Earth Belongs to all species

Degradation of natural forests

Report on Launch of Forest Land Restoration Project at Reshme Hadlu Thithimathi on 5th June 2017

a. Forest Land Restoration Project was launched in association with Kodagu Model Forest TRust, Karnataka Forest Department, College of Forestry-Ponnampet, Village Forest Committee- Badragola, Green Village Community Forum,Coorg Wildlife Society, Forest First Samithi,Center for Environment Eductaion, Western Ghat nature Foundation, Voice for Wildlife and Jungle Scape on 5th June 2017 at Reshme Hadlu Thithimathi on the occassion of World Environment Day.
b. Guests of Honors for the programme are Mrs. Padmini Ponnappa- Vice Chairperson- KFDCL, Chief Conservator of Forests/Deputy Conservator of Forests- Karnataka Forest Department, Dean- College of Forestry Ponnampet,Dr. Ramakrishna Hegde- Forest Land Restoration Project Head Mr. M.T. Subbaiah- President- Green Village Community Forum, Mrs. Asha James- Secretary- Green VIllage Community Forum, Mrs. Ponnamma- President- Village Forest Committee, Col. C.P. Muthanna- Coorg Wildlife Society, Mrs. Meera Rajesh- Forest First Samithi, Mr. K.L. Sudeer- Jungle Scape and Head Master- Reshme Hadlu Primary School.
c. Programme was inaugrated by Mrs. Padmini Ponnappa- Vice Chairperson- KFDCL by conducting pooja at Reshme hadlu Sacred grove temple and planting of Flowering tree species saplings at sacred grove model site by Chief Guest, Village forest Committee President and by Col. C.P. Muthanna-Vice Chairman- Kodagu Model Forest TRust/ Coorg Wildlife Society.
d. Mr. K.L Sudeer- Jungle Scape explained How to remove Lantana and Benefits of selling of lantana to the gathering at Removal of Lantana Site.
e. PLanting of Seed ball at Teak monoculture site was carried out by the Guests of Honors, Forest department personnal and College of Forestry Green citizen nature club students and approximate of 2000 seed balls were planted.
f. After symbolical planting of Saplings,Removal of Lantana and sowing of seed balls the guests of Honor and other members of the programme gathered at Reshme Hadlu primary school for a meeting.
g. Presiding officer for the meeting was Col. C.P. Muthanna- Vice Chairman- Kodagu Model Forest TRust/ Coorg Wildlife Society.
h. Col.C.P. Muthanna- Vice Chairman- Kodagu Model Forest TRust/ Coorg Wildlife Society welcome the gathering for the programme.
i. Mr. Sherry Subbaiah- Hon Secretary- Kodagu Model Forest Trust, Dr. Ramakrishna Hegde- FLR project Head- College of Forestry Ponnampet and Mr. K.L .Shdeer- Mysore briefed the gathering regarding the concept of Forest Land Restoration project, Forest land restoration pilot project 2012 and also the Forest land restoration new project which was launched on the same day.

Forest restoration pilot project - 2012

Kodagu is one of the densely wooded districts in the state of Karnataka, (India) with 4106 sq. km geographical area, of which 72 per cent is wooded (FSI, 2009). Close to about 10.00 percent of the forest area of Kodagu  is degraded and most of the forested landscapes in the eastern part of the district are degraded either in terms of conversion of natural forests to monoculture plantations of  teak with very low productivity or degraded due to  invasive weeds  like Lantana camera(Lantana) and Chromolina odorata(Euphotorium) impacting regeneration. Some forested areas are scrubby with very low density of tree species resulted in poor habitat quality for wildlife, which took serious dimensions in man-animal conflict, resulting in loss of biodiversity and subsistence of farmers residing adjacent to forest.

 Hence Kodagu Model Forest Trust® (KMFT) took up this pilot project with its stakeholders in Devamachi forest range which is intensely degraded due to Teak Monoculture. KMFT with its stakeholders has conducted studies in the project implementing area and has planted various natural forest accepted sapling in gaps between teak plantation. Planting has been carried out in approximately 28 acres of area which is under teak monoculture.

 

Col CP Muthanna proposed the project and under the guidance of Dr KA Kushalappa(IFS, Chairman KMFT) project approval was obtained from Karnataka Forest department(KFD). Col. CP Muthanna attended meeting with PCCF and others in Aranya Bhavan, Bangalore. Final meeting was held in Thithimathi with KFD officials and other stakeholders of KMFT. Finally meeting was held in Rashme Hadlu with Village Forest Committee Officials and project implementation was decided.

