Formerly forests were supposed to be anti-civilization. But recently we have realized that trees are very valuable friends of men.
We know that forests are vast natural resources for man for food, fuel, fodder, fertilizer, paper, honey, was, medicine and many other useful things. Moreover, a grown-up tree is worth amounting to sixteen lakhs of rupees approximately if we consider its gifts of oxygen, fruit, fuel etc. for about fifty years.
Importance: Ecological studies have shown that forests help to maintain the optimum level of rainfall for agricultural purposes, for constructing dams and hydro-electric projects etc.
They play a paramount role in checking the floods and soil erosion.
They are also important for wild life, human recreation and preservation of balanced environment. Above all, forests bring clouds and clouds bring rain and rain brings our harvest.
It is interesting to note that one-third land is required as forests in any country to maintain ecological balance. Otherwise the whole atmosphere with its dust, smoke, noise and bustle will choke the human society.
Preservation Measures: However, to maintain forests, some measures of preservation are to be employed. In India, for this purpose, a Forest Research Institute has been established at Dehradun where scientists are engaged in research works on forest preservation. Under such circumstances, deforestation must be checked and forests should be preserved and, at the same time, social forestry programme should be given due consideration.