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Forest Organization and Administrative Organization

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            When an enterprise is decided to run the difficult jobs are distributed in a specific manner. This distribution of work is necessary because;

  1. It is economical
  2. For a complex job, it is important to run the things in an organized manner ie organization.
  3. It enhances the efficiency of work eg if it requires different operations like thinning, pruning, felling, harvesting, and nursing etc, it cannot be accomplished by one person. This is only possible through a specific “Organization”

Organization is the composite system comprising structure and the personnel manning its various parts.
In forestry, there are two aspects of organization ie

  1. Forest Organization
  2. Administrative Organization


Definition: “The systematic subdivision and arrangement of forest areas with a view to regular management is called Forest Organization.”

Purpose of Forest Organization:

  • Forest area is very large and it is spread over a large tract. The area may be sometimes up to 50000 hectares. Such a large area must be divided into smaller units. This implies that forest organization means to divide the area into smaller units.
  • Forest area may have different sites and these sites, in turn, may have different productive capabilities, so the division becomes inevitable.
  • Forest areas are located at different places and have different social pressure so they ought to be organized.
  • A forest does not essentially comprises a single spp but is a mixture of spp. So it needs to be organized.
  • Forest organization is necessary to manage the forest areas properly and with ease.

Forest organization includes:

  • Compartment
  • Sub-compartment
  • Coupe (Felling area)
  • Working Circle
  • Felling series (Cutting series)
  • Cutting Section
  • Periodic Block


  • Compartment:

The basic territorial unit of a forest estate permanently defined or the purpose of location, description, and record, and as a basis for forest mgt is called Compartment.”
It is the smallest unit and a permanent subdivision of the forest. Compartments are named by no ie 1, 2, 3… It is now clear that compartments are not only the unit of location but it is also associated with some other characters ie

  1. It is an address f a forest eg 20,000 ha area need division into different compartments eg compartment no 14, compt n0 17, etc.
  2. It is also the unit of records so as to assist the mgt. the record of all the operation (eg various treatments, felling, thinning, regeneration, damages, etc) is kept in a specific file called ‘Compartment History file’ which should be kept in each division/ Range office. We can even enter into it the land stabilization works, landslips, brushwood cutting, etc.
  • Compartments have permanent boundaries usu drawn along natural features such are ridges, streams, etc. There are two beneficial reasons due to which the boundaries are along natural feature:
    1. Its costs are very small
    2. It is easy to recognize or locate
    3. These are permanent features and cannot be altered.
  1. If the natural features are marked by boundary pillar, eg if it is the middle of a slope, the boundary will be demarcated by the pillars the record of which shall be kept in files and essentially the direction and magnetic bearing of the pillar will be written. This is due to the reason that somebody may displace the pillar by mischief.
  2. The area of compt is not fixed. It rather depends upon the intensity of mgt, and it varies from condition to condition. More is the intensity of mgt; the smaller is the area of the compt and vice versa. In case of IP, the area may be 20-70 acres. But in extensively managed forests, the area may be 100-500 acres or even more. In Azad Kashmir and other Northern areas, the size of compt reaches up to 650 acres. In Naran areas, the slopes are steep; mountains are rugged so the compt should be divided into smaller units.
  • Consistency and homogeneity cannot be expected among all the sites within a compt, under such circumstance the compt can be sub-divided into another sub-divisions called ‘sub-compartments.’


  • Sub-compartment:

The temporary sub-division of a compt for separate treatment is called sub-compartment.” They are designated by small letters ie a, b, c, d… etc. eg Sub-compt no 64a, 22b, etc.
Within a compt, the crop may vary significantly due to past history. For such variations which are of temporary nature, it may be necessary to sub-divide the compt into sub-compartments.
The sub-division of compt may also be due to the difference in site or stands demanding different treatments eg in the same crop of Fir + Blue pine; one may be young and the other may be old so they are divided into two sub-compt.
If compt no 56 is divided into three sub-compt, they will be written as 56a, 56b, 56c, etc.

