Forest management in The Gambia is characterized by extensive state involvement which started with the state owned forest park concepts in the 50s. Government ownership of all naturally grown trees became statutory law with the enactment of the forest legislation in 1977 and the FD was entrusted with the overall management responsibility
Although the FD was entrusted the mandate of forest protection it was unable to accomplish the task due to the tense relationship with the population and also because of lack of human and material resources. In the late 80's when more knowledge and experience was made in natural forest management, it became clear that the government will never be in the position to protect and manage the country’s forest resources without the assistance and support of forest adjacent communities. This was the time when the community forest management concept was developed. Community forestry was finally introduced in 1991.