Discuss why the colonial government in India brought Forest Acts.
- By the mid-19th century, various Forests Acts were also being enacted in the different provinces.
- Through these Acts, some forests which produced commercially valuable timber like deodar or sal were declared ‘Reserved’.
- No pastoralist was allowed to access these forests.
- Other forests were classified as ‘Protected’. In these, customary grazing rights of pastoralists were granted but their movement was severely restricted.
- The colonial officials believed that grazing destroyed the saplings and young shoots of trees that germinated on the forest floor.
- The herds trampled over the saplings and ate away the shoots. This prevented new trees from growing.