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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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Conservation, Spatial Order, and New Landscape

Conservation, Spatial Order, and New Landscape

(p.69) 2 Conservation, Spatial Order, and New Landscape
Forests and Ecological History of Assam, 1826–2000

Arupjyoti Saikia

Oxford University Press

To acquire command over the forest resources, the Forest Department introduced policies of reservation. They also categorized the forests into Reserved Forests and Protected Forests. In 1865, the Bengal Forest Act was ratified. This provided the framework for reservation which was aimed to secure colonial government monopoly over forest resources. However, the existing forest management paved the way for new categories. These include the change in the spatial order of the Assam forests. This chapter discusses the political economy of the new spatial order that emerged in the Assam forests. It discusses the history of the transformation of the forest landscapes into desired spatial categories and examines how these acquired different shapes and characters have changed over time. It also discusses how the Forest Department negotiated against assertion of rights over this new spatial order and how the department negotiated to maintain its absolute right over forest resources and landscape.

Keywords:   forest resources, Forest Department, reservation, framework for reservation, spatial order, political economy, new spatial order, forest landscapes, desired spatial categories, assertion of rights

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