網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

suggested the use of Pinus longifolia on a moderate scale, by way of experiment, and a small experiment might be made on the new Delhi line also; but, unless impregnated, I would not advocate its use on a large scale in the climate of the North-Western Provinces. The main quantity, therefore, should, at the outset at least, be deodar, and I beg that you will inform me what quantity of that wood you will be able to deliver at the Jumna and Ganges depots during 1870 and 1871.

If the season is not too far advanced, and if you consider it otherwise advisable, I would also suggest your arranging for an extension of felling operations in the Jaunsar-Bawar and Bhagaruttee Forests.

Under all circumstances I request that you will furnish me with an account of the present timber operations and with your proposals in this respect for next season. This should be accompanied by a map of the forests, however rough, but on a scale sufficiently large to exhibit all needful detail.

In connection herewith I shall transmit for your information copies of two letters which I have lately addressed to the Officiating Conservator, Punjab, on the subject of arranging regular plans of operations for the forests under his control, and on the principles to guide officers in the arrangement of felling operations in deodar forests.

It may be necessary, in order to meet the present requirements, to anticipate felling operations considerably ; but you will easily understand that this will require the greatest caution, and should not be attempted without a well-considered plan of operations, and rules to guide the selection of the trees and the operations themselves, so as to secure the complete and rapid reproduction of the forests, either by natural means or by sowing and planting. The question, whether it will be right to extend felling operations as here suggested, will, to a great extent, depend on the power you may have of excluding cattle and fires from the localities where the timber has been cut.

The necessity to meet these requirements will, to a certain extent, interfere with the supply of timber for other purposes ; but though it will be necessary to give to the State Railway Officers the first refusal of all timber suitable for railway sleepers to the extent indicated above, still arrangements should be made to make the balance that may not be taken by them available for other purchasers.

The Government of India also desires to have a general

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

.

Report on the best sources for obtaining sleepers for railways in the North-Western Provinces, or to the south from Delhi or Agra. This reference has no connection with the enquiries made in the first part of this communication.

The sources to be discussed would be : Ist.—Timber floated down the Jumna, deodar and 'cheel.' 2nd.-Timber floated down the Ganges, deodar and 'cheel.' 3rd. Sål timber from the Kumaun and Gurwhal Forests. 4th.-Sâl timber from Nepal.

5th.–Sâl timber from the Oudh Forests. Regarding the two last-named sources I have addressed Captain Wood, but regarding the former three I beg that you will furnish me with the needful data, showing the quantities you expect to fell annually in and to bring down annually from the different forests during the next five years, from 1870 to 1874; the depots at which this timber should be delivered ; and the description, length and average cubical contents of logs to be brought to depots, and the quantity of sleepers 10 feet by 10 inches by 5 inches that you would find it convenient to cut in the forests or at depots." Brandis concluded as follows:

“Efficient and special supervision must be employed for these extended timber operations, otherwise there will be waste of money, material and damage to the progress of the demarcation, protection and improvement of the forests Where timber operations are carried on on a large scale, it will probably be necessary to employ special officers for the work, who should, however, give due assistance in all operations of conservancy and improvement.

The system of accounts must be placed on a thoroughly efficient footing.

For each depot there must be a set of detailed rules regarding the keeping and disposal of timber, and responsible officers must be in charge of depots.

If these precautions are strictly observed, the operations now contemplated by Government will, I trust, eventually prove beneficial to the development of the Department. Timber operations are an excellent school for Forest Officers, and efficiently conducted timber operations on account of Government are the first step towards a sound and safe system of selling the timber in the forest, which is the end towards which all our work must be directed."

Subsequent experience has shown how true these opinions were. The great extension of railways at this period did much to place the Forest Department on its legs and enabled it to take its place in the administration of the country.

In a further note Brandis dealt with depots and staff.

“The question whether the Forest Department should be charged with the cutting of the sleepers in the north-west, must be looked at from many sides. For the present I will confine my remarks to the Ganges, as there will not, I believe, be a large quantity of timber down the Jumna for some years to come.

The depot for catching and rafting the timber is intended to be about 18 miles above Hurdwar, at a place where people can live only during the healthy season, say, six months. For sawing, therefore, a second depot would have to be made at Hurdwar, and I am not sure whether then the timber, the rafts being built at the upper depot so as to suit the canal, had not better go down to Meerut at once, and be cut up either there or at Delhi. The slabs and other residuum would also fetch a higher price at Meerut and Delhi, and I am not sure whether purchasers would come for them as far as Hurdwar. Much of the refuse, it is true, would be used as fuel for the sawmill. But if rafting on the Ganges Canal is uncertain and expensive, and the sleepers must be carried in boats, or by land, then it will be better to cut them at Hurdwar, and in that case the Forest Department could undertake the business provided : Ist, a sawmill is erected ; and, the needful establishment is allowed in addition to existing establishments; 3rd, the Conservator is permitted to select the men he wants from the Public Works Department, the officers and men, after a year's experience, if approved by the Conservator, to elect for permanent transfer to the Forest Department, or to return to the Public Works Department.

The requirements, at present, are given at 110,000 sleepers annually, but will increase. Supposing 100,000 sleepers were cut annually at Hurdwar, the outlay would be at Ř.I a sleeper, Rs.1,00,000. This is a concern of sufficient magnitude to justify the organisation of an efficient establishment. The work cannot be done by the ordinary officers of the Forest Department. The main advantage of placing this concern under the Conservator would be that the Forest Department bring down the timber, and can arrange their operations according to the supply expected from time to time, also that it would keep all sales of timber, sleepers, slabs, refuse, at and near Hurdwar, in one hand.

The matter should be very carefully considered, and action should not be precipitated."

In the next chapter Pearson's admirable Reports on the areas from which the materials required for this great work were to be obtained will be dealt with.

CHAPTER IX

THE INTRODUCTION OF FOREST CONSERVANCY INTO THE NORTH

WEST PROVINCES AND OUDH, 1865-1870 (continued)

P

PEARSON'S REPORTS ON THE HIMALAYAN AND PLAINS FORESTS

OF THE NORTH-WEST PROVINCES
EARSON'S investigations into the resources of the

forests of Kumaun and Garhwal, the Dun, the
Bhagaruttee Valley, Jaunsar-Bawar, the forests at

the head of the Jumna and Tons rivers, and those of the Jhansi Division were all carried out during 1868 and 1869. The Bhagaruttee, Jaunsar-Bawar and Tons and Jumna Forests were in the Himalaya, the deodar being the species chiefly considered. The others were either in the foot-hills of the Himalaya, in the plains along their base or, in the case of Jhansi, at some distance from the great mountain range.

Pearson's Reports are lengthy, and it is unfortunately impossible to do more than deal with them briefly. A certain amount of detail will, however, be necessary in order that the position of these magnificent forests at this period may be appreciated.

The Report on the sâl forests was designated by the Lieutenant-Governor as a “clear and comprehensive Report," and he further observed “that the views of the Conservator as to their general condition and the vast treasury of valuable timber, existing and prospective, contained in them are considered highly statisfactory.”

THE SÂL FORESTS OF KUMAUN AND GARWHAL Pearson's description of the area occupied by these forests and its boundaries is worth reproducing.

“These forests extend from the Ganges on the west, to the Sardah on the east, covering the lower spurs and ridges of the Himalaya. They are bounded on the south by an excellent cart road, which has been constructed from the Ganges as far

[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »