A History of Russian Forestry and its Leaders
Beginnings of Forest Science Russia
"...Without care, even the greatest forests will be lost before long..."
TSAR PETER I 1672-1725
The first attempts at forest conservation and scientifically based decision making began in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, during the lifetime of Tsar Peter I.
Peter the Great significantly strengthened the position of Russia on the White Sea, continuing the endeavors begun by Ivan IV (the Terrible) in the 16th century. Ivan IV began the construction of sawmills and shipyards in the Arkhangelsk and Vologda provinces.
The heightened demand for timber by shipyards and sawmills significantly increased logging along the seashore. In 1703, Peter I issued a directive for the preservation of forests along the Dvina River near the city of Arkhangelsk.2
The sharply increasing demand for large logs for shipbuilding, ferrous metallurgy and manufacturing, and the realization of timber shortages along rivers, resulted in the issuance of more than 200 decrees and directives by Peter I. Most of them dealt with preservation, selection and surveying of shipbuilding forests, logging and forest use. 3
Peter I declared that forests needed for shipbuilding would become the property of the state. The former owners of these forests lost their harvesting rights. In the Decree of 1703, Peter I ordered a survey of all forests located within 50 versts (1 versta = 3,500 feet) from major rivers and 20 versts of smaller riversi. Timber species acceptable for shipbuilding were found mainly in oak and pine forests, and these forests were designated as state reserves. 4 The cutting of maple, oak, elm, larch and pine with a diameter greater than 53 cm was forbidden without exceptionii. Penalties for cutting included fines, hard labor and death: "the penalty for each tree cut is ten rubles, and for the destruction of an oak sapling, hard labor."4
By the Decree of 1715 "... contractors and local residents are forbidden access to the forests used for shipbuilding or construction. These forests are not to be cut for firewood. Instead, spruce, aspen and alder and snags may be cut. If anyone is found to possess firewood from fine and millable timber instead of deadwood, that person must bear a fine or other penalty."4
The Decree of 1716 established a system of supervision for state forest reserves. Beginning in 1719, a forest guard was organized in state reserves and in 1722, the positions of waldmeister (forest master) and waldmeister assistants were introduced. 5
It is quite possible that Peter I became knowledgeable about forestry during his travels abroad. The forestry terminology used would indicate that the German school of forestry was considered authoritative at that time. The names of the forestry ranks: forstmeister (forester), waldmeister (forest ranger), oberwaldmeister (chief forest ranger) were adopted from German. In 1702, Peter I sent a manifesto throughout Europe, inviting various specialists to come to Russia. However, there is no evidence that German foresters came to Russia. 5
Peter I issued many decrees and directives dealing with forest organization and timber harvests. All of these were combined into a single code in the form of instructions for the oberwaldmeisters in 1723.4 This was the prototype of the first forest code in Russia. The instructions prescribed the division of the Ural mining forests into 25 or 30 annually rotated harvesting units (Article 21). It is interesting that this article was formulated in a country so rich with forests. Thus, nearly 300 years ago, Russia created the first official policy of sustainable forest use.
Article 21 demonstrated the vision of Peter the Great as a statesman.iii One, possible apocryphal, episode from the Tsar's life demonstrates how much he thought about the future. Peter I planted acorns along the road to Peterhof. When he noticed the smile of person standing nearby, he angrily said, "I know you think that I will not be alive to see these oaks mature. It is true. But you are a fool. I do it so that future generations will build ships from these trees. I do not labor for myself, but for the future of the country." 6
i The first forest surveys in Russia date to the middle of the 17th century, when Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich ordered a search for plants and trees that could be used for shipbuilding. One of the first maps called "The Large Drawing" also dates to that period (1627). Various local maps containing information about the forests and other resources were combined to create larger maps. The maps were constantly refined as more information became available.
IVAN TIKHONOVICH POSOSHKOV 1652-1726
The first known book in Russia to deal with problems of forestry, forestation, and forest conservation was the work of the Russian economist and publicist Ivan Tikhonovich Pososhkov, a contemporary and supporter of Peter I. The book was entitled The Book on Scarcity and Wealth. iv
In The Book on Scarcity and Wealth7 the author wrote about forest preservation, so that "trees good for construction should not be cut for firewood.... The young forests of the steppes should not be cut for firewood. Instead trees that have no use for construction should be cut. "
In his description of how to harvest timber, the author criticizes the irrational cutting of trees and the loss of timber during harvesting. He gives advice on allocating trees for harvest, the harvesting process, and grading logs and other topics.
To protect young forests from fire, he recommends plowing up 10-12 meters of grass around the forest unit. "In the steppes I have seen straw higher than a man that caused a total loss when fire struck. If it weren 't for the fires in the steppe, there would be tremendous forests." This idea is still important today, especially in the northern forest-steppe zone. I. T. Pososhkov was one of the first to explain the real causes for the dearth of forests in the southern regions of Russia as manmade - fires, grazing, clearing and cultivation of forest lands, etc.
His recommendations on forestation are original and still applicable today. He recommended that forestation be carried out by planting seeds, caring for the young trees by removing competing growth, and protecting the young forest from fire and grazing.
In the steppe areas, where there was a shortage of timber, Pososhkov recommended planting oak, maple, elm, birch, linden, aspen and hazel seeds, creating mixed forests that would be more easily sustainable and would provide timber over a longer period, since each species had its own rotation period. Forests created by planting "in the first year require removal of competing plants and protection from fire." He advised burning grasses around the forest "so that steppe fires in the spring will not reach the forest and destroy it." This recommendation can be viewed as the first attempt to use controlled burns to enhance forest growth and prevent forest fires. Pososhkov strongly promoted the cultivation of hazel trees, since hazel nuts enjoyed great demand in Russia and abroad. His book cites many examples of the inefficient use of shipbuilding timber.
