The forests in Haryana are classified as Reserve Forests, Protected Forests, Unclassed Forests, Areas closed U/S 38 of Indian Forest Act, 1927, and Areas closed U/S 4 & 5 of Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900. Blocks of Reserve Forest areas are mainly confined to the Shivalik ranges in Panchkula and Yamunanagar districts. Small blocks of Reserved Forests are found at a number of places in the districts of Yamunanagar, Kaithal, Ambala, Jind, and Hisar. The majority of forests in the state belong to the Subtropical dry deciduous category whereas subtropical thorny forests are found only in the Aravalli hills in the southern parts of the state. Pine forests are located at higher reaches in the Protected Forests of Morni Hills in Panchkula district, whereas Sal Forests dominate the Reserve Forests in the Shiwaliks of Yamunanagar district.
To promote sustainable development of forest resources in the State, Haryana Government framed its own Forest Policy in 2006. The policy has fixed the goal of achieving 20% Forest and Tree Cover in the state in a phased manner. This goal can be achieved by adopting Agroforestry practices. We are using genetically superior seedlings under Agro-forestry on farmlands to increase productivity. In fact, Agroforestry should become a national mandate and a people’s movement, as it is the most economical, sustainable, and stable alternative for ensuring the ecological security of the country. Till the year 2012-2013, the Forest Department has been distributing about 2.5 crore seedlings to the farmers free of cost. Agroforestry plantations raised by the Forest Department are rated as one of the best in the country. It has been adopted by farmers as an Income Generation Activity and used as a model of rural development, worthy of emulation in the rest of the country. The policy of not putting unnecessary restrictions on the felling of trees from private land and their subsequent transit has enabled an environment which has led a large number of farmers to grow trees. The endeavor has been to create an environment that Agroforestry and Wood-Based Industries flourish and grow simultaneously.
Great emphasis has been given to Agro-forestry and Farm-forestry. As a result, Tree Cover of the State has increased considerably over the years. In fact, Tree Cover outside recorded forest area is almost equivalent to the Forest area of the State. While recorded forest area of the state is just 3.90% of its geographical area, total Forest and Tree Cover of the State as per State of Forests Report, 2011, published by Forest Survey of India has become 6.80%. Poplar tree plantations dominate the Tree Cover in agricultural fields of Panchkula, Ambala, and Yamunanagar districts. Eucalyptus, Shisham, Kikar, Jal and Jand tree plantations in Agricultural fields of central and south Haryana also account for a major portion of Forest & Tree Cover in the State. The total Forest area in the state as per the records of the Forest Department is given in the table below:-
|Sl No.||Type of Forest||Area (in Ha.) .|
|Total Protected Forest||116140.52|
|4||Areas closed U/S 38 of IFA, 1927||1160.68|
|5||Areas closed U/S 4 & 5 of PLPA, 1900||29682.23|
|Total Forest Area||175879.00|
The State of Haryana has very little scope for extending area under the regular Forests. The department is laying great emphasis on promoting Farm-forestry, Agro-forestry, and afforestation of wasteland for increasing the Tree Cover.
Wildlife management in Haryana has special significance because of a large variety of avi-fauna. The state has about 33000 Ha. area. under Protected Area Network, which consists of 2 National Parks, 8 Wildlife Sanctuaries, and 2 Conservation Reserves. Over 500 bird species have been recorded in the state, which is almost 40 percent of the total bird species in the country. The state has the potential to become a paradise for bird watchers, especially during winter. Sultanpur National Park situated about 55 km away from Delhi, is already a birdwatcher’s paradise.