網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

building adapted for the school was for the time excellent, and before the close of the period a commodious block of residential quarters was built in the compound. Under Gamble's regime, which extended into the twentieth century, fine museum collections were built up, the necessary instruments and equipment were purchased, a laboratory was established, as also a resin distillery and an apparatus for the extraction of tannin. He was also instrumental in establishing a most instructive arboretum, adjoining the school, over which he expended a great deal of trouble and care. By the end of the

. nineteenth century the school was, under Gamble's fostering care, in a high state of efficiency.

It will be apparent, therefore, that no pains had been spared by Government in the development of the School, either in money or in procuring the best staff possible, consisting of picked men chosen from the Upper Controlling Staff as a whole.

How was this great opportunity taken advantage of by the natives of the country to whom these advantages were offered ? It may be admitted at once that the school turned out a considerable proportion of good men who proved most useful to Divisional Officers. They showed themselves efficient Range Officers, and some turned out good sylviculturists, one at least, Babu Upendra Nath Kanjilal Bahadur, a good botanist; whilst a few proved capable of assisting in the collection of data for the preparation of working plans. This was all that was demanded of them. But the real difficulty in connection with the Ranger class, as expressed by Brandis in 1901, was “ that the men who enter the Dehra Dun Forest School belong to a lower social stratum than is desirable. And this,” continued Brandis, “ will continue until means are found to give Forest Rangers reasonable prospects of promotion.' This latter was probably the real difficulty, or one of them. The Ranger had been started by Brandis himself on a low scale of pay. It was inevitable in the early days. But that scale was allowed to persist for far too long. But this was not the only

The main cause lay with the natives themselves. Youngsters of better class did not care for a forest life. It was too strenuous and lonely for them. They preferred the minor clerkships in offices and the leisured ease which accompanied such posts. Government from the beginning had opened the Department to natives of India. Brandis was ever an ardent advocate of their employment. He did not see how the

cause.

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

A FOREST SCENE, KONAIN, JAUSSAR, N.W. HIMALAYA. THIS PHOTOGRAPH EXHIBITS THE
TYPE OF DEODAR FOREST VISITED BY THE DIHRA DUN SCHOOL STUDENTS ON THEIR

PRACTICAL COURSES
Photograph by 11. Jackson

expanding Department, if it was ever to bear a remote resemblance in the amount of staff per acre or square mile in continental forests under scientific management, could ever be financially staffed unless a very considerable proportion of that staff in all grades was composed of natives of India who could be paid smaller salaries than the European. The opening was there and had been so from the start, but to the close of the century it had not been taken advantage of. With certain notable exceptions amongst Indians, who proved an honour both to their Department and their country, the work of the Department and the progress made in the development and protection of the forests was done by and due to the British officers.

CHAPTER XVI

THE PROGRESS MADE IN METHODS OF EXPLOITATION AND IN

THE CONSTRUCTION OF COMMUNICATIONS AND BUILDINGS, 1871-1900

T

[ocr errors]

HE early methods of exploiting the forests of the country and the crude and wasteful ways in which the trees were felled and converted into logs or

other material, such as rough planks, etc., have been described in previous chapters of this history. Where roads or slides had to be utilised for transport, their construction was of the rudest form, the high percentage of waste being treated as one of the inevitable outcomes of this class of work. The progress made in these directions up to the close of the century will be treated in the present chapter.

EXPLOITATION Some considerable progress was made during the period in the methods of exploitation of the forests, but the species of timber trees utilised still remained for the most part the same as had been employed throughout the century. It is a curious fact, and rather indicative of the somewhat narrow groove into which the Department had fallen, that in spite of the very large number of first-class woods existing in the forests of India no departure of any magnitude had been made in placing on the market timbers up to then unused. It is true that timber markets and merchants are very conservative, and that the opposition of vested interests was, especially in the London markets, of a formidable nature. But the fact remains that it was not until a few years after the dawn of the twentieth century that any noteworthy departure from old well-ingrained methods was made.

Locally in India some of the less known species were utilised to a varying degree, but for the most part the timber trade would only buy the timber of teak, deodar, sâl (Shorea robusta),

« 上一頁繼續 »