The Madras Forest Department, now officially, Tamil Nadu Forest Department, is an government department of Tamil Nadu. The department is responsible for managing all the protected areas and forests plus environmental and wildlife related issues of Tamil Nadu state in South India. The objective of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department is to conserve biodiversity and eco-systems of forests and wilderness areas to ensure water security and food security of the state.
|Headquarters||Panagal Maaligai, Saidapet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu|
|Parent agency||Government of Tamil Nadu|
The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Head of Forest Force (HoFF) is the head of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department. The Chief Wildlife Warden, five Additional Principal Chief Conservators of Forests and eight Chief Conservator of Forests function under the PCCF in the head office at Panagal Maaligai (pictured), Saidapet, Chennai. All the Chief Conservators of Forests are assisted by the Conservators of Forests and Deputy Conservator of Forests who have regional and specialised responsibilities.
All officials of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, down to the level of Assistant Conservator of Forests, are graduates of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration and the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy and are members of the Indian Forest Service, entitled to use the formal suffix IFS after their name. There are total of 9,188 employees of the department.
In 1855 Dr H F Cleghorn (pictured) was asked to organise the Madras Forest Department and started systematic forest conservancy in India. On 19 December 1856 he was appointed Conservator of Forests in Madras Presidency. His persistent campaigning with the Government resulted in the banning of shifting cultivation in the Madras Presidency in 1860. Cleghorn organised the new Madras Forestry Department with such energy and success that he was asked to extend his operations into the Punjab. He also afforded Mr Dietrich Brandis, CIE, FRS, CIE, (pictured), efficient assistance in introducing and systematically working forest conservancy in the forests of Bengal. Cleghorn has been called "the father of scientific forestry in India"
On 10 January 1865, a public resolution by the Government of India, designated Dr Cleghorn as the founder of Forest Conservancy in India, and added: "His long services from the first organisation of forest management in Madras have without question greatly conduced to the public good in this branch of the administration".
Douglas Hamilton was very interested in forest conservation in South India, and often visited his old friend General James Michael who was organising an experimental forest conservancy in the Annaimalai Hills. In 1854, he was appointed to temporarily manage the conservancy and showed great aptitude for these new forestry duties. Douglas succeeded permanently to the appointment and for the next three years was in charge of the Annaimalai forests, supplying teak lumberfor shipbuilding at the Bombay Dockyard. During this period, he became Assistant Conservator of Forests under Dr Hugh Francis Cleghorn who recently established the Madras Forest Department and whose work led to the establishment of the Forest Department of India in 1864.
In 1857 Douglas Hamilton had to return to his regiment. The assistant conservator vacancy at Anamalai was filled by Lieutenant Richard Henry Beddome, who was an excellent explorer and who had a good knowledge of botany. He was recommended to Dr Cleghorn because of his powers of observation and description. He succeeded Cleghorn in 1860 and remained Chief Conservator until 1882.
After the retirement of Beddome, upon the direction of the Viceroy of India, George Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon (pictured) and with the strong support of M E Grant Duff, Governor of Madras, Dietrich Brandis reorganised the Forestry Department as it operated smoothly thereafter. J A Gamble followed R H Beddome as the conservator of forests. Gamble's successor was Horace Archibald Gass (pictured). Gass is now remembered for establishing the Gass Forest Museum. Gass was succeeded by F A Lodge and then by J A Master.
In 1868, The Forest College and Research Institute was first established as part of the Agricultural School at Saidapet, Chennai. In 1916, it moved to Coimbatore. In 1989, Masters programme in forestry was introduced at the Forest College & Research Institute, new campus at Mettupalayam. In 1990, a Doctoral programme was also introduced.
In 1969, Madras State was renamed Tamil Nadu (land of the Tamils) and the name of the department was likewise also changed.
The overall objective of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department is to conserve biodiversity and eco-systems of forests and wilderness areas to ensure water security and food security of the state. Wildlife and wildlife habitats should be conserved and sustainably managed to meet the social, economic, ecological, cultural, recreational and spiritual needs of the present and future generations of people in the state.
