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Forests and Ecological History of Assam, 1826–2000$
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Arupjyoti Saikia

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198069539

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198069539.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Forests and Ecological History of Assam, 1826–2000

Arupjyoti Saikia

Oxford University Press

Assam forests were often depicted as enchanting forests in Assamese literatures. While the grandiose of the Assam forests were central to Assamese literature, contemporary literature however demystifies these forests and illustrates rapid deforestation and fauna depletion. Over the years the wilderness of the forests were tamed and the jungles were converted into mere forests. These transformations in the forest landscapes were brought about by the petty trades of forest products to blatant commerce in the international business. These practices have an immense impact not only in the landscape of the forests but also in the forest management and in the perception of these jungles. Within the commerce of forestry, several groups emerged, contesting rights over the forest resources. These battles contributed to the deforestation however, along the pandemonium over forest resource, came a new turn wherein the idea of forest conservation and reforestation took the centre stage.

Keywords:   Assam forests, Assamese literatures, deforestation, fauna depletion, forest resource, forest landscapes, forest products, reforestation, forest conservation

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