The great Russian forester of the 20th century, I. S. Melekhov, correctly stated that, "the work of I. T. Pososhkov has great significance for the history of Russian forest science and is convincing evidence of the independence of our national forestry." 2
iv The Book on Scarcity and Wealth was written in 1724, but published in 1842. It is noteworthy, that in the 18th century, this book was distributed in manuscript form, and Lomonosov ordered that a copy of the book be made for the Russian Academy of Sciences. This book appeared 44 years before the well-known book by Adam Smith On the Wealth of Nations and 35 years before Moser's book The Principles of Forest Economy. (Arnold. F. K. 1895. The History of Forestry in Russia, France and Germany. St. Petersburg. 404 pp.)
MIKHAIL VASILIYEVICH LOMONOSOV 1711-1765
Mikhail Vasiliyevich Lomonosov occupies a special place among the greats of Russian science. 8
Mikhail Vasiliyevich Lomonosov was born in the town of Kholmogory in Arkhangelsk Province to the family of a fisherman. Although he learned to read and write only as a teenager, he became the leading scientist of his time. Lomonosov laid the foundation for Russian science, was a natural scientist of world-renown, and founded Moscow State University in 1755. He was a poet and created the principles of the modern Russian language. He was also an artist and historian.
Lomonosov wrote numerous works, including many on forestry that predated similar work done in the West by decades.
The long list of his works includes a treatise On Forests which he included in his memorandum entitled Opinion on the Creation of a State Collegium. 9
In his work entitled The Earth's Layers which he included as a second appendix to his work on metallurgy, he noted that coniferous and deciduous species play different roles in the process of soil creation in the forests of the taiga. He pointed out that pine forests have poorer, sandy soil while the soil in birch forests is rich. "In forests that are always green and where the trees do not drop their leaves, the soil is generally sandy, as in our pine and fir forests. However, in birch and other forests where the leaves fall in autumn, black soils dominate. We know that leaves on the ground decompose and turn into fertilizer, so it is not surprising that black earth covers the sand, clay and other soils .... Pine, spruce, and other coniferous trees lose their needles in small quantities that do not compare with the amount of leaves lost by deciduous trees." 10
Lomonosov emphasized that a mixture of deciduous species would promote the growth of spruce trees. "When black earth is present in a spruce forest it is because of the close presence of other tree species." 10 Forest scientists began to discuss this only in the 19th century and proved it experimentally in the 20th century.
Lomonosov was interested in the issues of forest preservation and rational forest use. In one of his works he wrote, "Without doubt, there is much peat in Russia . ...We have meadows, swamps, bogs and moss covered deadwood no worse than in Holland.... This question must be addressed in more detail in a special work on forest preservation, since in many places coal can be used instead of firewood".11 Taking note of the shortage of timber in England, he wrote that, "In many European countries, particularly in England, instead of firewood people use coal, mining it with great toil".10
Addressing the issue of economic loss from forest fires, Lomonosov wrote, "Creating great destruction, forest fires expose the earth and causes great loss to man in both timber and animals." 10 He stressed that the impact of forest fires on the environment cannot be compared with the heat from the earth's core. The concept of the geological role of forest fires was developed only in the middle of the 20th century when scientific research on swamps clarified the impact of forest fires on permafrost in the northern regions of Siberia. These issues are of great significance even today.
M. V. Lomonosov was the first to provide a definition for tundra: "Tundra are places covered with moss, exclusive of swamps and forests, which cover large areas along the shores of the North (Arctic) Ocean. "10
The works of Lomonosov contain interesting ideas about nontimber forest products. For example, he discovered the antiscurvy properties of cloudberries and even pine. He recommended preparing pine vodka and using pine cones. 11 "Today, coniferous vitamin additives, rich in vitamin C, are used to enrich cattle feed in Russia.
The beginning of forestry education in Russia can also be attributed to Lomonosov. The archives of the Academy of Sciences contain notes from a meeting of May 4, 1752 about the detailed presentation of M.B. Lomonosov and geographer S. P. Krasheninnikovv on the curriculum of a forestry science course, required for the training of Russian foresters.
The forestry ideas of Lomonosov preceded by nearly a half-century the work of famous German foresters like Gartig, Kotta, Pfeil, and others. 12
v Stepan Petrovich Krasheninnikov (1711-1755) was a Russian traveler, explorer of Kamchatka, and academician (1750). He participated in the second Kamchatka expedition (1733-1743), and compiled the first Description of the Lands of Kamchatka.
PETER IVANOVICH RYCHKOV 1712-1777
Peter Ivanovich Rychkov, a contemporary of M. V. Lomonosov, is known as an economist, historian, and the first corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. He was the author of works on archeology, ethnography and the history of the Volga, Ural and Caspian regions.
P. I. Rychkov was born to a merchant's family in the city of Vologda. 13 Peter was the only son, since all other children in the family died at an early age. His father, Ivan Ivanovich Rychkov, was a grain merchant. In 1720, he went bankrupt and moved to Moscow.
In spite of financial difficulties, Rychkov's father did everything possible to educate his son. Before Peter was eight, he could read and write. In Moscow, Peter learned German and Dutch, arithmetic, and bookkeeping. His education helped him to become the manager of the state glass factories in Yamburg (near St. Petersburg) when he turned eighteen.
