'Dominion over palm and pine': the British Empire forestry conferences, 1920-1947

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During the first half of the twentieth century British imperialists invested ardent hopes in the emergence of a self-sufficient, competitive Empire. World War 1 focused some of those aspirations on the progressive management of forest resources, and in 1920 the UK launched a series of British Empire Forestry Conferences in pursuit of that aim. An uneven, intermittent exchange attempted to address the complexities of imperfectly understood cultural, economic, environmental, political, scientific, social and technical change, the pressure of extra-imperial influences, and the independent trajectories of ambitious settler Dominions. The Depression and World War 2 also entered the dynamic, severely testing the foresters' achievements and their resolve. From today's perspective the main products are a small window on the antecedents of modern forestry and the nucleus of a promising archive for interdisciplinary teaching and research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-877
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Historical Geography
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2007


  • British Empire
  • Conferences
  • Conservation
  • Forestry
  • Resources

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