Chapter

Science in the Forests

Arupjyoti Saikia

in Forests and Ecological History of Assam, 1826–2000

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780198069539
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081240 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198069539.003.0006
Science in the Forests

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This chapter examines how in the urge for scientific forestry, the foresters in Assam took recourse to the local experiences. It also discusses how both scientific management and commercialization of forests began to mould the history of forest conservation in Assam. Under the colonial rule, the Assam forests were subjected to the application of science. Intricate scientific experiments were carried out inside the Assam forests and these include forest plantations, silvicultural practices, taungya cultivation, and regulation of forest fires or insects. Throughout the early nineteenth century, science contributed to the various aspects of Assam forests. Although dependence on science in the late nineteenth century diminished, the entire forest management came to depend on science in the twentieth century. This transformed the commercial character of the forests including forest behaviour and its ecological system. In the long run, it was science that transformed the character of the local forest landscape.

Keywords: scientific forestry; scientific management; commercialization of forests; forest conservation; scientific experiments; forest plantations; silvicultural practices; taungya cultivation; regulation of forest fires; forest management

Chapter.  18856 words.  Illustrated.

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