Who owns the forest and wildlife resources in India ? Explain the distribution of various types of forests as classified by the forest department


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In India most of the forest and wildlife resources are owned and managed by the government through the forest department or other government departments. The forests are classified into three categories:
(i)Reserved forests
(ii) Protected forests and
(iii) Unclassed forests.
Reserved Forests. These forests are the most valuable for their timber and other forest products. More than half of the total forest land in India fall under this category. Reserved and protected forests are also called permanent forest estates maintained for the purpose of producing valuable timber and other forest products and for protective reasons. Madhya Pradesh has the largest area under permanent forests with 75% of its total forest area. The other states like Jammu, Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and Maharashtra have large percentage of reserved forests.
Protected Forests : These forests are protected from any further depletion. Almost 1/3 of the total forest area in India are protected forests. States like Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa and Rajasthan have large areas of protected forests.
Unclassed Forests : These are the forests and wastelands belonging to both government and private individuals and communities.
All the northeastern states and parts of Gujarat have large percentages of unclassed forests which are managed by local communities.