Oak Forest Conservation

 

The Himalayan Oak or Quercus lamellose today is an endangered species.

Traversing through the panoramic grandeur of the mighty Himalayas, one gets dumbstruck by their serene beauty. But looking beyond their apparent splendor, it is hard to ignore the, overgrazed grasslands, thinning forests and rivers and mounting forest fires and receding glaciers - the threatning signs of global warming.

 

Temperate broad-leafed forest in the Himalayas are found at elevations between 5000 and 12,000 ft where natural vegetation consists of many species of oak, rhododendron, horse chestnut, walnut, several species of coniferous pine, stately Deodar and Ringal bamboo, above the tree line lies forests of spruce, fir, cypress, juniper, and birch, dwarf rhododendrons, mosses, lichens, and wildflowers such as blue poppies and edelweiss.

 

Locally called Banj, broad-leafed Oak are the most preferred tree species in the entire Himalayan region are usually distributed between 1200 and 3000 m asl forming the temperate forests of western and central Himalayas having great ecological significance of which the most important being the capacity of retaining water, Its high water retention capacity maintains a high rate of water evaporation from its leaves which contributes to heavy rainfall and snow.

 

Save Oak- Friend of the Himalayas and its gentry

The Banj oak leaves contain high degree of nutrients which enrich the soil each year and helps in rapid formation of top soil. Banj oak provides a wide range of ecosystem services that oak provide includes:

(a) soil formation and replenishing crop land fertility;

(b) maintaining the health of mountain streams and regulating the hydrological regime;

(c) helping to stabilize local and regional climate through direct influences;

(d) building up a moisture regime favorable to wild species as well as those of agronomic and horticultural value and

(e) creating surplus for possible carbon trading at international level. From the carbon sequestration stand point, banj oak has a deeper root allocation and holds a great potential to mitigate global warming for example, its massive root system and deep soil allocation is expected to be former effective in carbon sequestration than other species with shallow roots.

 

In recent years deforestation in the foothills and the Middle Himalayas and overgrazing on the high pastures have led to soil erosion and other environmental problems. Deforestation is a particular concern in the western Himalayas, where increased demand for firewood, uncontrolled lopping to feed livestock, and construction of roads in the most unscientific manner all over the mountains have increased the destruction rate of forests and the number of landslides.

 

Image Gallery

What You'll Do

This unique holiday will take you high up in the Himalayas where you’ll be guarding the legendry wildlife rich Oak forest and its habitat.

 

Patrolling and keeping an eye of forest fires maintaining fire lines and game trails, removing exotic weeds, building and maintaining check dams to improve water table and recharge dried water sources.

 

To make pugmark impression pads (PIP) on trails and keep a record of wildlife movement.

 

Keep in mind that these forests are still home to Leopards, Mountain goats, Graceful Martins and elusive Bears and endangered pheasants like Cheer, Koklass and Himalayan Monal.

Cost :

This programme is free of cost but donations are always welcome and if you wish to contribute it will directly go to plant oak saplings, tools and upkeeping.

Best Time To Come

All year round. Help is needed most during fire season in the months of March to June. Monsoon months of July to September are when trees are planted.