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Sq. Miles

80,973

5,880

94

Sq. Miles.
153,148
106,149
110,786
83,557
77,210
86,451
41,380

1,582
2,646
17,707
141,259
123,048

19,206

57,580
41,909
10,358

6,447
30,272
5,284

378

766
11,499
46,819
58,326

Sq. Miles. Sg. Miles. Sq. Mi les. Sq. Miles.

3,460 4,034 13,374 3,851

43 3,988 2,283 3,011

2,139 7,433
7.373

7.373
7.333

7.333

292 19,498
3,590

15,683 19,273
238 649
139

IO 149
4,175

4,175 13,775

5,478 19,253 13,281 1,631

14,912

Sq. Miles.
58,801
44,581
61,444
65,826
63,430
36,681
16,823

317
1,731
2,033
75,187
49,810

Per cent.

3.83
3.62
2.06
8.82
9:49
22.10

8.67
15.0

5.25
23:57

9.75
10:7

887

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Forests under Control of the

Forest Department.

Province.

Total Area
of Province
according to
Survey of

Indía.

Deduct
Feudatory

and
Tributary
States.

Balance
under the Area
Government Cultivated.

of India.

Balance Propor
including tion of
private and

Reserves
other forests, to a rea
waste lands, under the
and areas

Govern-
for which no ment of
returns are

India
a vailable.

Reserved. Protected Unclassed.

Total.

Sq. Miles. 38,652

6,908 38,324

Sq. Miles.

191,800
113,057
149,110
83,557
85,411
115,886
45,377

1,582
2,646
17.707
150,868
187,765

Bengal
N.W. Provinces & Oudh
Punjab
Burma (Lower)

(Upper)
Central Provinces
Assam.
Coorg
Ajmere
Berar
Madras
Bombay

8,201
29,435
3,997

.

9,609
64,717

Total.

1,144,766

199,843

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944,923

350,611

81,124

8,845

27,679 117,648 476,664

8.58

Ribbentrop describes the objects of Forest Settlement Work as follows :

The various forest laws in India make it quite clear that the object of a forest settlement is, in the first instance, to fix and define the legal status and extent of the proprietary rights of the State in any forest or waste land, constituted or declared to be forest within the meaning of the forest laws, and, consequently, to enquire and record to what extent the proprietary rights of the State are limited by legally existing adverse rights of private persons or communities; secondly, to arrange for the exercise or commutation of adverse rights so recorded, in order to allow of the property being managed with the view of obtaining the best possible return, both for the present and in the future, for the general public.

The settlement of a forest, which has resulted in its constitution as a reserve, merely determines the rights of the Government and private persons over the forest, and in no way aims at prescribing the agency by which, or the manner in which, the forest is to be administered. The way in which a forest may be managed, or the requirements which it is intended to meet, are, in every instance, dictated by local circumstances. Thus a reserved forest has not, necessarily, the object, as is frequently believed, of producing large timber for export or public works; but more often that of supplying the local demands in smaller timber, fuel, grass, or any other forest produce. A forest may be said to fulfil its highest function when it produces, in a permanent fashion, the greatest possible quantity of that material which is most useful to the general public, and at the same time yields the best possible return to the proprietor."

As this history will have shown a long period of years elapsed before this recognition, this definition, it may be termed, of the objects to be fulfilled by a "Reserved Forest" came to be assimilated in India. In other parts of our Empire, and, in fact, of the world, as, e.g. the French West African forests, it has yet to be understood. In these regions many years' work and many mistakes may be saved and avoided by a study of the lines of progress in India.

in India. Ribbentrop continues :The settlement of forest lands under the forest laws is a step which fixes for ever the respective rights of the Government and private persons over the lands; while the management of the forest is a matter that can be regulated by executive orders at any time, and in deference to altered requirements and varying demands. However, the legal obligations imposed at the time of settlement are the first charge on the management.

The rights claimed and admitted during such settlement must be actually existing rights, vested in an individual or person, or

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in a definite body of persons, such as, for instance, a number of co-owners or a village community. They may be rights in gross, unconnected with the ownership of immovable property (house or land), or they may be rights attached to the ownership of such property. They may be rights enduring only for a certain period, or for the life of the person in whom they are vested, or they may be rights which will pass to the heirs of that person, or pass in perpetuity with the property to which they are attached. But they must be existing and vested in some person, or body of persons, who can claim them at the time of settlement.

Under any circumstances, the burden which the forest property has to bear is, as the laws stand, clearly defined, the amount of timber or firewood which it annually owes to right-holders should be fixed in perpetuity, as well as the number of cattle which may graze in it and the seasons during which they are to be admitted, and, finally, the total extent of right should never exceed the productive power of each forest property.