  • Coupe (Felling area):

An area which is felled and regenerated in a particular year is called coupe.” Or; according to G.M. Khattack; “An area on which the trees have been, are being, or, are to be cut, commonly forming one of an annual succession is called coupe or felling area.
After the compt and sub-compt have been described, stock-mapped and enumerated, they are allotted for felling during successive years of the plan period.
Felling areas are numbered with Roman numerals ie I, II, III, IV, etc.

  • Working Circle:

BCFT in 1953 defined a working circle as “an area organized with a particular objective and under one silvicultural system and one set of working plan prescriptions is called the working circle.” OR;
Working circles are divisions of a forest into different units each having its own objective and own silvicultural system.” Eg if the objective of w/c is timber it will be managed under a shelterwood system, if the objective of w/c is recreation it will be managed under the selection system with long rotation. If the objective of w/d is fuelwood it will be managed under the selection system. (S.A. Khan)
The division of a forest into w/c has the objective of introducing organization on its mgt. a large coniferous forest in hills may have several spp with different silvicultural requirements or it may comprise sites with different productive capacities so it is necessary to divide the forest into various w/c.
In irrigated plantations there are several spp eg shisham, mulberry, poplar, etc. their silvicultural requirements rotations etc are different so it is necessary to divide them into various w/c in order to give some treatment (mgt) to the same kind of spp.
The IP of Changa Manga is divided into 3 w/c ie

  1. Shisham/ Mulberry w/c
  2. Poplar w/c
  • Recreational w/c

The allocation to w/c is best done by sub-compt or compt after they have been described and stock-mapped. It is not necessary for w/c to be compact.
Types/ Examples or Working Circle (w/c):

  • Selection w/c:
  • In Pakistan selection, w/c, are in Blue Pine and Fir-Spruce forests with good stocking. Good stocking means good growing stocks on easy slopes (the idea of old mgt) or even (in the modern sense) on up to 70-80% (> 10% = road construction and <50% mean no agriculture allowed). However if the forests are not connected with road construction and are too steep for the commercial type of forestry, the mgt will be intensive.
  • Improvement w/c:
  • They may be suited on easy slopes but they are understocked and can be managed for timber. But since these w/c are depleted so they need improvement (from grazing, illicit cutting, etc)
  • Plantation w/c:
  • These are the blank areas, or much-depleted forests which cannot be regenerated naturally or they are unable to regenerate themselves naturally. So in such w/c artificial plantations are raised.
  • Shelterwood w/c:

    This w/c, contain the trees which give shelter to the infantile seedlings ie the seedlings which are unable to sustain themselves independently. This w/c is chir-pine forests.

  • Recreation w/c:
  • This w/c includes the areas in which aesthetic plantains are raised.
  • Protection w/c:
  • The term protection w/c is used for the mgt activities in the areas where there are steep slopes all the time (> 80% or even up to 100%). These are not productive forests and are usu poorly stocked so they are managed for the protection of slopes only. (All other activities are usu accompanied by conservation of wildlife and water-shed etc.)
  • Commercial w/c:
  • Means the mgt of forests for the production of timber. This word should not be confused with selection or shelterwood w/c. all the three are the same.

Besides, the above there are also some other types of w/c as in Scrub forest, the coppice w/c and protection w/c. In coppice, w/c mgt is for the production of firewood through coppice. In IPs it is our weakness that shisham is put is just one working circle. Where water is more, should be one w/c and where water supply is less, should be put in another w/c.

Felling series (Cutting series):

An area of forest delimited/ encircled for mgt purposes and forming the whole or part of a w/c is called Felling Series.
There are two main objectives of felling series,

  1. Distribution of felling and regeneration which suit with local conditions.
  2. To maintain or create a suitable distribution of age classes.

