Though Pyuthan is a small hilly district, it is rich in biological resources due to great diversity of forests and wildlife ranging from Siwalik-Mahabharat region to the lower Himalayan region. This district is also known as the district of Shrikhanda (Santalum album) due to the endowment of the natural forest of Shrikhanda (Santalum album) in the district, which is important from religious and economic point of view. Kasturi Mriga (Himalayan Musk deer – Moschus leucogaster), Charibagh (Prionailurus bengalensis), Hudar (Hyaena spp.), Rato Fyauro (Red Fox – Vulpes bengalensis), Danphe (Lophophorus impejanus), Mayur (Pavo cristatus), Chir (Catreus wallichii), Hile vulture, etc. have added more attraction to the biodiversity of the district. Generally, Mayur (Pavo cristatus) is found up to 2,300 m-asl, but a recent study conducted in the district has recorded its presence at 3,200 m-asl, which is a new knowledge to the world’s community. The forest resources in the country occupies 44.74% of the total area, whereas the Pyuthan district owns about 64,218 hectare (48.76%) of forest area out of 1,31,689-hectare total land area. In this regard, Pyuthan district is rich in forest resources; the forest types ranging from Sal Forest to the Quercus Forest and alpine meadows. Regarding the import and export of forest produce, a small amount of Sal (Shorea robusta) wood and strip-timber is imported from nearby districts such as Dang and Kapilvastu, which can be replaced by domestic forest products if we can practice sustainable/ scientific forest management. Currently, scientific forest management action plan is being implemented in 9 Community Forests in this district; and if the forest management is upscaled to other potential areas, we can export Sal as well as other species of wood. Moreover, it will create employment opportunities at local level which will increase the sources of income to local people. As per the national vision – “Prosperous Nepal & Happy Nepali”, the forest sector programs also aim at replacing timber import, generating income, and creating job opportunities. In line with this, our office has been working for sustainable management of forests, development of pocket areas of some specific non-timber species, supporting enterprise development, livelihoods support particularly to the poor forest dependents, and building infrastructure for ecotourism development. We have also laid emphasis on planting of Amriso (Thysanolaena maxima), Tejpat/Dalchini (Cinnamon), Shrikhand (Santalum album), Timur (Zanthoxylum armatum DC), Cardamom, lemon, etc. keeping in mind the demand from local people and market availability. Similarly, a campaign has been started to conserve water resources by constructing recharge ponds. Besides these activities, development of picnic spots and parks has also been started to promote ecotourism. People will get benefitted from the tourism business after construction of many more physical infrastructures in the coming days. Apart from this, Division Forest Office carries out various activities such as wildlife conservation and rescue, control of encroachment, smuggling, forest fire, etc. with active support from local people and different stakeholders.

Shankar Prasad Gupta
Divisional Forest Officer
Division Forest Office Pyuthan