« 上一頁繼續 »
what is stated above, that they are there wanted. The people require timber of all sizes for various economic uses and they have been for ages in the habit of using bark and shingle for roofing. A large cedar (deodar) tree is often cut down merely to furnish a few wide planks for doors, the great mass of the trunk being left to rot; and where the timber cannot, by export, be turned to a more profitable account, it is not very obvious why restrictions should be imposed on the free use of it. It would appear to me, that any penal enactments of the kind, applied to the interior, would necessarily be inoperative, and the graduated scale suggested by Mr. Edmondstone would probably prove very difficult of practical application to the forests near the hill stations; as it would not be easy in every case to determine the age of the trees. The highest fines (20 Rs. for destroying trees of less than five years' growth) seem to be unnecessarily severe, and on this account calculated to defeat their object. The general protective measures, mentioned by Mr. Edwards as being now in operation, under the new settlement are apparently sufficient for the districts in the interior."
THE HISTORICAL POSITION OF THE FORESTS DURING THE
THE INDIAN MUTINY AND ITS RESULTS FURTHER and unforeseen devastation of a part
of the forests of India took place during the period now dealt with, the forests of Central and
Upper India bearing the chief brunt of the unorganised and destructive fellings which were made in them—a destruction which has caused the Forest Department much bitter uphill work to remedy; for the rehabitation of these forests will be the work of another half century and more; whilst some forests suffered so severely as to practically disappear.
To enable the cause of this devastation to be understood, occurring at a time when the first fair beginnings of Forest Conservancy were appearing in some parts of the country, and after the pronouncement of the Forest Charter by Lord Dalhousie, allusion must be made to the historical and political condition of India at this period.
The Indian Mutiny burst like a bombshell over the country in May, 1857. The end of this struggle saw the disappearance of the old East India Company and the Court of Directors, and Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India.
The Mutiny taught the British the danger of isolation due to the want of facilities for rapid communication, which were practically non-existent throughout the country. A tremendous impetus was given to railway construction, and this impetus was severely felt by the forests.
When Lord Canning succeeded Lord Dalhousie as GovernorGeneral in 1856, the condition of British India had never been deemed more fair and promising. The farewell address of the latter had declared that India was “in peace without and within,” and that there appeared to be “no quarter from which a formidable war could reasonably be expected at