Yield is calculated separately for each f.s. Felling series (f.s) within a w/c may be based on administrative requirements: to meet the needs of different markets, to ensure even and regular distribution of working among the staff, contractors, and laborers.
A working circle may be too large or too scattered over the working plan area. So the w/c is divided into two or more units which are not necessarily comparable in size, each unit being complete in it. These units are called felling series.
In IPs of Sind and Punjab, the subdivision of w/c into f/s takes on still greater urgency because plantation can be raised successfully through work schedule. This requires trained workers who must be kept employed every year near their home and close supervision of technically competent forest officers.
These requirements are met if the w/c is sub-divided into following series each of which is allotted t a different Range Forest Officer.

Cutting Section:

A sub-division of a felling serves formed with the objective of regulating felling in some special manner is called a Cutting Section.” Or;
It is the division of a felling series into various sections having a few age classes.
Why were felling Series divided not Cutting Sections?
Cutting Section - Forestrypedia
In the felling series the felling was carried out in such a manner that in the first yr, tree A was felled; in the second yr tree B was felled; in third yr tree C was felled, and so on up to tree Z which was felled in 100th year.
But in Europe, this method damaged the crop because when the area was felled in the first yr A insects appeared on the debris of the felled trees and those insects destroyed the nearby trees which were to be felled in the second yr and this damage of insects proceeded forward as the felling continued. Moreover, it was the character of the insects that they could not travel far. So to avoid this damage the felling series was divided into five cutting sections.
In the first yr felling was carried out is the second cutting section and so on. So two felling in the same cutting section was done at an interval of 5 yrs (because no of cutting section = 5). (S. A. Khan)
Cutting Section 1 - Forestrypedia

  • Cutting sections help to avoid large felled areas under the clear-cutting system, where annual coupes adjoin in a felling series, because that may encourage a buildup of insect pests.
  • It also helps to provide shelter from sun and avoid for young regeneration.

Periodic Block:

The part or parts of a forest allocated for regeneration or other treatment during a specified period is called periodic block.
This term has relevance in even-aged forestry, mainly with natural regeneration under the uniform system (or in Chir pine.)
Periodic blocks are used to convert the growing stock to a regulated condition in the period of rotation so that it is able to produce approximately equal annual yields in future years.
To allot compt and sub-compt to various PB, the length or rotation and regeneration period must be determined first. The reg period is arbitrarily divided as a sub-multiple of the rotation and also taking into account the silviculture of the spp, climatic, edaphic, and biotic factors of the locality. Eg the rotation age of chir is 100 yrs. It regenerates naturally but it takes 25 yrs. In other words, the reg period of chir is 25 yrs. Regeneration actually means germination plus establishment.

No of Period Blocks = Rotation / Reg period

For Chir; No of PBs = 100 / 25 = 4
The felling series is also divided into 4 parts. When rotation is divided into 4 parts, we get 4 age classes ie;

  1. 1yr to         25yr     (PB I)
  2. 26yr to         50yr     (PB II)
  3. 51yr to         75yr     (PB III)
  4. 76yr to         100yr   (PB IV)

The concept of PBs originated in an early nineteenth century in Germany.
Types of Periodic Blocks:
Depending upon the degree of flexibility PBs are of the following types.

  • Permanent PBs:
  • The PBs which are permanently demarcated on the ground and are not subjected to alterations are called permanent PBs.

These PBs are compact and equiproductive eg a felling series in Chir forest with the rotation of 100 yrs and reg period of 25 yrs, have the following PBs:
No of PBs                               Age Class (Yrs)
PB I                                             76 – 100
PB II                                             51 – 75
PB III                                           26 – 50
PB IV                                            1 – 25
If a forest is changed into this form, its mgt is greatly simplified because different types of Silvicultural operations would be confined to separate PBs.
But natural reg comes up where and when it is wanted and even in a plantation, though the establishment of the young crop can be assured; but there is no guarantee that it will reach maturity.
Permanent PBs have the following drawback:

  1. In permanent PBs system, there is always a sacrifice of quality or quantity of timber in the form of cutting the trees before they are mature or cutting them after they are mature.
  2. Due to the difference in SQ of a specified compt, it is not possible that it will give equiproductive area.
  3. Due to the above and certain other reasons the permanent PB system is discarded.
  • Revocable PBs:
  • To increase the flexibility of the PB system, revocable PBs have been introduced which are neither permanent nor compact but are equiproductive.

