Buhindi Forest Plantation is within Buhindi Forest Reserve, originally gazetted in the early forties (1940’s) under Government General Notice No.316 of 1944 on map No. JB 76/6127 with 55,700 Acres (about 22,285 Ha).The reserve was regazetted in 1955 by Government General Notice No. 346 on Map No. JB 233 where 405 hectares were excised for settlement and cultivation. The forest reserve boundary is clearly demarcated in 1965 by beacons erected at different intervals along the cut line.
Buhindi Forest Reserve is also responsible for management of Maisome Island Forest Reserve which covers 12,050 Ha. The reserve was designated as a Forest Reserve in 1928. In 1967 the Forest department degazetted 4,000 acres (1,600 ha) from the reserve for settlement, farming and fishing activities. Though the area given had not received legal status as there is no any variation order to verify the degazettement. The current resurvey of the Reserve (December 2012), revealed that about 7,000 Acre (2,800 Ha) are exercised for settlement reducing the Forest Reserve area to 9,200 Ha.
Forest development of the Buhindi Forest Reserve started in 1961/62 when the first trial plots of Pinus caribaea, Pinus insularis, Pinus kesiya and Eucalyptus camadulensis were laid down at Bupandwa in order to test their performance. In 1964/65 field scale trials of about 4 Ha were laid at Bupandwa but half of P.caribaea trees planted were burnt. The idea of establishing a large scale softwood project was first initiated in 1967 after the data from research observation showed that P.caribaea would perform better at the locality. In 1968 the first plantation of 87.9 Ha were planted while in 1969 some 83.9 Ha were further established and 92.8 Ha were planted in 1970. Furthermore in 1971 some 355.7 Ha were also planted.
Planting continued until 1980 when a total of 3,210 Ha were covered. Thereafter planting stopped due to financial problems. Clear-felling started in 1993 and replanting (second rotation) started in 1997 and continued nonstop until to date. In 2009 planting in expansion area started with 279.434 Ha planted, since then, planting in new area continue and 977.18 Ha are already planted up 2012/2013.
1.2.2 Division of the Plantation
The plantation is divided into seven (7) Blocks, the blocks are mostly named based on the name of vicinity village or on the certain memorable occurred events back then.
i. Bupandwa Block
The Bupandwa block has a 24 compartments with a total area of 399.766Ha, most of the compartments are planted with Pinus cariabea, P.Kesiya and P.tecunumanii and a trial of Grevelia robusta planted in 2001 though the performance is very poor. All the compartments in this Block are in second rotation, with the oldest stand planted in 1997 and youngest planted in 2004.
ii. Nyashimba Block
The largest planted area so far, the block has a total of 40 compartments. Block occupy an area of 1025.28 Ha. There are several Pine species planted in the area, the most occurred species is P.caribaea 483.2 Ha (47%), other pine species in this block includes P. tecunumanii occupying 431.94 (42%) and P. kesiya occupying 110.14 Ha (11%).
iii. Bilulomo Block
Occupying about 684.208 Ha planted area. contain the mature compartments aged 33 and 34 and young compartments from replanting, replanting started in 2004 to date.
iv. Bulyahilu Block
Constitute about 671.516 Ha planted area. planting started in 2006 to 2009
v. Mtakuja Block
Planting in this Block started in 2009, to date 507.86 Ha already planted with P. kesiya occupying the largest portion (291.36 Ha ) and the rest constitute P. tecunumanii species. This is where the historical event of planting on an expansion area has started in 2009.
vi. Bulolo Block
Most recently established block, with only 302,3Ha already planted. Planting started in 2010 with P. kesiya (242.1 Ha) being the dominant species so far. Other species includes P. tecunumanii. The Block is among the area where the planting in expansion is exercised.
vii. Kabingo Block
The smallest in terms of area planted, only 2.2 Ha of Pines caribaea planted in 2008. There is a vast room for expansion.