With the loss of forest cover came the inevitable loss of other ecological and economic services, resulting in irregular rainfall, decline in agricultural yield, etc. Scarcity of firewood was the biggest problem faced by the village. Women could no longer procure twigs and branches. Having no other alternative, they started using poksunga herb, a non-timber species also considered as a weed, which was never used earlier. Womenfolk suffered as they now had to spend long hours in cooking food for the family, which affected other household work. Sitting in front of a smoky chullah was not an easy task. People also faced difficulty in getting wood for cremation. Some villagers started working out solutions to these problems and came to the conclusion that they had to protect and regenerate the forest. Many discussions and debates ensued as to how and what needed to be done. In 1984, the process of forest protection began, but it was limited to discussions and meetings as the villagers were much clear about how to protect the forest.
In 1985 the villagers, in a common meeting, finally took the decision to protect the forest patch of Haripur Mundiya close to the village. Haripur Mundiya is an RF and is approximately 300 ha in area.
In the beginning two members from the village committee were given the responsibility to look after and manage the protection of the degraded forest patch. These members, supported by the village committee, handled the forest protection till 1988. As the forest infringements increased along with other conflicts, a change was brought in the system. In 1988, a separate forest committee called the Ranbijuli Jungle Surakshya Samiti was formed. This committee was constituted of active villagers but with the participation of the entire village. An informal system with certain rules, regulations and adoptive measures was developed. To begin with, strict regulations were framed to protect the stumps and the roots. Outside intervention of any kind such as cattle grazing, felling and root extraction was completely banned. Even after forest regeneration, nobody was allowed to cut trees in the forest. In 1995, this informal system gave way to a formal van samrakshyan samiti under the joint forest management scheme of the FD. The new committee was called the Ranbijuli Van Samrakshyan Samiti . The committee plays an important role in conflict resolution.
Over a period villagers have developed mechanisms to improve protection and make it more effective. The villagers adopted a voluntary patrolling system, which is continuing till today, to keep a close vigil over the protected forest area. Two men, one from each of the sub-hamlets, move around the forest everyday. In the night three persons, two from Khandayat sahi and one from the Harijan sahi keep watch over the forest patch. Patrolling is done on a rotational basis involving each household. The forest watchers on patrolling duty are called palias. When any offender is caught, he is taken to the village and in cases where the watcher is unable to deal with the offender alone, he asks the villagers to come to the forest. Social pressure is first exercised over the offender. Yet if the offender keeps repeating acts like cutting trees etc., then he is penalized with a monetary fine. The fine is fixed at Rs 50 for all types and size of trees. In extreme situations, a case could be filed against the individual with the Range Officer, but this has not yet happened so far.
The villagers cite examples of people from other villagers committing offences. One such example is from 1993, when the villagers caught hold of a person from Bimbadharpur village cutting a teak tree to repair his house. A meeting with the elders of Bimbadharpur was called and the case was discussed. They found that the need was genuine, but the committee was not informed, and therefore the committee decided to punish him. Instead of a monetary fine they asked the person to return the wood by carrying the log of wood on his head back to Samantsinharpur.
Besides the forest, the village has also been managing the common resources of the village collectively. Several informal committees have been formed to serve this purpose. There is a village orchard that was earlier managed by the entire village. Now some trees are divided among households, whereby every house in the village has two big trees and three small ones. The remaining trees come under the management of the village committee. There is a stone mine, to which people have free access to collect stones for construction. There is also grazing land which all families are free to use.