All each revision of the working plan, compartments, and sub-compartments are allotted to the various PBs according to the size of their growing stock. This also enables the use of a no of rotation age for different spp or for the same spp growing on several different site qualities because the crops on better sites attain exploitable size sooner than the planned rotation and those of inferior sites later. Revocable PBs also take up areas which need regeneration due to special factors eg insect attack, first, etc.

  • Sing PB or Floating PB:
  • This is a further stage in the effort to make PBs more flexible.

Since there are only two based categories of Silvicultural operation ie regeneration operations in PB I and tending operations in the rest of the area (II, III, IV) so the compt and sub-compt needing regeneration during the plan period are allotted to PB I and the rest of the compt are unallotted. This PB I is called a single periodic block.
Sometimes a PB II is also distinguished to accommodate compt which will be regenerated in the next working plan period. Since a fresh allotment of the area is made to PB I at each revision of the working plan so the reg block ‘means’ or ‘floats’ around the felling series and it is thus also called “Floating Period Blocks.”


This is the second type of organization. It is a line organization because all the personnel are sitting in a line proceeding descending ie

CCF -> CF -> DFO -> RFO -> BO -> FG

It is also called the pyramid type of organization because the Chief sits at the top and his subordinates down ie
Forest Organization - Forestrypedia
In fact, forestry is a provincial subject but there are still some high officials sitting at central or federal-local. This is vital for two things ie

  • The correlation b/w the forest dept of different provinces and also the correlation b/w the central command and different forest department.
  • To deal with foreign affairs regarding the forestry sector; to deal with a foreign delegation and all such things.

The supreme officer here is the Inspector General of Forests (of Pakistan) ie IGF.
The provincial govt have their Minister and the Secretaries. In all the provinces the Secretary of Forest Sector is the Secretary of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Forest (or maybe or tourism as well).
The system starts with Chief Conservator of the attached dept eg CCF, CCW, CC Fisheries, etc.
In NWFP, there are 2 CC, Punjab 3; in Balochistan, Sind and AJK 1. Northern areas have no Chief Conservator, they have Conservator only.
Under each Chief Conservator, there are 5-8 conservators and under each conservator, there are 3-6 r 4-6 DFO and each DFO has SDFOs (it is only in Punjab; in Sind, they have recently introduced) and each SDFO à The RFOs and then Block Officers and then Forest Guards.
The area given to a Forest Guard is called a Beat; in a beat, there are different Compartments. Several beats together constitute a Block which is under a Block Officer. Different blocks constitute a Range where an RFO is appointed. Then 4-6 ranges comprise a Division. If a range is too long it is declared as the SubDivision where SDFO are appointed. In this way, the job is territorial.
Now important is the job done by these personnel. Their jobs are divided into three categories.

The job at CCF level:

They make future policies that whether the forest should be managed under govt or private sectors, etc. Whether the mgt should be intensive or extensive.

The job at Conservator and DFO level:

They have tactics ie the policies devised can be implemented or not; it includes working plans as well.

The job at RFO level and Downward:

They are operational. They engage laborers and supervise the work being done.

For correction and improvements please use the comments section below.

Naeem Javid Muhammad Hassani is working as Conservator of Forests in Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department (BFWD). He is the CEO of Tech Urdu ( Forestrypedia (, All Pak Notifications (, Essayspedia, etc & their YouTube Channels). He is an Environmentalist, Blogger, YouTuber, Developer & Vlogger.

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