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on the necessity of conserving the forests on the Nainsukh branch of the Jhelum River in Khagan. The Government of India had approved of the formation of the Jhelum Division (to the charge of which Ribbentrop was subsequently appointed on his arrival in India). During the year in question 810 trees had been felled, yielding 2,600 logs, the whole of which were sold. The expenditure incurred was Rs.15,275 and the income Rs.24,063, giving a profit of Rs.8,788.
Stewart suggested in his Report that the following improvements for the conservancy of the forests were necessary :
'(a) Measures to reduce the frequency of jungle fires. (6) Careful selection of trees to be felled under the personal
supervision of the Forest Officer, with regard to number,
position and size. (c) The introduction of the saw for cross-cutting. (d) Measures to protect timbers being converted into planks by
hatchets. (e) Branding instead of axe marking, and the use of a distinctive
mark each year. W Formation of proper slides, to prevent waste of timber by
breakage on the rough mountain-sides. (8) As much supervision as possible of logs launched but which
have not yet reached the depots.' The Punjab Government's review continued :
'The facts stated in the accompanying Report, as well as the entire proceedings of the Forest Department during the past year, show, in His Honour's opinion, very decisively, how urgently the formation of this Department was required, to introduce correct principles of conservancy and cutting, and to preserve the forests of the Himalaya from the ruinous waste to which they have been subject for the past few years. It seems to the Lieutenant-Governor absolutely indispensable, for real efficiency, that the control of those forests situated on or near the great rivers, and the principal affluents, should be placed, as far as they possibly can be, under the exclusive control of the department, and every available opportunity will be taken advantage of, and every endeavour made to secure the transfer to it, of all such forests as may still remain under separate management.
Dr. Stewart suggests that he might be allowed to make a tour among the forests of the Chenab and Ravi rivers situated within the territory of his Highness the Maharajah of Cashmere. Such a visit will, His Honour thinks, if carried out with the Maharajah's consent, prove very advantageous, as completing our information in regard to the timber resources of the Himalaya. The Agents of the Railway Contractors are already in communication with the Maharajah with a view to securing a supply of sleepers. Every assistance has been offered them by Dr. Stewart towards carrying on the negotiations, and His Honour trusts there will be little difficulty in satisfying His Highness that the interests of the two Governments in this matter are one, and may best be secured by mutual co-operation.
The accompanying Report is confined chiefly to the supplies of deodar, with casual mention only of the inferior varieties of pine. But the Himalayan Forests also yield ash, maple, walnut and other woods, which may probably be turned to account, and to which it will be well if, in future, some attention be paid.
I am desired, in conclusion, to remark, that this Report has reference only to operations in the Himalaya, other operations being but briefly alluded to in Dr. Stewart's concluding remarks. But I am to state that, so far as that officer himself is concerned, the operations in the Himalaya form a portion only of his labours. In addition to them he has traversed large portions of the Punjab, frequently at most trying seasons of the year, and has undergone an amount of physical labour to which few men could have proved equal. He has largely afforded advice to administrative officers in various parts where it could be of use, and he has supplied a series of most valuable Reports on the 'rukhs' of the Baree Doab, on the Katchi Forest of the Bunnoo District, on the Kalesar Forest and on other subjects, all of which have either been before the Supreme Government, or have appeared in the printed volumes of the proceedings of this Government in the Forest Department. His Honour observes that he has well earned the cordial acknowledgments of Government; the Forest Department is rapidly attaining an excellent organisation under him, and the officers employed in it appear
all to have afforded him satisfaction.” Cleghorn was Officiating Inspector-General of Forests at the time, and in view of the knowledge of these forests he possessed his Memorandum on the Report is of some interest. He considered the work carried out during the year to be most favourable. The following remarks are worthy of note, since they afford the first indication of the results which were being obtained in the effort to form deodar plantations :
Deodar Plantations.-" The first attempts at restoring the forests by planting have not been successful. It is stated that the seeds germinated and young plants came up, but they dried up or disappeared. The attempts were generally made upon steep hill-sides where the seedlings may have been washed away. The restoring of forests upon steep declivities is more aborious and uncertain than upon comparatively level ground ; but it is more important to clothe hill-sides with wood for the conservative influence it exercises in preventing landslips, etc. It might be useful to make small terraces before planting the face of the hill, or better, to put the seeds in a shallow trench or ditch.”
As Brandis had already shown, the most valuable deodar localities were on the terraces of fields deserted centuries ago. These forests sprang up after cultivation was abandoned, and the trees found nourishment in the comparatively level soil.
