Forest management is the practical application of the scientific, technical, and economic principles of forestry. It in a broad sense integrates all the biological, social, economic, and other factors that affect management decisions about forests. It has primarily dealt with silviculture and the biological management of the forest.
It is the branch of forestry whose function is the organization of forest property for management and maintenance, by ordering in time and place the various operations necessary for the conservation, protection, and improvement of the forest on the one hand, and the controlled harvesting of the forest on the other.
Objectives of forest management
The term objectives implies the desired point that the forest organization or the owner wishes to reach.
Objectives can be categorized into general and specific objectives, they are mentioned below
General objectives :
- Maintaining / raising the productive capacity of the soil and of the forest stands with the maximum site potential.
- Promoting the protective effect of the forest, against soil erosion, avalanches floods and protection of the bio-physical factors, such as natural scenery, flora and fauna.
- Execution of Silvicultural operations and regulation of felling in such a way so as to bring the forest to a condition of as near normality as possible: i.e attainment of a normal forest is one of the principal objects.
- Provide satisfaction to the right holder/owner in respect of timber, firewood, grazing, etc. in particular, and meet the basic requirement of the local population in general.
- Providing the maximum possible volume of valuable timber and raw materials for construction and industrial proposes, and other forest produces for meeting the market demands and securing the highest possible financial results.
- Provision of the maximum benefit to the greatest number of people for all time.
Specific objectives changes depending on different site factors, locations, and forest types. for instance ;
- In badly eroded areas and steep hill slopes: it may be protection oriented, where the special object will be protection, afforestation, soil and water conservation; satisfaction of only the minimum social needs of the local population, ignoring consideration for market supplies and financial returns.
- In the watershed of municipal water supplies, irrigation, and hydroelectric generation dams: special objectives being the maintenance of an undisturbed protective vegetative cover, all other forms of use must be subordinated to it.
- In the forest areas of natural scenic beauty, woodlands near urban habitation: recreation often being the dominant object, timber feelings, grazing, and even hunting will have to be entirely stopped. Such forests serve as a ‘magnificent/noble playground for tired mankind seeking peace and spiritual strength.
- Open forests, heavily grazed and felled in the past, with a low proportion of valuable timber:- are clear felled and converted into plantations of desired species and of industrial importance – pure or simple compatible mixture eg Sagarnath plantation project.
The objectives of forest management in the context of Nepal
Depending on site, owner desire, forest type and the importance placed on it, and socioeconomic factors of country management objectives changes. In the case of Nepal following are the main objectives:
- Stabilize the supply of timber, fuel wood, fodder, and other forestry products necessary for general people in their day-to-day lives.
- Increase the productivity of forests to ensure the supply of raw materials to forest-based industries, which contribute to the national economy.
- Increase income from employment opportunities in the forestry sector for underprivileged families.
- To preserve biological diversity, maintain ecological processes and ecosystems, and create recreational areas: -. Develop national parks, wildlife reserves, and protected areas.
- Help in maintaining land fertility through the conservation of soil and other watershed resources.
- Adopt proper land use practices
- Adoption of sustainable forest management practices.