This week Green Trails collaborated with the Forest department to revive forest areas – one sapling at a time.
A historical day for Green Trails
Ten staff members from Indiahikes travelled to Saraithota, a village 31 km from Joshimath. The team spent the day planting over 130 saplings. These saplings included Deodar and Kesariya trees to name a few. They are native to the region.
Why are we planting saplings?
In 2016, forest fires that lasted for nearly 88 days destroyed large areas of forest land in Uttrakhand and Himachal. The Forest Department estimated a total of 3,500 hectares (8,600 acres) of forest cover to be lost in these fires.
Loss of natural forests and biodiversity has become a common phenomena in these states. Increase in agricultural land has also led to loss of forest lands. Numbers of animals such as tigers, snow leopards, black bear and musk deer have significantly dwindled over the past few years.
Moreover, Uttarakhand is a hill state. According to the National Forest Policy 1988 more than two-thirds of the area in hilly areas must be covered by forests. However, this requirement has not been met. The total forest cover is much below 66 per cent. The Forest Survey of India’s (FSI) records for the year 2013, show that only 45.82 per cent of the state is covered with forests.
Sandeep Verma, Trek Manager, says “This is the first time Indiahikes has participated in such an event. I am glad my team and I got to participate in this event. It was a real eye opener for us.”
Students from the Eco-Clubs were looking forward to be a part of the tree plantation. They had spent the previous week making posters promoting tree plantation. Unfortunately, due to heavy rains resulting in numerous landslides, it wasn’t safe for the students to travel. They were unable to participate this time. But they are keeping their spirits up for the next tree plantation.
We are already looking forward to the winter season, which is the season to plant fruit trees.
We are looking forward to another fruitful week ahead. Please write back to me with any comments, suggestions and queries that you might have at [email protected]