By Kapil Kumar Joshi
Author is Chief Conservator of Forests, Uttarakhand. email@example.com
Forest fires in Uttarakhand are a result of warped policies since British times that wrested control of the forests from local communities, who in turn, set forests on fire to extract their revenge. Corrective measures to turn these communities from foes into friends can definitely help protect the unique Himalayan ecosystem.
The Himalayan mountain system is one of the most fragile ecosystems in the world due to its inherent tectonic and geological characteristics (Valdiya, 1983). It is a rich storehouse of biodiversity ranging from tropical/subtropical evergreen, subtropical chir pine and broad leaf temperate forests, along with conifer to subalpine and alpine meadows. Frequent forest fires have emerged as one of the severe threats to Himalayan biodiversity, as also natural regeneration and productive capacity of its forests. Every fire translates to loss...