Surkhet, May 31

Pine trees in Bhairavnath Community Forest of Kunathari Village Development Committee (VDC) of the district are dying due to over-extraction of resin from them.

Amar Oli, chairperson of the forest users’ group, said forest users have been extracting and selling resin every year from the pine trees.

He said the group earned Rs 19,500 from resin last year. Nearly 20 per cent of the trees in the forest have started dying due to over-extraction of resin.

The community forest used to generate an income of over Rs 49,000 a year in the past but now the users are bearing the brunt of resin over-extraction. A kilogramme of resin sells for Rs 6.

Extraction of resin every year without giving rest to the plants has led to their drying up. Bishnu Prasad Adhikari, district forest officer, said that the reason behind the drying up of the trees was the wrong method of extraction.

He added that national forests had decided not to carry out any forest-related activity this year but community forests can carry on if that is included in their action plan.

The main source of income of some 30 to 35 community forests in the Surkhet district is the sale of resin. Ghanashyam Sharma, secretary of the Federation of Community Forest Users Nepal (FCFUN), Surkhet, said it was high time that users stopped over-extraction of resin otherwise it would wreak havoc on the forests.