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Malabar Manual Vol 2
William Logan

Attached to the Wynad subdivision there is an extensive tract of forest known as the Kanoth forests. It is situated in the Kottayam taluk, at the base, and partly on the western slopes of the Western Ghats. The area of these escheat forests has been approximately computed at 375 square miles. Of this enormous tract, a very small portion (some 40 square miles) is in the hands of the Forest Department, the rest has not been settled yet.

These forests were escheated from the Kanoth (Kannavath) Nambiar, one of the principal adherents of the rebel Palassi (Pychy) Raja. In 1883, the management of the tract was transferred to the Forest Department, and immediate steps were taken for its conservation and improvement.

It is inhabited by an aboriginal tribe known as Kurichiyars, who had for years previously carried on the destructive system of "Punam" cultivation (known in Wynad as "Tuckle”). The whole forest, with the exception of a few patches near the crest of the ghats (3,500' elevation), had been ruthlessly hacked to pieces. The present growth is from 3 to 7 years of age, and consists principally of a multitude of worthless pollards and crooked coppice shoots.

It has been demarcated and surveyed, and 31 miles of the northern boundary have posts and cairns erected as well. It is now under reservation. At the conclusion of the settlement, the aboriginal inhabitants will be removed, and settled elsewhere, and works started for the improvement of the growth.

Nurseries have been established, and large quantities of ficus elastica seed obtained from Assam and planted, and numerous seedlings raised. Mahogany and bamboo seedlings are also being raised to plant out clearings.

There are four small experimental teak plantations made in 1876—78, which, however, are not so forward as could be wished, having been seriously injured, when young, by an attack of borer. Teak is, however, indigenous and promises yet to be a success.

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