History

The Kazinag National Park falls under the Kathai Forests within the Baramulla Block. Compartments of the Kathai range, some of which were already a game reserve of the erstwhile Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir were declared into three protected areas, namely the Lachipora Wildlife Sanctuary, the Limber Wildlife Sanctuary and the Naganari Conservation Reserve in 1987, providing, for the first time in the area, protected refuge for wildlife .  The core areas of these three protected areas were merged and upgraded as the Kazinag National Park in 2009. Before being amalgamated into a single unit, these three areas were managed by the Department of Wildlife Protection (DWP), J&K Government.  The main thrust of the conservation activities of the game reserve under the Maharaja focused around the protection of game by deploying game guards and improvement of habitat by providing adequate water and food during crunch times. The Park came in existence under notification order no. SRO 425 dated 18th of Dec, 2007under the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife Protection Act, 1978.

Community

Communities

In Kazinag, as in most other wilderness areas of India, local people are important part of the system with relatively long history of dependency on the resources available in the park. There are about fifteen villages located in the lower valleys of Kazinag. The local population is dominated by agro-pastoralists belonging to three ethnic groups Gujjars, Pahadis and Kashmiris. Maize is the main crop and rice is cultivated only in a few villages. Due to the cold weather as well as the soil and topography, crops are grown only in summer in most of the surrounding villages. Rearing livestock is the major source of income in most of the villages. However, walnuts also form a considerable proportion of income and many locals also get good earning from Morchilla, a mushroom species, found in Kazinag. The resident communities of Kazinag have been extracting resources from the Park for a long time in the form of fuel wood, timber, fodder, vegetables, gucchior morels Morchella spp. and medicinal plants.