In 1734, P. I. Rychkov joined the Orenburg expedition, which conducted a systematic study of the Orenburg region. The publication of Rychkov's works on the geography, history and economy of the region enabled him to become a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences at the beginning of 1759. vi
Rychkov left the expedition in 1760, and in 1762, he published his major work The Topography of the Orenburg Region. This work presents the results of Rychkov's 30-year investigation of the nature, population and economy of this vast region, which had never previously been described in literature.
In this work, P. I. Rychkov, among other things, wrote about forest conservation, the necessity of establishing order in forestry, the economic use of forests, and methods of artificial reforestation. He was motivated by the fact that even then, during the first stages of the settling of the outer Volga region, there was a shortage of timber for both construction and firewood.
In 1765, Rychkov became a member of the Free Economic Society. He was a contributing author to the Works of the Society for a number of years. In 1767, the Works of the Society published his writing devoted solely to forestry, called Preservation and Reproduction of the Forests. 14 Unfortunately, for some strange reason, this article was forgotten, vii even though it was one of the first articles written about forestry in the steppes and contained much original material.
The article addresses a broad range of topics: description of tree species, evaluation of the role of uncontrolled steppe fires, problems offorestation in the steppe, forest management, forest economics, and others. In this work, Rychkov introduced the principles of timber commodities in Russian literature for the first time.
At the beginning of the article, Rychkov emphasizes the tremendously important role of the forest in people's lives, "The forest is so important to human life that it hardly requires explanation. It is obvious that our lives would be fraught with great difficulties and disastrous consequences in the absence of the forest."
Noting that the first measures to protect the forests were introduced by Peter I, he wrote that these measures did not go far enough. Therefore, he raised the question of the necessity of "advanced planning of ways and means to preserve and increase such an important thing to humankind." Among these methods, he believed that one of the most important was "the scientific study of each tree species to determine how it can be completely used, for more than just timber, to enhance our lives. To study how each tree grows and how it can be reproduced; what causes disease and death and how these can be prevented?" 14
The article attempts to answer these and a host of other questions. The author also provided detailed descriptions of the most important tree species (oak, pine, fir, linden, birch, elm, aspen, black poplar, etc.), that included, in addition to the ecology and reproductive characteristics, descriptions of wood quality and its commercial use.
This is how, for example, he described the oak, "The oak tree, in all fairness, is the best tree in our empire when one considers its hardness, height and diameter. The best and biggest trees can be used for shipbuilding, for shafts for heavy machinery, for poles and supports, and artillery carriages. These trees are also good for various types of carpentry that require bending, such as sleigh runners, carriage wheels, and barrels. Small or crooked oak trees can be used for firewood or coal. Reproduction is through nuts called acorns, which are good pig food. Destruction of oak results most often from unwise logging or fire, especially when the trees are small." 14
Describing poplar and willow, Rychkov pointed out their high shoot-forming capacity. "These trees are suitable above all others for reproduction; a branch stuck into a moist depression in the earth without any roots, at the right time, will produce many large trees."
Rychkov was the first to describe uncontrolled steppe fires and their destructive impact on forests, especially young forests. He wrote about the causes of uncontrolled steppe fires and their characteristics. "It is the ancient custom of peasants during the dry autumn weather and, even more often, during the spring after the snow melts, to burn the straw and hay remaining in the fields ...Most wait for a calm day to start the burning, but not everyone is careful. Moreover, a wind usually rises in the wake of the large fire and grows in the dry grass until it blows so hard that even a galloping horseman can not escape it; on the steppe there is no salvation except to jump through the fire and leave it behind. The heat and flame rise nearly two meters and form a wall nearly as wide that may stretch for several versts (miles) and burn everything within its reach. During such fires entire villages, huge forests, and even people may be consumed. " 14 viii
Rychkov opposed steppe burning as a tool to improve grazing and believed that "other means must be examined to improve the soil."
The article concludes with recommendations on silvicul-tural methods such as clearing deadwood, cutting old trees close to the roots, etc. He also made proposals for the efficient use of timber and its replacement with other materials in manufacturing products.
Rychkov's article was the first work in the Russian language dedicated to forestry in the steppe regions.
P. I. Rychkov raised the issue of artificial forestation in an article that would seem to be far removed from the realm of forestry. He wrote Instructions for Estate Managers, for a competition sponsored by the Free Economic Society. In it he wrote: "Managers in those areas where there is a dearth of forest, can easily replant trees by sticking cuttings into the ground. It is a well-known fact that even without roots, these cuttings will quickly take hold. In places where the soil is dry, sand or clay, the cuttings will need to be watered. Small children can do this task if the replanted area is not too far from water. It is best to do this work in the autumn, but it is also acceptable to do it in early spring when the snow has melted and the ground has thawed. It is best to prepare the cuttings at the end of winter. Other types of trees (where there are not people knowledgeable in starting plants from seed), can be brought from other areas; only the smallest trees should be used." 15
Rychkov received a gold medal from the Free Economic Society for this work.
Until the last days of his life, Rychkov tried to make a contribution. On March 14, 1777, he received the position and title of chief commander of the Ekaterinburg factories board. He lived 43 of his 65 years in the Orenburg region, however, duty overcame his desire to remain in one place. Rychkov moved to Ekaterinburg, where he died on October 15, 1777. Rychkov was buried at his hereditary estate Spasskoye (Our Savior) in the Orenburg region.
vi In order to attract a greater number of Russian scientists to participate in the work of the Academy of Sciences, Lomonosov proposed granting the honorable title of "Corresponding Member" and he named P. I. Rychkov as the first recipient of this title. On January 29, 1759 Rychkov was officially elected as a corresponding member of the Academy.
