Himalayan Forest Research Institute
Increasing population pressure and the increasing associated needs have put the forests under high stress. The habitats for various species are not only being degraded but are also being fragmented and lost. Over exploitation of forests resources coupled with other biotic pressures on the forests generally result in failure of natural regeneration of various species. Failure of satisfactory natural regeneration of Silver Fir and Spruce forests in western Himalayas - the species extensively used in the past for making packing cases for horticulture crops - has been a cause of great concern to both the foresters and the users alike.
Himalayan Forest Research Institute (HFRI), Shimla, Himachal Pradesh was established as High Level Conifer Regeneration Research Centre during May, 1977 for carrying out research on problem associated with natural regeneration of Silver Fir and Spruce. The institute made its humble beginning by starting functioning from a single room in "Kennedy House" and later with the increased research activities of this centre, an independent building "Press Villa" near U.S. club was allotted to it during 1978.
At the time of reorganization forestry research in ICFRE during 1998 Govt. of India appreciated the problems of Temperate Eco-system and decided to develop this centre in to a full-fledged research institute. The mandate of this centre has also been enlarged to cater to forestry research, needs pertaining to eco-rehabilitation of Cold Deserts of mined areas and regeneration of Coniferous and broad-leaved forests, besides activities on management practices including insect-pests management in temperate forests and in alpine areas too. Popularization of agroforestry and other related extension activities has also included in its mandate. This centre has now been re-designated as Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Shimla w.e.f. 8th September, 1998 and is a regional research institute of ICFRE with an area of responsibilities extending to the states of Himachal Pradesh & Jammu and Kashmir.