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The Kerala Forest Act, 1961.
A uniform legislation applicable to the whole state of Kerala enacted for the protection and management of forests of Kerala. It continues to be the principal act anchoring the legal web meant for protection and management of forests in the state. To attend complete protection further rules were made under this act, such as;
- Forest Settlement Rules, 1965
- Kerala Forest (Collection of drift and stranded timber) Rules,1965.
- Kerala Forest (Regulation of timber transit by water ways) Rules,1965.
The Kerala Forest Act, 1961 was amended in 1975. The amendment included insertion of Section 61 (A) to 61 (F) empowering the divisional forest officers to confiscate the vehicles/machinery used for commission of offence involving timber, charcoal, firewood, ivory.
An amendment was made in the Kerala Forest Act, 1961 for enhancing the punishment to forest offenders in 1993.
Regarded as one of the strongest piece of legislation in the annals of forestry. All private forests held by Jenmies (Landlords) in Malabar were vested to government through this legislation.
The Kannan Devan Hills (Resumption of Lands) Act 1971.
Through this act an extent of 1, 26, 604 acres of land was resumed to government. Out of the above land an area of 9700 hectars was utilised for constituting Eravikulam National Park in 1978.
Kerala Restriction on cutting and destruction of Valuable Trees Act, 1974
This act was brought in as an effective measure to restrict the cutting and destruction of certain valuable trees namely, Teak, Rosewood and Sandal grown in private lands in the State.
The Kerala Preservation of Trees Act, 1986
The act aimed at prevention of rampant clearing of tree growth in private areas with the primary objective of soil and water conservation in the state. Ecologically and environmentally important areas including large extent of plantation including Cardamom Hill Reserve (CHR) were brought under the purview of this act, whereby vast extent of tree growth could be protected from being cleared. This has helped in protecting life support systems namely soil and water.
- Kerala Restriction on cutting and destruction of Valuable Trees Rules, 1974
These rules were made for effective implementation of the Kerala Restriction on cutting and destruction of Valuable Trees Act, 1974
The Kerala Forest Produce Transit Rules, 1975.
These rules were made under the Kerala Forest Act, 1961 to regulate the movement of Forest produce including timber within the state as well as outside. This also came handy for the public to legally transport timber and other forest produce from timber depots/market, yards, private lands to their place of consumption. Later The Kerala Forest Produce Transit Rules relaxed to encourage tree growing in nonforest lands.