FERDINAND GABRIEL FOKEL ?-1753
Ferdinand Gabriel Fokel came to Russia in 1727 and worked honorably in Russia for 25 years. ix He traveled extensively in his work to the St. Petersburg, Olenet, Arkhangelsk, Novgorod, Vyborg, Kazan, and Nizheny provinces. He described the forests of these regions, compiled maps, located markers, selected mast trees to be put under the protection of the local authorities and mapped out routes for their transport, collected seeds, planted forests, and wrote memos and reports.
The Lindulovo deciduous shipbuilding forest grove, which Fokel planted between 1738 and 1750, remains today one of the great monuments to forestry endeavors in Russia.
In 1732, Fokel prepared and submitted two proposals entitled Methods for the Reproduction and Care of Oak Forests and Special Regulations for the Position of Forstmeister and Subordinates. Fokel also wrote a proposal that later became a special regulation in the form of the Charter On Planting and Producing Forests to Satisfy the Needs of Her Majesty's Navy.
In 1752, Fokel's manuscript, written in German and entitled Collection of Forest Science, was presented by the Admiralty to the Academy of Sciences for discussion. The protocol of the meeting at the Academy notes a different title: Forestry in Russia. Academicians M. V. Lomonosov and S. P. Krasheninnikov favorably received the manuscript. In spite of its apparent flaws, style problems, botanical disparities, x etc. Professor Krasheninnikov and Archivist Stafengalen reviewed the work favorably, noting "... the importance of his experiments and praiseworthy enterprise ..." and that, " ...such books do not exist today in the Russian language, but are very necessary." 16
The book was published in 1766 under the title Description of the Natural Condition of the Forests in the Northern Russian Lands with Various Notes and Instructions on Reproduction. 17
The book contains 29 chapters and 529 paragraphs. It is a textbook, practical manual, and guidebook. The book contains information about the 15 most common trees and 11 most common brush species. It addresses issues of plant geography, botany and physiology, forest ecology, wood science, forest plantations, forest seed production, forest protection, forest use, and others. It is interesting that of the 529 paragraphs, 123 are devoted to oak trees, 48 to pine, and 47 to larch. The book cites equally the experience of German, Swedish, and Finnish forest production and management.
In reality, this book was the first book on forestry in the Russian language. In spite of the fact that the book's author was German-born, xi it is based on a rich Russian experience in terms of both forestry and culture, including folk signs, terminology, and agricultural practices. It can, in truth, be considered a Russian national work on forestry. xii
"This book, which is so useful and necessary, concludes that science can be motivated toward a more precise study of forestry in Russia... "18
These words, written over 250 years ago, sound so appropriate today, "...The planting, reproduction and maintenance of the forests requires not only basic knowledge, but also vigilant care, superintendence and cultivation, if we want to get the desired results " xiii (paragraph 83, p. 79-80).
ix On the basis of a Senate Decree of 1726, three German foresters, Ferdinand Gabriel Poke!, Melchior Zeiger, and YaganFalentin, came to Russia in 1727. They were given very favorable contracts, good salaries, free firewood, servants and interpreters. The initial contracts were for four years with a two year extension if necessary. The foresters were to study and survey forests that could be used for shipbuilding. They were also charged with the protection and care of the forests equal to that in Germany, and each forester was required to train six students. The foresters fulfilled their contracts very honorably. Falentin returned to Germany in 1734 after 6 years. Zeiger died in Kazan in 1742, and Fokel continued to work in Russia until he died in 1753. (Fokel, F. G. 1996. Collection of Forest Science, ed. G. I. Redko. 2nd edition, Arkhangelsk. Part 1. 207pp. Illust.)
ANDREI ANDREYEVICH NARTOV 1737-1813
Andrei Andreyevich Nartov, xiv a major figure in the natural and social sciences and Academy of Sciences president (1801), was one of the founders of the Free Economic Society (1765), and served as its secretary (1765-1778 and 1787-1797) and its president (1797).
Nartov published a number of articles in the Works of the Free Economic Society. They include On Planting Forests. On Local Trees and Shrubs Appropriate for Garden Alleys and Trellise (translation of an article by Falk), On Decorative Trees. Shrubs and Grasses. On Gas from the Burning of Firewood. On Fertilizing the Earth with Burnt Lime, and On the Climate.
In his work On Planting Forests19 (T765). Nartov used three categories to describe topographical and soil growing conditions: dry-partite, marshy, and swampy. Using pine and fir as examples, every forest typological group is characterized by the quality of growth. Recommendations are given as to which types of forest to plant in which areas and which areas to avoid.
"Spruce and pine have such characteristics that a pine tree planted in a dry area, and a fir tree in a moist place, will produce a good and useful log in 100 years, but plant it in damp ground and it will hardly reach six feet in the same amount of time, it will likely be crooked and not useful for construction.
And although pine sometimes grows in moist places, the ground is usually rocky, hard and steep.
On the contrary, fir can not grow in hard and dry soil, where its roots, even if they penetrate deep into the earth, find no moisture..."
This was in essence the first Russian forestry work that addressed the biology of species and laid a foundation for forest typology.
The same article anticipates the work of Darwin on the survival of the fittest in the plant world, "The birch is not particular about soil, and will grow anywhere. It cannot grow, however, among resinous trees, for they will suppress it.
The birch can be planted in both autumn and spring, and it will grow best in burned areas. In the first year, it must be protected from livestock so the branchwood is not eaten. It can be planted in shallow furrows among the moss or right in the sod, since as it grows, it requires no further labor, except to check that it is not overgrown by surrounding trees for, if it is planted in the someplace as resinous trees, then more often than not it will be suppressed by the surrounding overgrowth.
All other trees consume and use grass growth, but the birch does not produce these like the pine and the fir, in order for their needles to decompose in the grass below."
