Last Updated on July 20, 2018 by Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani
Introduction to The Forest Management and its Scope
INTRODUCTION AND HISTORY OF FOREST MANAGEMENT:
The concept of forest mgt originated in Europe, particularly in Germany. From the Middle Ages to the 16th century large tracks of forest were destroyed as the people over utilized them for different uses. Main uses were firewood, grazing, manuring, etc. The firewood was not only for the household use but for salt production in salt mines and ironworks as well. They would dissolve the salt in the water and boiled which needed fuel.
In the 17th century the forest was destroyed enough and the situation now we meet was not such as in 300 years back eg today barren hills of Himalayas in Pakistan are due to illicit cutting of forest from the area.
However, this utilization could have been scientific if they made away from this only the mature tree. In this way, the forested area might not be destroyed and hence decrease. This was the rational type of utilization.
In 1759, the term “Forest” was used for the first time by Beckman in Germany. After Beckman in 1791, Harting developed the “Sustain yield concept” in forestry, when yield is available for a large course of time. He also defined Forest Mgt, “It is the determination of present and future yield of the forest.”
Later another German Cotta defined Forest mgt in 1804 as, “The determination of forest yield.” However, up to that time people went in with the concept that forest should not be depleted and how it should be cut?
The concept of the economy in forestry was developed, thus Cotta changed the definition of Forest Mgt in 1880 as, “The mgt of the forest is not only the condition of the forest but economic or national income should also be taken into accounts.” The idea of economics was emphasized because different forests need different investments.
Now we have modified the above definition of forest mgt,
“It is the practical application of scientific, economic, and social principles for mgt of forest to achieve certain objectives.”
SCOPE OF FOREST MGT:
Forest mgt is done under the following functions:
- Setting of Objectives
- Organization and Execution
In forestry resources mgt, we follow the above lines but due to the unique nature of the resources, the manager faces problems. There are several characteristics of the resources but we consider mainly four which are;
- Time span in forestry
- The producing machine is the same as the product ie input = output
- Multiple uses
- Extent, topography, and accessibility
Time span in forestry:
Long term rotation:
Unlike the agricultural crop (which may take 6 months to one year) or other fruit crops, the time span in forestry is too long. In Pakistan, it is upto 120 years and even upto 300 years in some European countries eg oak forests in Europe for valuable timber have a rotation of 300 years but it is seldom less than 10 years (Scrub forest 15-20 years; Riverain forest 30 years, etc.)
Side by side other problems also occur eg good site quality results in earlier maturity but due to poor site quality, the maturity may be protracted. On the other hand, during different time intervals, we get different products. Earlier we get firewood and later we get timber.
Again different stockings give a different quality of products eg a dense crop of chir pine is straight and regular and would give timber but scattered trees have scattered branches and give more firewood. Similarly, the mixture of spp gives different results eg light demander and shade bearing should be adjusted accordingly.
Similarity of producing Machine and the Products:
In the manufacture of paper, the pulp is raw material and paper is the product; but in forestry, the producing machine as well as the product is the same ie the tree itself. We cannot differentiate b/w the capital and the product. However, the difficulty lies in how to extract or remove the product for the machine.
Consider the following example;
|S. No||Volume/ Tree||Volume/ Tree||Product or difference of growth|
|1.||100 cft||110 cft||10|
It is obvious from the example that in 10 yrs, a tree is 100 cft moved to 100 cft, moved to 110 cft but we cannot remove this 10cft growth in terms of product. For this purpose we add all the growth, let it be 145 cft and we come to know that two mature trees combine comprise about 145cft volume so we remove these two trees leaving the others as such.
No other resource faces such strange problems as the forest resource do.
Unlike all other resources, forest resources have several types of benefits ie;
- Tangible and non tangible benefits
- Monetary and not monetary
- Direct and indirect
Tangible and non tangible benefits:
Tangible benefits are those which can be measured in quantitative terms; non-tangible are those which cannot be measured quantitatively eg improvement of health, recreation, aestheticism, environment, etc.
