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Forest Management

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What is Forest Management?

The forest is a natural system that can provide a variety of products and services. Forests provide water, mitigate climate change, habitat for wildlife, including many pollinators needed for sustainable food production, timber and fuelwood, non-wood forest products such as food and medicine, and contribute to rural livelihoods.

This system's operation is influenced by both the natural environment (climate, topography, soil, etc.) and human activity. Human actions in forests constitute forest management. In developed societies, management is usually elaborated and planned in order to achieve desirable goals. Some forests have been and continue to be managed primarily for traditional forest products such as firewood, paper fibre, and timber, with little regard for other products and services. Nonetheless, as environmental awareness grows, the management of forests for multiple uses is becoming more common.

Management of Forest Resources

Forest wood was prepared for use in fuel, building, transportation, and productive tools. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the rapid development of the iron-smelting and glass industries, which required large amounts of charcoal in several European countries, meant that forests were being destroyed at an alarming rate. Large amounts of timber have been required since then for industrial development and population growth.

The Industrial Revolution increased social productivity at an unprecedented rate, as industrial demand for wood increased rapidly. As a result, from the mid-eighteenth century to the nineteenth century, forest resources were depleted on a large scale. During that time, when the United Kingdom was at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, 90 percent of timber was imported from other countries; a timber risk also existed in Germany.

Types of Forest Management

Below are some types of forest management.

Harvesting Trees

Trees are harvested in forest management for a variety of reasons, including improving forest health, controlling the types of trees that grow on the site, attracting certain wildlife species, providing an income source for the landowner, producing paper, lumber, and a variety of other forest products, and improving access to the area for hikers, hunters, and other recreational users.

Thinning Harvest

When trees are crowded together, they compete for more sunlight, nutrients, and water. As a result, they are less healthy and grow less rapidly. Forest managers may remove a portion of the trees in the early stages (10-15 years) of a growing stand of trees to reduce competition for sunlight, water, and nutrients in order to improve the health and productivity of the forest. The forest is 'thinned' by removing a specific percentage of the trees. The trees that remain will grow faster, stronger, and larger. By increasing the amount of sunlight that reaches the forest floor, thinning also improves the growth of the forest's understory, such as wildflowers and native weeds. This expansion provides more food and cover for animals.

Clearcut Harvest

Clearcutting, like a wildfire, hurricane, or other natural disturbance, removes all of the trees in a given area. It is most commonly used in pine forests, which require full sunlight to grow, as well as hardwood forests containing yellow poplar, sweetgum, cherry, maple, and other species that require full sunlight. Because they allow forest managers to control the tree species that grow on the site through natural or artificial regeneration, clearcuts are an efficient way to convert unhealthy stands to healthy, productive forests.

Interesting Facts

  • Forests are home to over 80 percent of land animals and plants and cover 31 percent of the world's total land area.

  • About 1.6 billion people around the world depend on forests for their livelihoods and daily subsistence needs.

  • A tree can sequester up to 150 kilograms of carbon dioxide per year.

Important Questions

1. Give an account of the forest cover in India.

Ans: The scale of deforestation in India is mind-boggling. The country's forest and tree cover is estimated to be 79.42 million hectares, or 24.16% of the total geographical area (dense forest 12.2%, open forest 9.14%, and mangrove 0.14%). The dense forest cover has increased by 3,775 square kilometres since 2013, according to the State of Forest Report (2015). However, this apparent increase in forest cover is due to conservation measures, management interventions, and plantation, among other things, implemented by various agencies.

2. Write four major reasons for the depletion of forest cover.

Ans: Major reasons for depletion of forest are as follows:

  • Huge tracts of forest have been destroyed in order to expand agriculture.

  • To meet the growing demand for timber, the British systematically destroyed Indian forests. In the United Kingdom, there is a high demand for timber. Many forests were also destroyed as a result of this. During the World Wars, the government supplied timber to the front line.

  • Forests have been cleared to make way for the construction of houses and industries.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. How much area is under the forest cover in India?

  1. Around 610000 sq km

  2. Around 670000 sq km

  3. Around 710000 sq km

  4. Around 750000 sq km

Answer: (c)

Step-by-step solution:

  • The total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.9 million hectares which is 24.62 percent of the geographical area of the country.

  • As compared to the assessment of 2019, there is an increase of 2,261 sq km in the total forest and tree cover of the country.

2. Which one of the following movements was carried out for the conservation of forests and the environment?

  1. Forest movement

  2. Ganga Action Plan

  3. Tehri Andolan

  4. Chipko Andolan

Answer: (d)

Step by step solution:

  • The Chipko movement or chipko andolan was primarily a forest conservation movement in India that began in 1973 and went on to become a rallying point for many future environmental movements all over the world.

  • It created a precedent for non-violent protests started in India.


If properly regulated, implemented, and maintained, forest management can have a positive impact as a potential solution to global climate change. Some of the implementation processes are lengthy and financially draining, but each strategy has demonstrated positive long-term (and occasionally short-term) environmental, economic, and socio-cultural benefits.

Last updated date: 18th Sep 2023
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FAQs on Forest Management

1. What are the major uses of the forest?

The lush forest trees and other foliage can absorb noxious gases released into our atmosphere by humans and other waste products, a process known as pollution. We require forests to help reduce pollution levels on our planet! For centuries, humans have used trees as a source of wood to build houses and other structures, as well as to keep warm by burning wood. We now have other methods of erecting structures that do not rely so heavily on trees and their wood. We have only recently attempted to replant the areas where we have removed trees by planting more trees. It helps, but trees grow slowly, so replenishing the forests takes time.

2. What is the importance of Forest Management?

Many animals have natural habitats in forests. The trees help to keep the atmosphere oxygenated. They have an impact on the rainfall in a specific area. They also provide us with wood, medicines, food, perfumes, paper, clothing, and other necessities. Trees are the world's largest carbon storehouses, which helps to keep global temperatures stable. The increase in carbon levels is thought to be the primary cause of global warming. Despite the benefits of forests, deforestation has become widespread in the modern era, causing a variety of issues such as pollution, soil erosion, and climate change.

3. Why are Forests one of the main elements in our life?

Forests are an important part of our natural heritage. Over the last decade and a half, the decline of Europe's forests has raised awareness and understanding of the serious imbalances that threaten them. Air pollution, soil deterioration, an increase in the number of forest fires, and, in some cases, mismanagement of our woodland and forest heritage are all major threats to European forests that know no borders other than those of geography or climate.


There is a growing recognition of the importance of countries banding together to coordinate their policies. Strasbourg hosted the first Ministerial Conference on Forest Protection in Europe in December 1990. 31 countries from both Western and Eastern Europe attended the conference. The coordinated study of forest destruction, as well as how to combat forest fires and the extension of European research programmes on the forest ecosystem, were among the topics discussed.

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