THAI FOREST ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH JOURNAL

ISSN 2586-9566 (Print) ISSN 2985-0789 (Online)

Effects of Forest Restoration on Forest Utilization of Ban Huai Pu Ling Forest Development Station, Om-Koi District, Chiang Mai province

Suppakorn Suwankesa1,2, Sutheera Hermhuk1,3*, Witchaphart Sungpalee1,3, Kriangsak Sri-Ngernyuang1 and Kanitta Satienperakul1,4
1Program in Geosocial Based Sustainable Development, Faculty of Agricultural Production, Maejo University, Chiang Mai 50290
2The 16th Conservation Area Administration Office, Department of National Park Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Chiang Mai 50100
3Program in Agriculture, Faculty of Agricultural Production, Maejo University, Chiang Mai 50290
4Program in Agricultural and Environmental Economics, Faculty of Economics, Maejo University, Chiang Mai 50290
*Corresponding author: Email: h.sutheera@gmail.com
Abstract

Background and Objectives: Forest restoration models often focus on shortening the recovery process into its original forest, as well as fulfilling the need of forest utilization by surrounding communities. This study aimed to detect the effects of forest restoration on forest utilization at Ban Huai Pu Ling Forest Development Station, Om-Koi District, Chiang Mai province.

Methodology: In 2021-2022, the quantitative data on plants were collected, using purposive random sampling method, from within three 20 x 50 m plots in each of the three rehabilitated forest areas, namely naturally regenerated forest, 2004 restored forest, and 2008 restored forest areas. Also, interviews were designed and conducted on 142 households, followed by focus group discussions in order to identify forest utilization patterns of the villagers, focusing especially on types of forest plant being use (food group, herb group, timber group, etc.) and possibly forest management practices under the forest development station.

Main Results: There was a total of 51 species, 41 genera and 24 families found within three rehabilitated forest areas, which moderated level diversity was found (H/= 2.4). Based on tree diameter class distribution, non-normally distributed according to the bell curve pattern was found for all three areas. Indicating discontinued regeneration was detected, whereby number of small trees was less than large trees. This may be due to over exploitation of the forest by villagers. For the forest utilized types, it was found that the naturally regenerated forest was most used at 100% followed by the 2008 and 2004 restored forest, at 49.30% and 21.13%, respectively. Focus group discussion results suggested that villagers wanted the station to supply the suitable native tree seedlings for firewood or other uses, and suitable seedlings of economic fruit trees for planting in allocated lands.  Moreover, they required degraded areas for raising livestock during cropping season. In addition, the community regulations should be established that villagers could participate together with the officials on forest conservation program. 

Conclusion: Natural forest restoration had high supported the need of villagers on forest utilization. Thus, allowed natural recovery, in particular small degraded areas, should be concerned for optimized efficiency on forest utilization under sustainable management.

Keywords: Plant regeneration; forest resources reliance; plant utilization


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