The majority of forest settlements have been made on this strictly legal basis. They do not preclude Government from utilising the areas settled in any way they may think fit, or to benefit the surrounding population by the free grants of forest produce contained in such reserves.”

Under the Indian Forest Acts the duty of deciding upon the legal status of claims to be admitted as rights was entrusted to special officers styled Forest Settlement Officers, and an appeal from their decision is provided. The whole of the area of 81,400 square miles of Reserved Forest was constituted in this fashion. In many cases it proved possible to extinguish pernicious rights by compensation ; in others, the forest remained burdened with rights of pasture or wood cutting; but these rights were strictly defined both as to area, number of grazing animals or amount of produce to be taken out. In many cases the Settlement Officers of the past were too lenient and in ignorance of what a forest could produce, and with the object of placating the villagers of their day went beyond the letter of the law and placed burdens on the Government Reserves which restrict their efficient management and the amount of produce they can economically yield. In this connection grazing proved the greatest difficulty. Most Settlement Officers and the Local Administrations during the period here reviewed appeared to find it difficult to understand the great damage overgrazing in a forest area could accomplish—and this in spite of all the lessons of the past. That the forests should be thrown open to unrestricted grazing in times of famine was admitted by all. The difficult lesson to learn proved to be the absolute necessity of regulating the number of animals admitted per square mile of area, which naturally varied with conditions of soil, moisture, declivity, etc.

DEMARCATION

As soon as the settlement of selected forests had been effected it became necessary to permanently demarcate them on the ground. This involved a very large amount of heavy work, and until the Department grew in strength, progress was inevitably slow. Great energy was shown in the performance of this gigantic task, and with the increase in the personnel of the Department the rate of demarcation advanced annually in every Province. By the close of the period here reviewed 93,068 miles of boundaries out of 141,204 miles requiring artificial demarcation had been laid down on the ground with the necessary posts which were serially numbered for individual blocks of forest ; this great length of boundary was reported in effective condition at the close of the century. Boundary registers were also opened, giving a detailed record of the boundaries with the number and position of the posts, which were erected on a line or trace from which all trees and jungle had been cut, thus clearly demarcating the forest area from neighbouring lands. The forward and backward angles of the posts were also entered in the register in order to enable them to be replaced in case of removal or destruction-a not infrequent occurrence. The curiosity or playfulness of elephants in this connection was particularly annoying in the early days of demarcation. Man himself was, however, not entirely innocent of abuse in this matter. In some parts of the country, where stout wooden posts inserted in mounds of earth or stones were utilised with a metal number-plate attached, the jungle tribes made a practice of carefully removing the metal plates in order to fashion arrow-heads, and so forth, from them.

At times the posts were removed bodily with a deliberate intent to obliterate all trace of the boundary line in certain localities.

Whilst the writer held charge of the Chittagong Division continual trouble was experienced in connection with the intricate boundaries of the small patches of district forests, the boundaries having numerous small re-entering angles bounding the highly valuable cultivated land. The villagers when ploughing up their small fields would take in a few yards of the boundary line or the whole of the piece adjacent to their field. The litigation resulting from such acts threw an additional burden on the overworked Forest Officers. These are for the

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most part experiences of the past in the greater part of India, but still persist in the less developed areas.

FOREST SURVEYS In his Forestry in India Rippentrop gives a very clear exposition of the progress of the survey and demarcation work of the forests to the end of the century. With a few modifications this is reproduced here.

Almost from the very outset it was found that the ordinary topographical maps were insufficient in accuracy and scale for the purposes of forest administration, and as the areas set apart as State forest property increased, and a more systematic and conservative treatment was gradually introduced, the demand for suitable maps grew more and more acute. For several years this want was supplied by provincial and local agency, but it soon became evident that these efforts were in most instances not sufficiently controlled. Here and there, no doubt, useful and reliable maps were produced, but generally speaking the administration obtained insufficient data in comparison with the amount of money which was spent on surveys throughout the country, and the maps varied far too much in character to make them generally intelligible and useful. There was a great variety in scales and in the signs and colours used to indicate topographical detail and the character of the forest, which varied in each Province and frequently within one and the same Province; and even those maps which sufficed for local requirements were generally useless for geographical purposes, as they were unconnected with each other or with the surveys executed by the Survey of India. It may be added that the forest areas having been regarded in the past as of little value the smaller topographical details had been often merely sketched in from a hill-top in some of the Survey of India maps which showed forest areas. essential to the Department that accurate maps of the forests should be available. As an instance, the following may be quoted :

The writer, soon after joining the Service, was sent to check a portion of a map showing roughly the features of a bewildering mass of forest-clad hills in Chota Nagpur. One morning he ordered his camp to meet him at a certain spot, indicated on the map, on the banks of a small stream. The writer marched to the spot by a longer route. He reached the place arranged

It was

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