During World War II,excessive felling occurred over almost all sal forests and some
of the coniferous forests. In 1945 a separate circle to tackle afforestation methods
in the Gangetic plains was created. After the attainment of Independence in 1947,
Uttar Pradesh Forest and Wildlife Department enlarged its activities; forests of Tehri, Rampur
and Banaras were taken over in 1949 With the abolition of Zamindari in 1952, about
9,065 sq km (3,500 square miles) of forests were transferred to the Forest and Wildlife Department.
In 1948, Uttar Pradesh Private Forests Act was enacted to prevent the gradual destruction
of forests by proprietors. The third Five Year Plan (1961-66) laid special emphasis
on measures to meet the long term requirements of the country and to ensure more
economic and efficient utilization of the valuable forest products. A new centrally
sponsored scheme ‘Plantation of Quick Growing Species’ was introduced in U.P. under
which large scale mechanised plantation programme was launched. In U.P.most of the
fertile land with inferior forests was clear felled and planted with valuable and
fast growing tree species.
The National Commission on Agriculture 1976 report stressed the socioeconomic importance
of social forestry in the rural community as well as in the management of forest
resources. As a result Social Forestry Project was launched with the World Bank
assistance in the year 1979, which continued till 1992. Large scale expansion of
the department was carried out to implement the project in forest deficit districts.
As a result reorganization of the department was done from time to time.
For the future development of the forestry sector in UP the State government sought
World Bank assistance. World Bank assisted UP Forestry Project was launched in the
year 1998. The strategy involves substantial change in the way the sector is managed
and the introduction of innovative new programs for participatory management of
forests. This is designed to allow UP Forest and Wildlife Department to develop the new processes
systems and skills required for the implementation of new Government of UP strategy
and to provide for necessary investment in the sector.
After the hill districts were constituted into a separate State of Uttaranchal,
Uttar Pradesh now largely consist of fertile Gangetic plains in the Northern part
of the country. The major rivers flowing through the State are the Ganga, the Yamuna,
the Ramganga, the Gomti and the Ghaghra. It has a geographic area of 240928 square
km that is 7.3% of the country's geographic area. With human population of 199.81
million, it is the most populous state of the country having 16.51% of the country's
population. The population is 77.73% rural and 22.27% urban. The average population
density is 829 persons per square km. Tribal population is negligible. As mandated
by the National Forest Policy 1988 and reaffirmed by the State Forest Policy 1998
a minimum of 33% of the total geographical area under forest/tree cover has been
determined desirable. Accordingly the latest State of Forest Report 2013 prepared
by Forest Survey of India interprets Uttar Pradesh to have 5.96% of State's geographic
area under forest cover and 2.86% of State's geographic area under tree cover. Thus
a total of 8.82% of the state's geographic area is under forest/tree cover.