These observations were published nearly 50 years before the birth of Charles Darwin and long before the pronouncements of Darwin's predecessor, the forester Patrick Mathew.
This work also made an important contribution to the theory of selective cutting of the forest. It describes forest production technology to regulate the density of timber stands using selective cutting in cultivating the timber for masts: "Whoever desires logs and mast trees, must allow them to grow to 24 feet and in depth and density, and when the proper density is reached, some trees must be cut, but care must be taken so that the snow lying on their branches did not damage or break the small trees."
This article can, for all practical purposes, be viewed as founding work on the development of bio-forest sciences.
xiv The father of A. A. Nartov was Andrei Konstantinovich Nartov (1693-1756), a Russian mechanic and inventor.
ANDREI TIMOFEYEVICH BOLOTOV 1738-1833
Andrei Timofeyevich Bolotov was a Russian natural scientist, writer, 20 and one of the founders of Russian agronomy. He was born in the village of Dvoryaninovo (not far from the town of Serpoukhov), Aleksin County, Tula Province to the family of a poor landowner. xv In 1754, A. T. Bolotov was sent, as a second lieutenant, to the theater of war in Prussia. It was there, that he made the acquaintance of governor-general N. A. Korf, who indirectly influenced Bolotov's passion for reading by supplying the officers with food at his own expense. At the beginning of 1762, Second Lieutenant Bolotov moved from Koenigsberg to St. Petersburg as Korf's aide-de-camp. Soon thereafter, Bolotov left the military. In the fall of 1762, Bolotov returned to his village of Dvoryaninovo and took up farming.
In January 1766, when he was in Moscow, Bolotov by chance, bought a book entitled Works of the Free Economic Society. 1776. Part 1. Its questionnaire of 65 questions particularly interested him. The book addressed many problems of everyday life. Bolotov soon became a member of the society. He became a good friend of the society's scholar secretary A. A. Nartov.
Bolotov's wide circle of interests led him to the publication of his own journal. His search for a publisher brought him to the presses of Moscow University, which were being leased by the German Ridiger. Together with Ridiger, Bolotov published two books of the journal Country Resident. And what books they were! In the first book alone Bolotov published articles, each of which contained information about unique discoveries in biology, such as Improving Meadows. The Low Success of Grafting Sweet Apple Trees, and Cultivating Apple Buds.
Later, fate brought Bolotov together with a leading Russian figure of the 18th century, Nikolai Ivanovich Novikov. xvi Together they produced 40 articles for the Economic Magazine a journal that was published from 1780-1789. Publication ended in 1789, when Novikov questioned the policies of Catherine II after the Pugachev rebellion, and was imprisoned in the Peter and Paul (Schliesselburg) Fortress.
An agricultural society was organized in Moscow in 1819. In spite of his advanced age, Bolotov actively participated in the work of the society's journal, where he published 12 articles between 1822-1830.
Bolotov died quietly in his office on October 5, 1833. His life of 95 years spanned the reigns of eight rulers - from Empress Anna to Nikolai I. He was buried on the date of his birth, October 7, in the Rusyatino cemetery, not far from Dvoryaninovo.
Bolotov's great love was agriculture, especially horticulture and fruit growing. Nonetheless, he published a large number of works on forestry, including On Cutting. Restoring and Cultivating Forests21 and a cycle of works entitled On Forests and their Establishment. 22 During the period 1766-1788, he published over 50 articles on forestry. He was the first to propose measures to combat soil erosion, 23 methods for planting oak acorns, and several important scientific principles of forest reproduction, conservation and use.
His work on Cutting. Restoring and Cultivating Forests has immense theoretical and practical significance. It examines questions of forest economy, forest management, thinning stands, logging, forest reproduction, mixing species, tree nurseries, etc. The main goal of the work is to demonstrate the importance of the forest in man's life.
"Of all the different aspects of rural home building, none is in such poor condition as the cultivating, care, cutting and maintenance of the forests... but the forests in their necessity and usefulness for house-building and other needs of society are no less important than agriculture..."
In Bolotov's opinion, the main reason for the "scarcity in the forests " could be found in the absence of appropriate care for the forests, which were, he believed, a public trust. Since most of the forests at the time were not yet the property of landowners, the serious damage caused to them was the fault of merciless and unjustifiable logging.
"Where nature has produced a forest and it is, unfortunately, held in common, it is cut with no remorse, with need or without need, as if to hurry and cut everything so that not a stick or shrub is left .... Everyone looks at his neighbor, and even though he doesn 't need the wood, he cuts it anyway so that, at least, his neighbor doesn't grab the best; and so, everyone takes the best trees and tries to get as much as he can."
Bolotov believed that another reason for the poor condition of the forests was a lack of knowledge of the basic scientific principles of forestry and a lack of desire to employ new methods of forest organization. "The forests' greatest supporters are in some ways guilty for not creating better institutions for dealing with them. They deal with the forests as if they do not belong to the agrarian economy, are not an important part thereof. They have only adopted the habits of their predecessors and do not give a thought to introducing new methods to deal with today's problems, like the deforestation that spreads wider by the hour."
Bolotov tied the rapid reduction of the forests, especially in the central part of Russia, with the growth of the number of factories requiring a large quantity of fuel. Understanding that industry would continue to develop, Bolotov promoted artificial forest reproduction. He expressed this opinion in his works On Bringing the Forests to Prime Condition or Restoring Them and On Establishing New Forests.
He encouraged landowners not to fear expenditures on forest renewal, proving to them that these expenses would be recouped because the artificial forest would, on a smaller territory, produce more timber of higher quality. In addition, he recommended that, "...all land not amenable to cultivation be used to plant trees, for example steep slopes, hills, sandy areas, and other places that can not plowed or used for pasture or hay."
