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The Rise and Demise of South Africa's First School of Forestry

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This article examines the unexplored history of South Africa's first school of forestry. It argues that leading South African politicians and foresters created a school of forestry in the country because they wanted a school where South Africa's future forestry officers could gain practical and theoretical experience of forestry in local conditions rather than going to Britain, Europe or India, where environmental conditions differed. The school was touted proudly as the first school of forestry in South Africa and the southern hemisphere. But the school, which the South African College and the Cape Colony's Forestry Department directed jointly, ran into political and staff problems and closed only five years after its opening. This article shows how the school's closing was the result of inter-colonial political tensions and institutional problems that were exacerbated by the migration of power from Cape Town to Pretoria following the Act of Union in 1910.
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Keywords: British Empire; Cape Colony; D.E. Hutchins; South Africa; Tokai; conservation; forestry

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2013

More about this publication?
  • Environment and History is an interdisciplinary journal which aims to bring scholars in the humanities and biological sciences closer together, with the deliberate intention of constructing long and well-founded perspectives on present day environmental problems.

    Environment and History has a Journal Impact Factor (2017) of 0.538. 5 Year Impact Factor: 0.792.
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