Forests are valuable resources. They provide raw materials for industries, timber for buildings, furniture’s and many other uses. The forest ecosystem is dominated by various species of trees.
The chief product that forests supply is wood like timbers. Major forest products consist of timber small wood and fuel wood. Indian forests produce about 5,000 species of wood, of which about 450 are commercially valuable. Hard woods include important species such as teak, ironwood, mahogany etc.
These woods are used for constructional purposes. Population explosion had its tremendous pressure on demand for timber and other wood. Consumption of wood for industrial uses is more in developed countries than the developing countries. India has abundant timber. It accounts half of the total biomass produced by a forest. But demands may become still higher in future.
That increase in demand cannot be met from what we produce at present. Total requirement of timber in the year 2000 was 46.755 m3 (based on DCPPT, 1983). It is a matter of serious concern that the present generation man has forgotten the value of forests. The reckless felling of trees from the very beginning of the present century without caring for environment
Timber extraction is a significant cause of deforestation in Central Africa and South-eastern Asia. The biggest problem of the Indian forests is the inadequate forest cover. Forests cover only 23.13 per cent of the area against the required coverage of 33 per cent.
Major causes responsible for timber famine in Europe in 16th and 17th centuries prevail in these forests too. It will be worthwhile to consider the possibility of converting a large portion of the crippled worthless forested area to agricultural land for production of grasses or other fodder crops suitable for existing soils.