One of the phrases written by A. T. Bolotov in the middle of the 18th century answers the question regarding the source of the concept and theory of sustainable forest use: "The ax can do great harm to the forest, but it can also be quite useful. The forest cannot survive in good condition for long with the uncontrolled cutting that predominates almost everywhere; it will soon be gone. But if cutting is done with care and according to an established order, the forest will never disappear and will also remain in good condition. This order is, in reality, the most important condition for all forests, for this is the only way to keep the forest in balance and to prevent its destruction. I have found two things which apply to the cutting of all forests, whatever their condition, two important rules that must considered and observed. Firstly, the forest must not be cut at random, but according to the nature of the forest. Secondly, the number of trees cut must be determined not by need or desire, but by the magnitude of the forest..."
Bolotov formulated the theory of harvest rotation with such simplicity and clarity, that it is applied, with very few changes, still today, 230 years later. "The forest must be divided into many equal parts, and of them one part is cut each year, making sure that when the last part is cut, the first part is again ready for harvesting." He recommended a 20-year cutting cycle for deciduous trees to be used for firewood and a 40-year cycle for trees to be used for construction. Coniferous forests required "at least an 80-year cutting rotation."
Recognizing the difficulty of sowing the fine tender seeds of many deciduous tree species, Bolotov was the first to propose forest nurseries. "Considering all the difficulties, it is best to establish a forest using ready seedlings that have been grown in a specially prepared place where the difficulties can be overcome. Another advantage is that the land where the seedlings are to be planted can continue to be used to grow grain until the seedlings are ready for planting." Bolotov established the amount of cultivation time required for various hardwood species in the nursery as: 2-3 years for ash, 3-4 years for oak, and 8-10 years for maple. In addition, he also described in detail the morphology and biology of hardwood seeds and methods for their preparation and storage.
Many of Bolotov suggestions are still applicable today. The editor of the Critical Biographical Dictionary of Russian Writers and Scientists. S. A. Vengerov, wrote that A. T. Bolotov "can be called the most prolific Russian writer.... The number of works written and translated by Bolotov totals, according to our calculations, 350 volumes of normal size. "24
xv The father of A. T. Bolotov was Timofei Petrovich Bolotov, a member of the gentry who spent his entire life in military service. A. T. Bolotov was left an orphan at age fourteen, and was raised by his uncle, a retired military engineer. xvi N. I. Novikov (1744-1818) was a Russian educator, writer, journalist and publisher. He established print shops, libraries, and schools in Moscow and bookstores in sixteen cities. He published books in all fields of study. He joined the Masons in 1770. He was imprisoned in Schiesselburg Fortress at the order of Catherine the Great from 1792-1796.
YEVDOKIM FILIPPOVICH ZYABLOVSKI 1763(65)-1846
Yevdokim Filippovich Zyablovski25 was born in the village of Zyablovka, Sevski County, Orlov Province.
Ye. F. Zyablovski did not have any special training in forestry. His work Basic Principles of Forestry was written when he was a teacher at the College for Ship Architecture. The book was published in 1804,13 years before the course "Principles of Forestry" was created by the German forester Heinrich Cotta (1817). xvii The two works are similar not only in title, but also in content.
Zyablovski's textbook is highly valued for its scientific originality, uniqueness, deep theoretical analysis of forest phenomena, and for the practicality and applicability of its proposed system of efficient methods addressing all aspects of forestry, including forest use, forest protection, reforestation (forest reproduction), forest marketing and many other. Zyablovski was one of the first to define forestry and its goals and tasks. Forestry, according to the author, "is the knowledge of producing, conserving and using the forest for various means at a given time. The object, or goals and tasks, of forestry are the satisfactory use of the forest so that no deficiency is experienced."
Zyablovski believed that the forest should have only one master, who would carry out a systematic program in the forest, from seeding to harvesting and the realization of ready products based on the principle of sustainable forest use.
The main goals of forestry are to grow and to use the forest for 1) firewood and coal; 2) cabinetry and woodworking; 3) house construction; and 4) shipbuilding. In each case a different concrete and specific program is applied.
Zyablovski recommended that reforestation (reproduction) be carried out by planting seeds and, therefore, he recommended that special attention be devoted to the quality of the seed.
According to the author, the time for planting seed should be in the autumn, as in nature, when the seeds mature and fall. Consideration should also be given to the biological characteristics of the tree species and the peculiarities of its seeds.
The author recommended a differentiated approach to soil preparation before planting the forest, taking into account the growth requirements of the trees (type of forest). Swampy areas should first be drained, by cutting deep furrows. In areas where mature trees have just been cut, seeds can be planted without any preliminary preparation of the soil. Methods of planting seed vary, but, according to the author, the essence of planting can be summarized as follows: "...the seeds of almost any tree require only that they are not sown among the grass or leaves. They must be able to touch the bare earth, even if they are to only to lie on the surface".
Zyablovski was one of the first people to use and recommend the use of a covering of grassy and agricultural plants to protect the forest tree seedlings. He also recommended shading the forest tree seedlings by constructing a shade canopy using the branches ofdeciduous trees. He recommended forest reproduction through planting seed in areas with sufficient quantities of forest, but in areas with sparse forests he recommended planting seedlings. He also developed detailed recommendations for growing seedlings in seedbeds and transplants in a nursery setting, according to the following plan: 1.5 x 1.5 meters of space for each coniferous tree and 2.1 x 2.1 meters of space for deciduous species. These measurements guaranteed that the resulting timber would be straight. He also recommended methods of forest reproduction using cuttings.