Monetary and not monetary:
Monetary are those which can be sold in the market eg timber, firewood, grasses, etc while non monetary are those which cannot be sole eg reduction in erosion, production of water, increase in aesthetic value, etc.
Direct and indirect:
The benefits which the investor or community can get directly eg in Hazara the owners invest and directly eg timber. These are direct benefits but people living down these elevations or down the catchments areas get indirectly the silt free water, etc.
Considering the different uses of forests ie timber, firewood, wildlife, grass, environment, employment, watershed, etc, they are problems for a forester as the maximization of one will reduce the other eg if we want reduction is silt it means no cutting of forest and hence no timber and vice-versa. All these uses are in conflict with each other.
There is also a difference b/w the state forest and private forest. In the later case, the owner cares for his own economic unlike the former where the public benefits are also reckoned.
Extent, topography, and accessibility:
By accessibility we mean that whether we can reach there or not eg Nowshera is easily accessible than chitral. If we are to manage 5000 ha of land, we have different categories of slope, etc. Some slopes will be blank, some will be full of vegetation and some will be threatened by erosion and other hazards. On steep slopes, we cannot do intensive cutting. Thus we have to consider all the aspects.
Keeping in view the above stated aspects, a forest manager should have sufficient knowledge of the following three things:
- Growing Stock
Growing stock comprises many things eg Forest, different sites, species, silvicultural system, harvesting, regeneration, etc.
The forest manager should have knowledge of meteorology, climatology, geology, and soil science, and hydrology for site considerations.
For species, the forest manager should have knowledge of botany, taxonomy, physiology, ecology, and growth characters of different plants.
For silvicultural system, we should know whether the spp is light demander or shade bearing and what system can be properly applied to it eg Fir is shade bearing at early stage while Kail is light demander spp, thus shelter wood system will be applied instead of selection system.
Harvesting includes utilization, Forest Engineering, Forest Opening (another subject not in Pakistan, which deals with the opening of forest in different ways, opening can be with skidders, forest roads, etc.)
Regeneration involves thorough study of fertilizers, soil, nurseries, insect and disease whether we need artificial regeneration or natural regeneration.
Protection against biotic as well as abiotic factors is also necessary. Study about mycology, pathology, entomology, virology, bacteriology, socio-economics, land ownership, etc is very much necessary.
Sale of Forest Produce:
A forest manager knows all about markets and their principles, the characteristic of timber of different spp eg fir cannot be kept (stored) longer otherwise it will deteriorate and thus it should be brought earlier to the market.
Moreover a forest manager also knows about different systems of sale and other economic principles.
Having learnt the whole business, the forest manager should have sufficient knowledge of administration as he has to deal with the contractors and many other personals. Moreover, the forest manager should also know about the financial and banking procedures and other principles of finance.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES:
The products and services from the forest are classified as:
- Tangible and non-tangible benefits
- Marketable and non-marketable
- Direct and indirect
Tangible and non-tangible benefits:
- Tangible benefits are those which can be measured in quantitative terms eg timber, firewood, resin, medicinal plants, leaves, needles, grasses, bark, fruit, honey, wildlife, mushrooms, water, etc.; non-tangible are those which cannot be measured quantitatively eg improvement of health, recreation, aestheticism, environment, etc.
Marketable and not marketable:
- Monetary are those which can be sold in the market eg timber, firewood, grasses, etc while non-monetary are those which cannot be a sole eg reduction in erosion, production of water, increase in aesthetic value, etc.
Direct and indirect:
- The benefits which the investor or community can get directly eg in Hazara the owners invest and directly eg timber. These are direct benefits but people living down these elevations or down the catchments areas get indirectly the silt-free water, etc.
For correction and improvements please use the comments section below.
NJMH is working as Deputy Conservator of Forests in Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department (BFWD). He is the CEO of Tech Urdu (techurdu.net) Forestrypedia (forestrypedia.com), Majestic Pakistan (majesticpakistan.pk), All Pak Notifications (allpaknotifications.com), Essayspedia, etc & their YouTube Channels). He is an Environmentalist, Blogger, YouTuber, Developer & Vlogger.