Nepal’s Community Forestry (CF) process has implied the devolution of powers to collect, retain, and redistribute forest revenue from community forests products. This study contributes to our knowledge about these important aspects of CF by presenting an analysis of the dynamic pattern of income and expenditure of 43 randomly selected Community Forestry User Groups (CFUGs) from Kaski, Nepal. Results show that CFUG three-year average annual income accounts NRs 216,225 (1 US$ = NRs.114) and is highly skewed towards a few wells off CFUGs; the high-and-low average annual income of one-third of CFUGs in the sample ranges from NRs. 33,116 to NRs 502,363. Timber income and user’s contribution constitute the most important sources of income, comprising 40% and 25% respectively. The rural development investments of CFUG income are also highly variable and are shaped by income size of CF, and the other socio-political factors such as the number of households, distance to market, infrastructure status, and contextual factors. Overall, 44% of the CFUG income is invested in community development and 37% in forest conservation. Investment in community development increases with rising income. Accordingly, results presented here provide insights to promote community forests to generate more income which, indeed, could be a vehicle for community development as it appears in the mid-hills of Nepal.
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