Zyablovski recommended that selective cutting of the forest take into consideration the end use of the timber. In addition, he was one of the first to give selective cutting a scientific basis, built on the biological law of survival in the organic world and the ability of forest crops to naturally thin, regulate, form, and improve themselves. In this regard he wrote, "When large clearcut areas are densely reforested, either naturally or by design, it is practically unnecessary to thin the trees. The species itself will not tolerate a surplus and will correct itself. From the great number of growing trees a large part of the plants are thinned and will, by themselves, little by little be choked out and die. By the way, if the forest fails to do this, it can be thinned and the small trees used for firewood and the remaining forest will receive the necessary freedom it needs to grow." He continued further, "...when the branches grow thickly together you have to thin the trees until their number is reduced to the point that the remaining trees achieve their best growth. ...It is even more useful to maintain the distance between the trees by cutting the trees that are diseased or damaged and cannot be used in the future, but only hinder the growth of the healthy trees."
Zyablovski scientifically established the theory ofsustain-able forest use. He recommended final cutting selections be made with consideration for species composition and the end product of the stand. In this regard, Zyablovski defined the ages of the final cutting as follows: 25 years for firewood, 70 years for construction lumber, and 100-120 years for shipbuilding timber.
In addition, he recommended that, in some areas clearcuts should be used instead of selective cutting. In this regard, he wrote, "To conserve the trees and avoid a shortage to meet needs, it is necessary to use clearcuts. This means that the forest must be appropriately divided into several stands in accordance with its intended use."
In the world's first textbook on forestry, E. F. Zyablovski gave fairly complete and scientifically grounded recommendations on forest typology, the bioforestry characteristics of timber species and their complete use, such as medicinal use, and many other forestry issues.
Zyablovski later became a professor of geography at St. Petersburg University and left a number of valuable scientific works, including several of special significance, including: General Description of the Earth. Geography of the Russian Empire, and Russian Statistics.
E. F. Zyablovski died on March 30, 1846 in St. Petersburg.
xvii Cotta's book was the first foreign textbook published in the Russian language. It was translated by D. Yazykov in 1835 and played a significant role in popularization of forestry science. This book was an encyclopedia of forestry science because it covered not only the principles of forestry, but also forest regulation, surveying, and forest biochemistry. (Melekhov, I.S., 1957)
VIKTOR SEMYONOVICH SEMYONOV 1809-1872
Viktor Semyonovich Semyonov26 graduated from the Forest Institutexviii in 1828 and continued his education in Germany. He worked as a forestry scientist in the Department of State Properties, xix gave lectures at the Forest Institute in St. Petersburg, and was the first chairman of the Russian Society of Foresters. It is noteworthy that he was the first general of the Forest Corps with a higher education, having received the rank of major general in 1857.
Semyonov's scope of interests was extremely wide. He gave lectures on forest conservation, entomology, ornithology, zoology, wildlife, forest surveying, and regulation. Between 1835 and 1846 he published 68 articles in the Forestry Journal. These articles focused on problems of soil conservation, botany and plant physiology (4), forest geography and statistics (10), forest management and legislation (1), reforestation and forest reproduction (7), forest protection and forest entomology (18), forest surveying and organization (19), forest use (4), wildlife management (1), and critical reviews of other books (4).
In 1843, the Ministry of State Property gave Semyonov the assignment of compiling two instruction manuals for the officers of the Forest Corps: Forest Protection and Forest Surveys. For this work he received a reward of 400 rubles. Later in 1846, these books were included in the second part of the Memorandum Book for the Ranks of the Provincial Forestry Administration.
The textbook Forest Protection, written in the form of an instruction manual, briefly presented the factors that negatively affect trees and the means to protect the forest. The manual covers practically all aspects of forest conservation and protection: protecting trees from frost, drought, snow, hoarfrost, ice storms, wind storms; protecting the forest from flooding, sand and wind erosion by planting trees and shrubs. It also addresses fire protection, the elimination of undesirable plants, protecting the forest from animals (deer, rabbits and mice), birds and insects, and acceptable grazing practices.
Forest Mensuration27 was the first manual on surveying and organization for state forests. The work describes forest survey methods and methods for the large-scale estimation of harvest yields for a rotation schedule of an entire forest. The work also deals with such topics as surveying and designating of forest stands, creating management plans, calculating the supply and growth of timber, selecting stands for cutting and compiling estimates, organizing forests for low-growing trees and trees of varying heights, compiling forest survey information, reviewing forest husbandry plans.
The textbook uses the term block instead of plot for the first time. Blocks are defined as 50, 100 or a maximum of 200 desyatins (1 desyatin = 2.7 acres). The book recommends that each block be divided into units, each of which should be surveyed. The chapter on compiling forestry management plans proposes that a business plan be included in the over all plan. The main requirement in choosing the harvest rotation should be the maximization of the quantity of wood products for which there is the greatest demand, with consideration for some fluctuation and corrections. Maximized harvest rotations are given, xx with the notation that severe climatic conditions will increase the rotation period. All rotations are divided into 20-year periods. Thus, the rotation table consists of age classes of 20 years each. xxi
Semyonov was one of the founders of the Forest Society xxii in Russia and its first chairman. In December of 1872. Semyonov fell ill with typhus and he died on December 29. The Forest Society honored the memory of V.S. Semyonov by creating a scholarship in his name at the St. Petersburg Forest Institute.
xviii Now the St. Petersburg Forestry Academy, one of the oldest higher educational institutes for forestry in Europe, founded in 1803. For more information, see Teplyakov, Victor K., 1994, Forestry Education in Russia in Forestry Chronicle, November-December, No. 70/6. pp. 700-703.
