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Firewood and Timber Collection and its impact on natural resources

Firewood and Timber Collection – complete detail. Firewood and Timber Collection and its impact on natural resources. Firewood and Timber Collection destroying biodiversity. Firewood and Timber Collection is also very harmful for nature and natural resources. In past, timber is collected from sacred grove only for repairing of the temple (which is…………


Firewood and Timber Collection destroying biodiversity and nature. To majority of rural population and a large number of people living in small towns and cities of developing countries, the only fuel is wood which is burned to cook food and to provide heat in chilly winters. Firewood collection contributes much to the depletion of nature. These patches usually produce a lot of combustible material in the form of dead twigs, leaves etc. There is hardly any need of cutting down live trees in densely wooded localities. Presently in these patches the pressure of demand is usually higher, a slow thinning of woodland occurs due to regular foraging of villagers. In India, a recent observation revealed that felling of small trees for use as firewood and timber exceeds fresh plant growth. In some people allows to collecting head loads of dead wood from forests for personal use. However, deadwood is actually manufactured, trees are axed, and their barks girdled and live trees become personal head loads to find their way to local markets. If the present trend continues, within few years these groves will become treeless. Outright felling of live trees to meet firewood and charcoal requirement is common in lightly wooded areas in many countries.

In past, timber is collected from sacred grove only for repairing of the temple (which is located in that sacred grove). Tree cutting for personal and commercial purpose is restricted in sacred groves. Only dead wood collection is allowed for cooking food. In present, people use the sacred groves for commercial purpose. They collect timber and firewood for sell-out in market, many industries reedy to pay for it. In many sacred groves timber and firewood collection is the main occupation for the local peoples Logging or felling of forest trees for obtaining timber is an important cause of deforestation.

Live trees with thick and straight trunks are felled and transported to commercial establishments elsewhere, to consumers who are ready to pay. In the process large stretches of forests are damaged and the system which could have provided resources worth much more to the local people is disrupted. Ironically the profits from timber trade are enjoyed by Governments, large companies or affluent contractors. Local people get a tiny share in the benefits while axing their own resource base. This process of creaming or removing a few selected trees amidst dense vegetation on rather a delicate soil causes much more destruction than the actual number of trees or the volume of timber taken out would suggest. Logging operations destroyed about 40% of the trees left behind. In many places logging operations have been observed to lead to a permanent loss of forest cover. Loggers after removing a select group of trees move on to other areas. They are usually followed by others who move into the cut over area hoping to start farming and put down roots. The remaining vegetation is slashed and burned and agriculture is attempted. When cultivation fails it is replaced by cattle ranching or by useless tenacious grasses.

The practice of cutting down larger trees, of the selected species, leaving behind younger ones which can grow into fresh stock to be harvested later may appear rational. In theory such patch should become ready for re-harvesting within thirty to forty years. However, in practice none of the loggers leaves the required number of younger trees and the notion that the woodland shall be ready for another valuable timber harvest in forty years appears to be a wistful thinking at its best.

About Vijay Choudhary

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