Community forestry in Nepal is not new; its roots extend to late 1970s donor projects to promote “panchayat forests”, which gave a limited number of local government bodies more control of forest resources. Nepal’s community forestry as we now know it stems from the 1993 Forest Act and 1995 Forest Regulations, drafted under the new and fledgling democracy that flourished after a people’s movement swept Nepal in the spring of 1990, seemingly sweeping away decades of authoritarian rule. Any analyst of Nepali politics will tell you that this is a naive and euphoric account, and the story is certainly not this simplistic; but it is necessary to place this government action in context, at a time when Nepalis were finding power in their collective voices.