USA, forestry science is based on the notion of multiple-use land management.

The major goal is to provide a steady supply of timber by carefully planning harvest and replacement. Other land controls that the forest manager is responsible for include wildlife conservation and the execution of programs to protect the forest from weeds, insects, fungal diseases (see fungus), erosion, and fire.

India

The 1988 National Forest Policy, which focused on safeguarding environmental stability, restoring ecological balance, and protecting the surviving forests, underlined the importance of forests in the national economy and ecology.

To attain the following goals, the Indian government advised reorganizing state forestry agencies and promoting the idea of social forestry in 1976.

Forests and Wildlife were added to the Concurrent List of the Seventh Schedule by the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution, which recognized the importance of forests for the nation’s well-being. This has allowed the national government to pass Forests and Wildlife legislation.

In its preamble, the National Forest Policy of 1988 justifies the necessity to evaluate and amend the Policy of 1952 by defining conservation as the protection, maintenance, sustainable usage, restoration, and improvement of the natural environment. Some key components of the National Forest Policy are described here.

Read More About: Forest Management in India 

Author

  • Dr. Emily Greenfield

    Dr. Emily Greenfield is a highly accomplished environmentalist with over 30 years of experience in writing, reviewing, and publishing content on various environmental topics. Hailing from the United States, she has dedicated her career to raising awareness about environmental issues and promoting sustainable practices.

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1 Comment

  1. Paul Trabb

    Mein Sohn interessiert sich neuerdings für Forsttechnik. Daher wollte ich mich mal ein wenig in das Thema einlesen. Ich finde, die Waldbewirtschaftung ist da ein sehr interessantes Thema.

    Reply

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