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Environment and History

Colonial Forestry at its Limits: The Latter Day Career of Sir David Hutchins in New Zealand 1915-1920

Michael Roche

Environment and History 16 (2010): 431-454. doi: 10.3197/096734010X531489

This paper explores imperial forestry networks by focusing on a single individual, Sir David Hutchins, who spent the final years of his life in New Zealand extolling the need for scientific forest management in the Dominion. Hutchins' career had taken him from India to Southern Africa, to British East Africa and Australia, then finally to New Zealand. In New Zealand he advocated a colonial forestry model derived from his Indian and African experience. Whereas in Africa Hutchins was regarded as a champion of exotic afforestation, in New Zealand he was closely identified with indigenous forest management, further reinforcing Sivaramakrishnan's ideas about how colonial location reshaped the appearance of scientific forestry. Hutchins focused much attention of the Kauri (Agathis australis) forests but encountered unexpected opposition and resistance from settler farmers, local politicians, and the local scientific community such as it was.

KEYWORDS: Colonial forestry, New Zealand, Sir David Hutchins


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