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Forests and Forestry in India.docx

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HIST 2250
Mary Ann Cyphers- Reiche

Forests & Forestry in India – p.209-224 The Riches of Indian Timber - Riches of provincial India shown at Punjab Exhibition of 1864 (Baden-Powell) – catalogue of forest products o Showed “tradable resources”, natural wealth of India th Mid 19 cent  British India’s factories e/workshops/railways dependent on deodar cedar, (teak most valuable) - Depletion of British woodlands backdrop to expanding use of Indian timber during this period, hastened shift to fossil fuels (espesh coal) - Britain had relied on New England & the Baltic imports but latter supplies cut off (1790 war blockages) - Growing conflicts in the world increased the need - Rebellion spur railway building b/c showed Brits dangers of isolation & poor communications o Critical for moving troops & therefore controlling territory - Rolling back forests to cultivate seen as way to extend control for East India Company - Railways main demand for domestic timber - Workable forests by river slopes: cut, push into river, formed into rafts, float to depots, branded to identify whos property, some ppl try to steal Cleghorn and Conservation - Forests under threat and conservation became a major Brit preoccupation in India - Cleghorn  Conservator of Forests for the Madras Presidency in 1855) – key figure in this devt o Control, regulation, authority, conserve, valuable, juxtaposed w carelessness of ppl o Concerned w production needs robbing state of its main source of “commercial prosperity” – need to establish forest administration o Founder of Indian forestry & conservation – control current forests, and develop more (even exotics) - Organize systematic forest conservancy in India - Forest dept created 1864 o Work our which forests were state property  Brits claimed land they considered unoccupied/unclaimed (by right of conquest) o Admin attempt to turn protected areas into reserved ones so could exercise more control - Cleghorn believed conservation imperative in tropics espesh b/c water supplies & food depended on healthy forestry o Curb burning and shifting cultivation Shifting Views of Shifting Cultivation (p.217) - Forests also contested social spaces to which diff ppl attached diff meanings - These opposing ideas clashed in the arguments that raged around kumri – an ancient form of cultiva
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