During the British regime, there was no planned management of forests except the declaration of the then Lushai Hills as "Excluded Area" and the constitution of "Inner Line Reserve Forests" along the inter-district boundary of Cachar and Mizoram covering an area of 1317.8 Sq.Kms. vide the Assam Gazette dated 17.3.1877 is issued under section 2 of the Bengal Frontier regulation, 1873(V.of1873). Another notification was issued in 1933 on the inner line of the Lushai Hills District. Beyond this line, there was no interference on the control of inhabitants except Political influence. With enforcement of "Inner Line" regulation entry of outsiders into Lushai Hills without obtaining prior permission from the Deputy Commissioner was prohibited .This regulation certainly helped in the prevention of the Hill tribes from exploitation by outsider. The Forest and other natural resources were also saved from exploitation and thus regarded as a remarkable landmark Contribution by the British towards the protection and conservation of Forests.
On 25th April, 1952 under the Sixth Schedule to the constitution of India, the "Autonomous Mizo District Council" was inaugurated and management of all the unclassed forests, other than the inner line Reserved Forests was handed over to the District Council with the creation of Forest Department. The Chieftainship was also abolished subsequently on 29th April, 1954.
There was no proper management of Forests during the initial stage except the enactment of the following Acts under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India with regards to the Conservation and Regulation of the Forest and its produces, etc. in addition to the Assam Forests Regulation, 1891,appliable in the Inner Line Reserved Forests.
(1) The Pawi-Lakher Autonomous Region (Forest) Act, 1954.
(Applicable in the Pawi- Lakher Autonomous Region.)
(2) The Mizo District (Forest) Act, 1955.
(Applicable in Aizawl and Lunglei District).
The above Act made prescription on royalty rates to be levied for various Forests produces and also classified Forests in to various categories.
When the Union Territory was inaugurated on the 21th January, 1972 the region was divided into three Districts viz-Aizawl, Lunglei and Chhimtuipui. The chhimtuipui District consists of three autonomous Councils namely- Pawi, Lakher and Chakma, now named as Lai, Mara & Chakma.A State Forest Department was also established in the same Year and First Director of the Forests of the rank of conservator of Forests was appointed on 17.7.1972 as head of the Department. This post was upgraded to the rank of Chief Conservator of Forests on 29.12.1983. The Forests Department was renamed as Environment & Forests Department with the creation of the post of Principal Chief Conservator Forests on 10.12.1987 with opening of 3 (three) Forests circle, 10 (ten) Territorial Divisions and 6 (six) Functional Divisions.
The organization set up of the Department has been further expanded in the last decade and at present there are 4(Four) Forests circle, 11(eleven)Territorial Divisions, 6 (six) Functional Divisions, One Tiger Reserve and number of Ranges.