Loggers have been bribing office-holders of Community Forest User Groups in Saptari district to help them access timber in the national forests of the region. The loggers agree to leave the community forests alone, but pay commissions to post-holders of the user groups. Illegally logged timber from national forests is smuggled to the Indian market with the connivance of said post-holders. Although the district boasts 218 community forests, only 12 are operating lawfully, according to the District Forest Administration.
But illegal logging is taking place in community forests as well. Says Nasiblal Yadav of Bhimphedi community forest, "Corruption has ruined the entire forest user's group."
Only this year, 17 bicycles belonging to loggers and 178 lots of timber were discovered in various forests in Saptari.