May fuel timber and wildlife smuggling
The Forest range of Harsul, Trimbak, Nanashi and Surgana is considered to be highly vulnerable due to its large habitat of wildlife including most of the rare tree species like Khair, Arjuna, Sada, Behda, Moh, Teak and other trees.
However, for the last one and a half years, Harsul has not had a full-time officer, but now the Trimbak, Nanashi and Surgana forests range are also without Range Forest Officers.
Although the forest department has been successful in curbing the smuggling of teak, khair and wildlife in the area a few months ago, but the administration is happy with giving additional responsibility, instead of dedicated officer. In order to stop the smuggling in the near future, it is necessary to appoint former officers in these forest ranges.
The Harsul Forest Reserve has been waiting for an independent forest ranger for the last one and a half years and it has additional responsibility on the forest rangers of Peth. Earlier, the forest rangers of Peth, Trimbakeshwar had succeeded in curbing forest smuggling and the then deputy forest rangers had made it clear that they were trying to give Harsul a full-time officer.
However, Harsul's fate has been awaited again in last week's transfer. In particular, the forest rangers in Trimbakeshwar, Nanashi and Surgana have been transferred and no one has been appointed there yet. All these forest areas are close to the border of Gujarat state and the smuggling rate of wildlife including Teak wood is high in that area. Therefore, they are included in the list of most sensitive areas in Nashik Forest.
Despite this, the forest area is deprived of full-time officers. This needs to be taken seriously by the Regional Forest Department and the role of the newly-appointed Chief Conservator of Forests Nitin Gudge.
Eco sensitive zones
The forests of Trimbakeshwar forest reserve including Harsul, Peth, Nanashi, Surgana are moderately dense and sparsely endangered. The tribal areas are sensitive. These ranges have registered massive infiltration from cross border. This rich forest is constantly being axed by smugglers from Gujarat. As a result, the Forest Department's grip on the protection of rich forests is loosening to some extent. Superstition also threatens wildlife. Despite this, the number of patrols in this forest area is very low.