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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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Livelihood Practices and Dynamics of Forest Conservation

Livelihood Practices and Dynamics of Forest Conservation

(p.306) 7 Livelihood Practices and Dynamics of Forest Conservation
Forests and Ecological History of Assam, 1826–2000

Arupjyoti Saikia

Oxford University Press

In the formative years of the Assam Forest Department, forest management and implementation of forest laws often collided with the livelihood practices of the people and the natives. As a result, peasants and people often interfered with the foresters in the hopes of asserting their rights on forestlands. These petty disturbances such as removal of timber marks, cattle trespass, and ploughing inside the Reserved Forests were identified as forest crimes. This chapter discusses the dissent and protest of peasants over the colonial intervention and forest conservation of the Assam forests. The conservation and intervention of the colonial rulers and foresters changed the landscape and the man-Nature relationship in terms of traditional livelihood practices hence instigating a conflict between peasants and foresters. Movements have been made to understand the dichotomy between forest and agriculture however, the conflict between agrarian and forest frontier remains to be unresolved.

Keywords:   Assam Forest Department, forest management, Reserved Forests, forest crimes, protest of peasants, forest conservation, cattle trespass, timber marks

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