The Management of forest resources in Forest Management Units (FMUs) and Working Scheme (WS) is based on the management objectives of ensuring sustained yield in perpetuity, providing social and economic benefits and maintaining environmental stability. All the FMUs operating (currently 17 numbers under implementation in seven regional Divisions), have management plans drawn up by the Department of Forests and approved by the Ministry of Agriculture. NRDCL, as the only authorized agency, is involved in forest road construction and maintenance, timber harvesting, and reforestation. NRDCL also undertakes other operational activities outside FMUs and WS like clearing of trees for road widening, power transmission lines, pressing sanitation operations etc. that are considered urgent and requiring prompt service.
Forest Road Construction
Forest roads are used not only for basic forest management activities like reforestation, tending, fighting forest fires, prevention of forest diseases, and the transport of various forest products, but are also used by variety of vehicles. The total length of the forest road constructed as of 2007 is 489.35 Km. While a huge investment is made in construction of environmentally friendly roads and bridges in the difficult terrains, road structural designs and technical specifications with emphasis on quality improvements, bio-engineering works and vegetative control measures are given utmost priority.
The demand based harvesting keeping in line with the plans, rather than guided by target led operations has been a cautious approach adopted for logging. To minimize the damages caused on the soil surface and environment, the harvesting of forest products- sawlogs, veneer logs, poles and blocks using the skyline cranes and log loaders have been proved efficient. Proper bucking of logs is given special attention, based on the market specification and carrying capacity of the skyline carriages.
Various timber produce are brought to the depots for sale in public auction in the form of logs, sawn, blocks, sawn chams, poles, lops and tops and firewood.
Nursery and Reforestation
Tree seedlings are produced in forest nurseries (8 numbers covering 7 Divisions) based on annual plantation budget and reforestation plan giving more priority on indigenous species. The species are matched to specific sites, where plantations are done along the cable corridors and barren areas within the FMUs as detailed in the management plan. Total forest area brought under plantation as of 2007 is 1294 ha. Bamboo plantation schemes have been initiated to encourage the use of non-wood forest resource as an alternative to wood in immediate future.
Most challenging of all the field operations is, when the logging work of ad-hoc nature, such as the special allocations for construction of Dzongs, Lhakangs, institutional buildings, hotels, bridges etc, had to be taken up due to non-availability of required timber sizes in the depots. The best available technology of both mechanized and manual operational systems are used in extraction of timber from the difficult and distant forest areas. Quite a huge volume of timber are collected annually from such ad-hoc operations such as the timber produced from road construction and widening, installation of power transmission lines, and tree removal in towns and villages for safety.