The Act has also made provision for formulation of Village Forests. The Provincial Government may assign to any village community the right of Government to any land which has been constituted a reserved forest, and may cancel such assignment. All forest so assigned shall be called Village Forests. The Provincial Government has the authority under this Act to make rules for regulating the forest management.
The Act has also prohibited certain activities which constitute Forest offences. The punishments for different forest offences are listed. The procedure to charge-sheet, summary trial, compounding of the cases and filing of the cases in court have been laid out in the Act.
The Act was formulated to resolve the problems of the past, related to protection, rather than the present and future needs for better management and increased production. The Act is regulatory and prohibitory in approach rather than being participatory and developmental. The Act is not compatible with new management priorities.
This Act was adequate at the time of its enactment becase of (i) Low population level; (ii) Limited needs of the people; (iii) People were law-abiding; (iv) The law enforcement was effective; and (v) The timber market did not exist.
The present situtation has compeletely changed. The population has increased manifold and so has the demand of forest products. The rights and concessions of the people have multiplied with increase of population. The social norms and values have eroded. Socio-economic conditions have changed. The respect for law has diminished and even evaporated. The price of timber has gone up very high. This Act is neither adequate adequate to safeguard the forests nor helpful in developing new forest resources.