With the growth of tourism and interest in mountaineering activities in the Mount Everest region from early 1970s have put great pressure on the local forest as it was the only source for firewood for energy available for local people as well as foreigners. As a consequence, local forest rapidly began to disappear before the Sagarmatha National Park was introduced in the Everest area in 1976 by the government of Nepal.
The Himalayan Trust supported the National Park with reforestation program. The Trust had established 3 nurseries which produced more than 80,000 to 100,000 seedlings of local origin trees. The seedling were planted in the area chosen by the decision of the Park Officials, local community and the Trust forestry staff in order to avoid inconvenience of grazing for the domesticated animals. Many of the area planted with seedlings from 1984 visually became forest with the efficient and careful management of these areas by our forest staff with the support of the Park officials.The long-term objective of the program was to promote management of the forests and shrub lands of the Sagramatha National Park area to provide stable soils, desirable habitats for local fauna and flora, and sustainable production of forest products essential for the survival of the local people.
The Sagarmatha Nursery Project has been one of the successful projects of the Himalayan Trust funded by Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation Canada under the supervision of Nick Ledgard, Forest Research Scientist from New Zealand and dedicated work of local forestry staff. Over 30 years period 2.5 million seedlings were planted in 243 hector land from the nursery of Phurte, Tashinga and Phortse.
Forestry Project hand over to SNP Buffer Zone in 2010
In December 2010, the Sagarmatha Nursery Projects of the Himalayan Trust funded by SEHF Canada were handed over to the National Park and local Buffer Zone Committee at Nick Ledgard’s initiative. With one year transition support in 2011, the forestry project of the Himalayan Trust ended in December 2011.