“There is much that is worthy of consideration in paragraphs 60 and 61 of Dr. Stewart's Report, where he declares it to be his duty rather to conserve than to plant deodar trees at the present stage of forest management in the Western Himalaya. The true method of securing the largest profit and of replanting the forest, appears to be to fell first-class trees, not exceeding one-third of the whole, in such a way as always to leave convenient spaces for the growth of young trees. The remaining two-thirds may generally be relied upon to replant the vacancies by natural sowing, if cattle are strictly excluded. The seedlings require to be thinned out when too dense, the weak and crooked plants to be weeded out, and any creepers or thorns which choke or overshadow the young conifers. It would be well to know what success has attended the measures which it is stated by the Lieutenant-Governor have been taken to reduce the frequency of jungle fires."
In his Despatch (R., No. 58, dated 17th October, 1866) on the subject of this Report the Secretary of State displayed the liveliest interest in the progress of organisation in the forests of this Province, and endorsed the remark of the Punjab Government anent the urgency of forming the Forest Department in the Province " for the preservation of the forests from absolute destruction."
Some hope, it would appear, had been entertained of securing a lease of a portion of the forests belonging to the Maharajah of Kashmir, since efforts were now being made to obtain such leases of all forests belonging to native rulers which were contiguous to or affected the proper working of forests within the British zone. On this subject the Secretary of State wrote in the Despatch above alluded to: "Dr. Stewart's intended tour of inspection among the forests not under British control, especially those of the Maharajah of Kashmir, will, I doubt not, be very advantageous, even should he not succeed in obtaining leases of any of the forests not at present under the manage: ment of the Forest Department. The evils resulting from the admixture of jurisdiction in neighbouring forests are evident, and I am glad to see that the Forest Officers are awake to the importance of bringing all the forests under one set of rules. It is not impossible that forest holders, without parting with their forests, might be induced to adopt for their own interests the rules of conservancy which have been laid down for the better administration of British forests; although, as Dr. Stewart remarks, we cannot expect that this concentration will be complete, it may, nevertheless, become more perfect than it is now, and every opportunity should be taken to make it so.”
In his Report Stewart had also alluded to the necessity of having a sufficient supply of well-qualified officers “if permanency is to be given to the efforts which have been recently made towards establishing Forest Conservancy." Commenting on this remark the Secretary of State noted that Brandis' proposals on this head had already received the approval of the Government of India and himself.
The comfortable feeling of security which the introduction of Forest Conservancy into the Punjab and the acquisition of the leases of their forests from the Chamba and Bushahr Rajahs had induced in the mind of the Punjab Government was rudely disturbed by Reports drawn up by Stewart in 1866 on the resources of the Chenab and Ravi Divisions. It will be remembered that under the lease obtained from the Chamba Rajah the Punjab Government had to pay the former a sum of Rs.20,000 annually during the first twenty years of the operation of the lease. It appeared from Stewart's Reports of his subsequent investigations in these forests that they did not now contain sufficient trees of felling size to cover this annual payment. The Reports are of such importance that it will be necessary to reproduce portions of the Punjab Government's summary of them which was forwarded to the Government of India (Forests, No. 1760, dated Lahore, 19th July, 1866). Many of the remarks contained in this admirable précis by the Lieutenant-Governor (Sir Donald McLeod) applied equally at this period to other parts of India ; and displayed the necessity of bringing the organisation of the forests under a more centralised management sat this early period in the developing Forest Department.
Stewart's Report on the Chenab Forests showed that they contained the following estimated number of deodar trees divided into three classes :
(1) Number of first-class trees remaining in the
forests where felling had been and was still
being carried out (2) Number of trees in forests as yet untouched
and to open which expensive slides would
have to be made
of the timber would be difficult, or the
Estimated total deodar trees
Under the above three categories Stewart estimated that the trees which would be actually available for use, excluding those inaccessible or required to be left for purposes of reproducing the forests, would be : (1) 4000; (2) 7000; (3) 1000; or a total of 12,000 first-class trees in all. This number had already on two previous occasions been exceeded by the fellings of a single year.
For the Ravi Forests Stewart also divided the trees into three categories :(1) Deodar trees in compact forests, unworked,and
trees still remaining in worked forests, all
5,900 (2) Trees in inaccessible or difficult situations in
forests either previously unworked or already
= 3,625 Forests where the number of trees was only
guessed at mostly from native information ;
Estimated total deodar trees
Under these three classes Stewart estimated the number of trees which would be available for felling at 3000, 2500 and (with present information) o; the yield of the Ravi Forests