A two day Forest Conservators Conference concluded in which senior forest officers participated. Bharti Sihag, Principal Secretary, Forest presided over the concluding session and reviewed the various schemes and programmes of the department. Bharti Sihag urged for strengthening the e-delivery system by effectively using the latest technology. She emphasised the need to tap eco-tourism potential by providing eco-friendly facilities to the tourists with least disturbing the ecology of the State.

She said that monkey menace was another major issue which needed to be tackled by implementing monkey sterilization programme effectively in the State. She advised the officers to strictly adhere to the scientific forest management principles. She said that 45 lakh medicinal plants would be planted under Sanjha Van Sanjeevni Van Yojna and the National Medicinal Plants Board had sanctioned the first instalment of Rs. 189 lakh for promoting the cultivation of medicinal plants in Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts. She said that the project would start in June, 2012 for five years and community involvement would also be ensured to raise medicinal plants over 600 hectares.

R.K. Gupta, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest said that the department would spend Rs. seven crore on fire control measures during the current financial year and Rs. one crore would be spent on construction of boundary pillars in the forests so as to protect the valuable forest wealth of the State. He said that 500 Salix (English Willow) plants would be planted in Jogindernagar and Palampur Forest Divisions to meet the demand of cricket bats. He said that a bridge plan of Rs. 1.26 crore had been approved under Green India Mission for Mandi, Bilaspur, Hamirpur and Kangra districts.

S.K. Sood, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) said that rationalization of the boundaries of protected areas of the State was in the final stages of the approval from the Apex Court.