ANDREY NIKOLAYEVICH BEKETOV 1825-1902
Andrey Nikolayevich Beketov was the father of Russian and world botany and the creator of plant geography and experimental morphology. He was one of the creators of the theory of evolution of the organic world. In the early 1870's, K. A. Timiryazev wrote the following about Beketov's scientific work, "His text for university students was unique in European literature and was 50 years ahead of its time in its basic scientific principles."
Andrey Beketov was born on December 8, 1825 in the village of Apferevka in the Penza Province to an impoverished gentry family. xxiii In 1841, he graduated from the natural sciences department of the College of Physics and Mathematics at Kazan University. In 1858, he defended his doctoral dissertation at Moscow University on the topic The Morphological Relationships of Leaves and Stems.
In the same year, in his classical work Harmony in Nature Beketov laid the scientific foundation for the theory of evolution in the organic world. His work paralleled but was independent of the work by Charles Darwin. The groundwork for the development of the theory had already appeared in the classic works of A. T. Bolotov (1766), Ye. F. Zyablovsky (1804), and other Russian scientists.
In 1859, Beketov received a professorship at the University of Kharkov, and in 1861 he moved to the St. Petersburg University as the chairman of the botany department. In addition, he served as dean of the College of Physics and Mathematics from 1867-1876 and the director of the university from 1876-1883. During this time he worked in close collaboration with I. M. Semyonov, I. I. Mechnikov, D. M. Mendeleyev, K. A. Timiryazev, V. V. Dokuchayev and other leading natural scientists.
In 1862 (Vol. 1) and 1871 (Vol. 2), Beketov published his classic scientific work Botany Course, which was the world's first and best textbook on botany. Thanks to this work, Beketov is called the father of Russian (and world) botany. He was also the first in the world to write and publish a textbook on plant geography (The Geography of Plants. 1896).
Beketov was one of the great organizers of scientific research and educational institutions. He was one of the organizers and directors of The Free Economic Society of Russia (1865), its secretary from 1881-1891, and its president from 1891-1897. He was also one of the founders and director of the Bestuzhev courses for women (1878-1889) and the Society for Natural Experimentation at the St. Petersburg University (1868-1897). Beketov initiated, and directly participated, in the organization and implementation of an ambitious program for systematic soil studies. This program was directed by V. V. Dokuchayev and was unique in the world.
In his work Harmony in Nature Beketov presented scien-tifically grounded principles for the theory of evolutionary development in the organic (plant) world. These principles included the form altering influence of environmental conditions on an organism, adaptation of an organism caused by environmental changes, human activity as a new and effective factor in the evolution of the organic world, and the absence of scientific substantiation for the theological explanation of the balance of nature.
Harmony in nature, according to Beketov, is a manifestation of historic necessity, and its essence lies in the interdependence and interconnection between all material parts and phenomena in nature. Beketov stated that living beings are one of the highest developmental forms of matter and are subject to the general laws of nature. Matter can take on an infinite variety of forms, but in no way can it escape the influence of external conditions; the structure, external appearance and essence of every being are determined by environmental conditions.
As a supporter and propagandist of the ideas of Charles Darwin, even before the appearance of The Origin of the Species. Beketov expressed the idea of the influence of external factors and the struggle for survival on the evolution of organisms.
Beketov was the first to conduct practical studies with students using live and dried plants. He was also the discoverer of the role of light in the life cycle of plants. In 1895, he was elected an academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences.
Beketov was the first to study the problem of forest repro duction in the tundra. He was intrigued by the effect of climate on the growth rate of pine and spruce. His research on flora and geo-botany led him to investigate the distribution of timber species and the reasons for the deforestation of the steppes. He suggested that the spread of the steppes resulted mainly from climatic changes and pre-historical factors.
In 1897, Beketov became paralyzed and for five years was unable to walk, speak, or care for himself. Beketov died in July 1902, leaving to his successors a great body of scientific research - the significance of which increased with time. Unfortunately, the classic works of A. N. Beketov, as well as those of A. T. Bolotov, and other great Russian natural scientists, remain relatively unknown (or completely unknown) not only to the public in general, but even to professionals and scholars in the field.
xxiii His brother, Nikolai Nikolayevich Beketov (1827-1901) was the founder of the Russian school of physio-chemistry and an academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1886).
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16. 1996. Review of Professor Stepan Krasheninnikov and Archivist Stafengalen in: F. G. Fokel, Collection of Forests Science. St. Petersburg, Arkhanglesk, Northwest Publishers. Part I, p. 201-202.
17. 1766. The complete title of the book is: Description of the Natural Condition of Forests in the Northern Russian Lands With Various Notes and Instructions on Reproduction. Written in German by Forstmeister Fokel; translated into Russian and published by the State Admiralty Collegium, St. Petersburg, Naval Gentry Cadet Corps.
18. From an anonymous foreword to Fokel's book. Source cited, p. 61-62.
19. Nartov, A. A. 1765. On Planting Forests in the Predominately Deforested Provinces of Russia, in Particular Pine, Spruce and Birch as the Most Useful and Necessary in Society in: Works of the Free Economic Society of the Russian Academy of Science. St. Petersburg.
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26. Nesterov, V. G. 1950. P. G. Chardymov and Viktor Semyonovich Semyonov in: Outstanding Figures of National Forestry, 2nd edition. Moscow, Goslesbumizdat, Part II. p. 17-21.
27. 1843. Forest Surveys Manual for Officers of the Forestry Corps. Compiled by Colonel V. Semyonov for the Ministry of State Property. St. Petersburg. IV, XX. 139 pp.