The forests in Tamil Nadu are managed with the following objectives:
Strategies adopted by the Forest Department to achieve these objectives are:
The Forest Department is responsible for managing an area over 3,305 km2 (1,276 sq mi), constituting 2.54% of the geographic area and 17.41% of the 22,643 km2 (8,743 sq mi) recorded forest area of the state. The Forest Department is organised in a geographic hierarchy ranging from Regions, Forestry Circles, Forestry Divisions and Forest Ranges to Beats and Watches. Each geographic category has its own level of management.
The Forest Department is organised in an administrative hierarchy ranging from Principal Chief Conservator of Forests to Forest Watchers, Mahouts and others.
The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Head of Forest Force (PCCF - HoFF) is in overall control of the whole Forest Department. All significant orders, permissions, declarations and authorisations of the department are personally reviewed, approved and signed by him.
The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Chief Wildllife Warden (PCCF & CWLW) is the principal assistant to the PCCF and is responsible for all wildlife matters of the department. There is also an Eco-development officer directly advising the PCCF.
Five Additional Principal Chief Conservators of Forests (APCCF) are separately responsible for central administration of Afforestation, Planning & Budgeting, Research & Working Plan, Forest Administration and the Forest Conservation Act.
There are 13 Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF), each of whom manages a forest region in addition to managing a separate technical aspect of Forest Department responsibility statewide. The separate technical aspects areTamil Nadu Afforestation Project (TAP), Planning and Development, Personnel and Vigilance, Social Forestry and Extension, Biodiversity, Wildlife, Department Working Plan (WP), Headquarters, Research, Extension, Tamil Nadu Forest Academy (TNFA), Field Director - Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) and Director - Arignar Anna Zoological Park (AAZP).
The state is divided into 6 forest regions, each composed of two forest circles. The wildlife matters of each region, including the 5 National Parks in Tamil Nadu, are the responsibility of a regional wildlife warden. There are 12 territorial Forest circles. These Regions and Forest circles plus the KMTR, AAZP, TNFA and WP are the allotted responsibility of the following CCF:
There are 26 Conservator of Forests (CF) under the CCFs, with one locally responsible for each of the 12 Forest Circles, 4 for Working Plans, and one each responsible for Planning & Development, Protection, Project Formulation, Forest Consolidation, Publicity, GIS, HRD, TAP-I, TAP-II and Research. There are also 49 Assistant Conservator of Forests, who are usually new IFS officers.
Within each Forest Circle there are 2 or more Forest divisions managed by one or more of 17 Divisional Conservator of Forests (DCF) or 18 Deputy Conservator of Forests and 30 District Forest Officers (DFO).
Each Forest division has several Forest ranges that are managed locally by Forest range officers (FRO). Each Forest range is divided into beats, each of which is the responsibility of one of the 585 Forest Rangers in the state.
Each beat is divided into Forest Watches, each of which is the responsibility of one or more of the 1,353 Forest watchers in the state. In addition there are 2,421 Forest guards to assist patrolling the forests.
There are 39 Mahouts and 44 Cavady to manage and train the working elephants (Kumki) owned and used by the Forest Department. There are 1,320 Foresters employed to physically manage the trees in the states forests. In addition, there are 3,256 ministerial staff and other employees in the department.
|Type||agency of the Govt|
The Tamil Nadu Forest Uniformed Services Recruitment Committee (TNFUSRC) was constituted by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 2012 vide G.O Ms.No. 157, Environment and Forests (FR-2) Department, dated June 29, 2012 for the recruitment of personnel for the Tamil Nadu Forest Department (TNFD) and the three Forest Corporation namely Tamil Nadu Forest Plantation Corporation Limited (TAFCORN), Tamil Nadu Tea Plantation Corporation Limited (TANTEA) and Arasu Rubber Corporation Limited (ARC). The committee is in line with the Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board that recruits constables, head constables and sub inspectors of police.
The TNFUSRC headed by an officer in the rank of Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and a Member-Secretary in the rank of Conservator of Forests. It will have two members, of whom one will be the Managing Director of a corporation or an officer recommended by him and the other in the rank of Chief Conservator of Forests.