Scientific cooperation was created in revolutionary 1917-1918 years. In 1917 it became obvious that the reforms of different scientific fields were needed. In the summer of 1917 Temporary Government created Agricultural Scientific Collegial Committee whose members were the leading scientists from different branches of agricultural science. The first chairman of this committee – a prototype of the future Academy of Agricultural Sciences – was an academician V.I. Vernadsky.
There were several departments in Agricultural Scientific Committee, one of which was a Forestry Department. His first director was M.E. Tkachenko. Later Agricultural Scientific Committee was transformed into State Institute of Experimental Agronomy (GIOA). His first director was academician N.I. Vavilov. Forest Department as part of GIOA kept working under the guidance of the professor M.E. Tkachenko till 1926. In fact Forest Department of GIOA became the first part of our university and professor Tkachenko was its first director.
In work in Forest Department of GIOA worked the specialists of some cathedras of Petrograd (Saint Petersburg) Forest Institute. At the same time internal structure of Forest Department was created. The following compartments appeared: silvicultural, forest taxation, forest economy, physiology and ecology of tree species, dendrology and fitisociology, forest meteorology, forest hydrology, entomology, hunting management, forest technology.
In the period from 1918 till 1926 in the Forest Department in different positions worked such coryphaeus of forest science as M.E. Tkachenko, N.V. Tretyakov, V.A. Faas, V.N. Sukachev, V.N. Obolensky, S.J. Yakovlev, M.N. Rimsky-Korsakov, G.G. Doppelmayer, V.A. Petrovsky, D.N. Kaigorodov, M.M. Orlov, A.P. Tolskiy, P.P. Srebrennikov, C.A. Samofal, A.I. Tarashkevich, S.M. Tokmachev, A.I. Asoskov, V.Z. Gulisashvili, V.I. Rutkowski and others.
In 1926 Forest Department of GIOA was transformed into the Leningrad affiliate of CLOS. This affiliate continued to work within the same compartments and under the guidance of the same director.
In 1927 the affiliate of CLOS received 12 forest areas as experimental base that became Siverskoye experimental forestry. Already in 1928 in Siverskoye experimental forestry geological and soil researches were started, as well as experimental forest drainage, also a row of permanent plots of thinning of the forest. Later the creation of such stationary experimental objects was widely used in forestry, which gave those plots high value as the experimental base.
By 2000 as a result of implementing in forestry several inventions of the institute the average growth of wood and mature wood stocks increased respectively from 2.2 to 4.0 and from 200 to 338 m3/ha per year while increasing the proportion of spruce and pine stands from 57% to 75%.
During the period of forming of the institute, its leaders and specialists actively published the research results in scientific journals and in the experimental forestry writings.
Big changes in Soviet forest complex and forest science happened in 1929 after the IV Congress of the Soviets issued a law of the industrialization of the USSR. In the same year “Long-term plan of forestry and forest industry in the 1928/1929 – 1932/1933 years” was officially approved.
In this document was particularly stated (read chapter 9 – “Forest experimental work», §2 – “The objectives of the forest experimental work”):
to reorganize CLOS into the Forest Experimental Station to serve the Central Industrial District; starting from October 1, 1929 to pass the functions of central agency of the experimental forest work to State Forestry Research Institute (GosNIILH), formed in Leningrad instead of Leningrad affiliate of CLOS.
So, in 1929 institute received its official status. Its director was professor A.I. Schultz, the deputy director was professor V.V. Guman. In September the financing scheme of the institute was worked out, in November – its official Bylaw.
In this Bylaw in particular was stated: GosNIILH is a central NIU of republic significance under governance of NKZ RSFSR that is leading the work of experimental forest organizations of RSFSR, consists of 25 sections (sectors), prepares the staff of scientists, conducts scientific researches on its own and with the involvement of LTA.
For more than 80 years the name and structure of the institute changed but its main goals and objectives remained unchanged. In the Soviet period, employees of the institute conducted researches in the European part of Russia and Siberia. The Institute had a number of experimental stations. During perestroika period, these experimental stations were eliminated, and in 2004 the Institute has lost some other experimental bases – OLH “Siversky forest,” OLH “Mogutovsky Forest” and Vyritsky OMZ.
Today, in a minimal amount of work on stationary objects experienced the Leningrad, Pskov and Karelia republic continues. In the worst of times and survived Institute tried to preserve what has been created by hands and minds of their employees.
Today, minimal amount of work continues at the stationary experimental objects in Leningrad, Pskov regions and in the Republic of Karelia. In the worst of times the institute survived and tried to preserve what has been created by its employees.
Since the foundation of the institute its activities traditionally are connected with the boreal forests. Over the years, outstanding scientists of Russian forests worked for the institute. Such as academician V.N. Sukachev, professors M.E. Tkachenko, V.V. Guman, A.D. Oaks, N.V. Tretyakov, L.F. Pravdin, N.E. Dekatov, associates V.G. Kapper, P.P. Serebrennikov. Z.Y. Solntsev and others.
Great contribution to the creation of the institute, as a scientific team, and the creation of its experimental database made professor M.E. Tkachenko, associate professor F.I. Terekhov, academician Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences professor D.P. Stoliarov.
An analysis of the tasks being solved in scientific support of forestry in modern conditions showed the need to improve the system for organizing, planning and financing research work, taking into account the needs of the scientific and technical services market. An important emphasis is planned to be placed on improving not only the infrastructure of the Institute, but also the organizational and staffing structure. Increasing the efficiency of research workers is based on creating conditions for the differentiation of the work of scientists, engineers and laboratory assistants.
At present, the Institute has a good scientific and technical potential. With the support of Russian Federal Forest Agency and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation, the Institute is able to improve the quality of work, raise the level of qualifications of scientists and specialists, and promote the implementation of research results into the practice of the country's forestry.