It goes without saying that forests are the sine qua non of a given ecology and their viability, sustainability, longevity and even survival can determine the health of that ecosystem. Kashmir is no exception to this factual. In fact, it may be more germane and important in the context of Kashmir given that it is a mountainous region , defined by a lush green forest cover whose density is , however, unfortunately diminishing and depleting by the day. The reasons for this depletion accrue not from natural reasons of the dual processes of gradation and degradation but actually from greed. This greed makes some tale recourse to timber smuggling thereby, in the process, depleting our lush green once dense forest cover. This is as alarming as can be for it has not only far reaching negative ecological imbalances and the assorted issues that these give rise to but also has climate change connotations. The ecological imbalances will lead to changes of a wide and deep nature on a whole host of domains like water tables, air quality, water quality and so on. In terms of climate change, we are already witnessing freak weather patterns in Kashmir which can only take bizarre twists and turns if our forest cover gets further depleted. The culprit, as delineated earlier, is and continues to be forest smuggling and forest smugglers thereof. Merely and purely , out of greed, these people not only disturb our ecological balance but also play with the future of our beautiful vale. That is, if and when forests disappear in and from our Kashmir, it will be barren place, perhaps even in the nature of a barren mountainous desert. It is this scenario that must be pre empted and prevented. For this to happen, a multi pronged and multifarious approach must be adopted which must be spearheaded by the forest department and its allied departments. It may even be stated that the lackadaisical and lazy approach of the Forest Department , through its omissions and commissions, is to a large extent responsible for the mess. This must change and a novel , vigorous , dynamic and proactive approach toward conservation of forests and even their development must fructify. The first starting point of this must be to not just check but eliminate forest smuggling in all its forms and avatars. Forests are not only our identity or a part of it but also our essence. Let all be done to save these!