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of small and easily movable sawing machines. The formation of tamarisk plantations would, considering the rapidity of vegetation, probably be a very useful measure. This article, which in 1857–8 produced a revenue of only 14,497 rupees, last year I perceive produced Rs.69,189. The subject is so highly important for the supply, not only of the inhabitants, but also of the large and increasing requisitions of steam power,
that it deserves your earliest and most serious consideration.”
In the Report for the following year there was a still further decrease in the total receipts which amounted to Rs.97,663, the expenditure was Rs.56,834 and the profits Rs.40,828. The decrease in receipts was due to the smaller demand for firewood consequent on the abolition of the Government flotilla on the Indus, and to the loss in the sales of babul pods owing to the damage caused to the trees by swarms of locusts which invaded and preyed upon the country during the year. The Forest Ranger reported that the only species of tree which was not attacked was the Neem (Melia indica). It was hoped that the service of boats which was being started by two river companies would result in an increased demand for fuel. A native contractor during the year set up a “steam-saw," and prepared babul sleepers with it, an enterprise which received the warm approbation of both Governor and the Secretary of State.
The forest receipts showed a great upward leap in 1863-4, the gross receipts amounting to Rs.1,82,860, thus exceeding those of the previous year by Rs.84,597, and showing a net profit of Rs.73,909 after deducting expenditure. The increase was attributed to the large demand for building wood and fuel, and to the revenue from cultivation within forest limits," the latter apparently of the nature of a land revenue, and scarcely to be termed "forest” revenue. The item which showed the chief increase was fuel, Rs.77,166, the steamers of the river companies having now commenced to ply on the river.
A Report from Mr. G. Strettell, in charge of the Sukkur division, was also submitted with the Sind Report. The settlement of all of the claims for land against the Forest Department had not yet been completed. During the year it was stated that the Sind babul seed had been successfully introduced into Guzerat.
The Annual Reports of the Sind Department had dealt more with finance and profit and loss than with true forest conservancy, and Mr. Fenner annually received high praise for his success in this direction. In his review on the present one, however, the Governor said, of subjects previously mooted, notice should be made of the occurrence or otherwise of fires, the efforts made to introduce new varieties of trees, the thinning and pruning of forests, and the progress of nurseries for young trees.
The following year, 1864-5, witnessed a still further increase in revenue, chiefly under firewood. When the backward state of many of the Provinces in India, in the matter of the realisation of a revenue from the forests, to which Government had every right and claim, is taken into account, the progress made in Sind at this period was remarkable. The following comparative Statement of Income and Expenditure in the Sind Forest Department for the year 1864-5 compared with 1863–4 is of considerable interest :
The Commissioner of Sind in commenting on the above said :
“It is satisfactory to find that the Sind babul has been so extensively used for sleepers on the railway, and that after a trial of two years they are reported to have suffered very little from the ravages of white ants, etc.
The demand for firewood continues unabated, both among the inhabitants of the principal towns in Sind and the two flotilla companies plying on the Indus. In the seventh paragraph of my letter, No. 212, dated 7th November last, submitting the Annual Report for 1863-4, I briefly stated the causes which led to the increase in the receipts of the past year, and I quite agree with Mr. Fenner in his proposal to continue to charge Rs.18 8a. per 100 maunds, so long as no considerable reduction takes place in the rates for labour and water carriage.
The beneficial results which have been anticipated from permitting cultivation within forest limits, have been fully realised in the large receipts which have accrued from this source during the year under report. The wisdom of this measure will be apparent by reference to the Forest Report for 1862–3, in which no revenue at all was shown under this head. In the following year, 1863–4, the sum of Rs.7130 4a. Iop. had been collected, while in the short space of two years since the restriction to cultivate was removed, the realisations amount to Rs.15,116,6 5a. 9p., being in excess of the past year by Rs.7,986 10a. IIp., or more than double those of 1863-4.
From the twenty-fourth paragraph of the forest ranger's report it will be seen that the inquiry into the long-pending claims on forest lands in the Hyderabad collectorate has been closed, and that no further delay will take place in settling the question of compensation to be awarded to the several parties concerned.
In a Resolution on this Report the Governor in Council expressed the greatest satisfaction at the continued progress made in the division, and also on the interesting remarks regarding the irrigation and thinning of forests, the protection of
young trees, the establishment of nurseries, and the occurrence of fires which were contained in the Sind and Sukkur Reports; but he added a warning with respect to the cultivation permitted within forest limits by which a revenue of Rs.15,000 had been realised. “The Commissioner should be requested to bear in mind that it is far better to sacrifice a comparatively trifling amount of present revenue rather than run the risk of injury to the forests, and that if there is any chance of the latter result the restriction should be at once reimposed."
THE INTRODUCTION OF FOREST CONSERVANCY IN
SIR D. BRANDIS' WORK
was appointed Superintendent of Forests in Pegu
serim and Martaban were added to his charge. For the sake of continuity and to exhibit in the most striking manner Brandis' first years of work in India it has been deemed advisable to deal with these years consecutively, although the work commenced a year before the period here dealt with.
It has been shown that Wallich, as early as 1827, Captains Tremenheere and Guthrie in 1843-5, in Tenasserim, and more recently McClelland in Pegu, had framed for their times some sound proposals for the working of the forests, proposals which were never given a real trial or supported by Government. With a knowledge of what had taken place before he arrived,
a and the attempts which had been made to introduce some form of forest administration and protection in Burma, Brandis commenced the brilliant work which was to introduce an ordered forest organisation into Burma.
The following account of this work, with some modifications and additions by the writer, is based upon the Article on the subject in the Indian Forester (Vol. X, August, 1884).
Immediately after his arrival Brandis proposed to himself three questions as the first groundwork to the introduction of a sound administration into the Pegu Forests. These questions, simple in themselves, proved at once that the Government had secured the services of an officer of uncommon ability and judgment; and the way in which the answers to them were worked out, in spite of great difficulties, at the cost of untiring labour and severe hardship with utter disregard to
personal comfort and convenience, must elicit the highest admiration.
The questions were :
(1) How can the produce of the forests be turned to account in the most advantageous manner ?
(2) What measures must be taken for the preservation of the forests ? and
(3) What can be done for the extension and consolidation of the forests ?
To answer the first question it was necessary to form some estimate of the amount of timber the forests would be able to yield without deterioration, and the first step taken was to make a valuation of the growing stock.
In this work Brandis set a sound example, and introduced a system of valuation surveys, so eminently adapted to the circumstances, that with but slight modifications it is still in force up to the present day.
“Linear Valuation Surveys," it is thus Brandis named his method, excels by its simplicity. The trees along certain lines, roads, ridges, streams, or lines chosen across country, are counted, classified according to their girth, and ticked off on small pieces of bamboo, split into thin strips, each of which is again notched into ten pieces, which can be turned down one by one. Different pieces are carried for the different classes of trees. This device is extremely useful in a country like Burma, where on account of rain or dew it is often difficult to use a pocket-book.
At the beginning all trees that could be seen from the line traversed were counted, but though this method gave a fair idea of the character of the forest, it was soon found that it was preferable to substitute a fixed distance, in order to obtain a fixed factor on which a somewhat more accurate estimate for the rest of the forest areas under observation could be formed. The distance on which the trees were thus counted was at first fixed at 100 feet, but subsequently, on account of the frequently extremely dense growth of the Burmese Forests, it was reduced to 50 feet on each side of the line traversed.
Brandis made the teak, which at that time was the only tree the extraction of which was at all remunerative, the main object of his observations, and divided the trees at first into four classes :