 

 

 

 

Under the Guidance from KMFT Chairman Dr. KA Kushalappa (IFS Rtd) Technical team members from College of Forestry, Mr.Sherry Subbaiah, Project Co-Ordinator, Trustee KMFT, and members from VFC, KFD, GVCF and CWS visited the sight and planned for the execution of the project on 22nd September, 2012. Dr. Ramakrishna Hegde from College of Forestry explained the VFC Members about the purpose of planting and showed them planting procedure. Approximately 50 acres of forest land was selected for planting.

 

 

 

 

 

Technical Team Members:

Dr. Ramakrishna Hegde(Prof. COF) – Technical team leader

Dr. Raghu (Assc.Prof COF) – Technical Team member

Mr. Sathish BN( Assc.Prof COF) – Technical Team member

Mr. Hareesh (Assc.Prof COF) – Technical Team member

Mr. Sherry Subbaiah (Trustee KMFT) – Project Co-ordinator

 

Pitting and planting:

Pitting was started on 25th September 2012, and was ingurated by Sherry Subbaiah. Overall 1280 pits were dug. Plants were sourced from College Of Forestry and Forest department of Karnataka. Plants species like Bamboosa, Emblica officinalis(Nelli), Artocarpus spp. (Halasu),Pterocarpus marsupium (Honne), Lecania leucocephela (Subabul) were planted. Plants obtained from COF were billed for Rs.5/Per plant and plants obtained from KFD Rs 3/per plant were paid. Plants were transported on 26th September 2012.

 

Col. CP Muthanna inaugurated the planting and also Students from College of Forestry voluntarily planted around 450 plants. Overall 1280 plants were planted in around 50 acres of Devamachi forest CPT 17. Planting was completed on 29th September 2012. Watch and ward has been installed for protection of the plant material. Regular monitoring is being carried out by the technical team and stakeholders.

 

 

Support:

We would like to thank Coorg Wildlife Society and Dr. Chotera Shoba for continued support in Forest Restoration project as evidenced by recent funding for the project.

We would also like to thank Skanda Group for providing implements to carry out the project.  Heartfelt thanks to all our stakeholders for providing their valuable time in making this project successful.

 

Observation during Field Visit:

1. Plants Survival Rate: Out of the 9 tree species taken up planting in the project area 5 tree species were found to be surviving successfully in the area.

2. The survival tree species and the total number of tree saplings planted in 2012-13 the present survival rate in the year 2015 in terms of percentage are listed below.

 

Sl. No.

Species Name

Good

Bad

OK

Total

1

Pterocarpus marsupium  (Honne)

2

-

-

 

2

Phyllanthus Emblica (Amla)

1

-

1

 

3

Dendrocalamus Strictus (Thorn Bamboo)

2

-

-

 

4

Artocarpus Heterophyllus(Jack)

1

-

-

 

5

Dalbergia Latifolia (Beete)

2

-

1

 

 

No of Plots : 8

Plot Size : 20mX20m

Total area of Plot Laid : 8X400 m2 = 3200m2

Total No of Seedlings Planted : 1280+800(Replanted)

No of Seedlings Survived : 625

Survival Percentage (%) : 625/2080*100 = 30.04%

 

The casualties observed are due to various factors such as:

a. Grazing by smaller animals.

b. Trampling by wild animals.

c. Cattle grazing.

d. Natural factors such as high summer temperature due to open canopies of teak plantation, as teak sheds leaves during summer months.

e. Lack of moisture.

 

Lesson Learnt:

1. Planting of tall tree saplings.

2. Protection from grazing in the form of fencing, cattle proof trenches, individual plant protection and full time watch and ward.

3. Mannuering during growth period.

4. Providing water during summer months.

 

 

Afforestation work at Devamachi Forest- Thithimathi on 09-08-2016

Additional Planting was carried out on 09-08-2016 at Devamachi- Thithimathi Forest Land Restoration Pilot Project area.

Bamboo Saplings between 5 to 7 feet tall was used during the planting program.

327 Bamboo Saplings were planted, staked and mulched at site in about 10 hectares of the FLR project area.

The program is in continuation of the future FLR project.

 

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