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The Rise of Commercial Forestry

The British needed forests for satisfying their industrial requirement.
They were worried about the indiscriminate clearing of the forests.
So, they wanted to have full control on the deforestation system.


They invited a German expert, Dietrich Branids, for advice, and made him the first Inspector of Forests.


Dietrich Brandis

Dietrich Brandis was born in Bonn. He was the son of Dr Christian Brandis, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bonn. He studied at the universities of Copenhagen, Gottingen, Nancy and Bonn. He took up the post of a lecturer in botany at Bonn, in 1849. He had a keen interest in forest management which was from a botanical perspective.

In 1879, Brandis visited the sacred groves in Rajputana and Kans of Mysore, the Garo and Khasia hills and documented the findings.He also visited the Devarakadus of Coorg in 1868, and the hill ranges of the Salem district in the Madras Presidency in 1882, the Swami Shola on the Yelagiris, the sacred grove at Pudur on the Javadis and several sacred forests on the Shevaroys. He was one of the earliest in India to formally link forest protection with local peoples.

Mr. Brandis thought that there should be some proper system to manage forests and the people have to be trained in scientific conservation.

They restricted cutting and grazing in the forests.
Anybody who cut trees without his permission would be punished.
He set up the Indian Forest Service in 1864.
He also formulated the Indian Forest Act in 1865.

The Indian Forests Act was passed in 1865. The 1878 Act which followed was a comprehensive piece of legislation. It provided for three classes of forests. They were reserved forests, protected forests and village forests. Apart from forest laws, the legislation also partially regulated two other aspects: water pollution and wild life.

The Indian Forest Act, 1927

The Indian Forest Act, 1927, was formulated during the pre-independence era but still remains in force. The Act includes provisions of the Indian Forest Act of 1878 and its amending Acts. The 1927 Act deals with an additional category, that is the private forests, along with the three listed in the 1878 Act. Unauthorized felling of trees, quarrying, grazing and hunting in reserved forests was punishable with a fine or imprisonment. The Hailey National Park Act of 1936 was introduced for the protection of wild life and habitat.

The Imperial Forest Research Institute was set up at Dehradun in 1906.


Imperial Forest Research Institute, Dehradun

The Imperial Forest Research Institute in Dehradun, is a premier institution under the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education It is styled in Greeko Roman Architecture by C.G. Blomfield. The National Heritage which is the main building was inaugurated in 1929.

The Forest Research Institute started from the Forest School established in 1878. Initially it was called the Imperial Forest Research Institute, and later it was known as the FRI in 1906. FRI’s history is marked with the evolution and development of scientific forestry in India.

FRI is an ideal institute which is dedicated to forestry research. FRI has a number of centres located at different places all over the country. The Institute provides training to Forest Officers and Forest Rangers through the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy. In 1988, the Indian Council of Forestry Research was established to re-organise forestry research in the country. The training and research centres were given an independent status. The Council functions under the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

FRI was given the status of a Deemed University in December 1991 on the recommendation of the University Grants Commission. The objectives of the Deemed University were to impart education in different branches of forestry and environment. It also strives to create an awareness about forests and environment among people through forestry extension programmes.

In the Scientific forestry, instead of different types of trees, only one type of tree is planted. Every year specific area of the forest is cut and it is replanted, for cutting the next time. Indian Forests Act 1878 divided the forests into three categories.

Distinction  in Indian Forest

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