Taiwan's forest exploitation began in the prehistoric era. During the period of the Japanese colonial period, the Office of the Taiwan Governor-General established the organizations and forestry decrees for the completion of the forestry management system in Taiwan. The period can be divided into nine stages as follows: Department of Production (1896-1897), Production Division (1898-1900), Production Bureau (1901-1914), Production and Forestry Bureau (1915-1918), Forestry Bureau (1919), Production Bureau (1920-1939), Forestry Office and Production Bureau (1940-1942), Production Bureau (1943), and Agricultural and Commercial Bureau (1944-1945).


The Fujita Group from Osaka began to construct.


During the period of Production Bureau, it established the "Alishan Operation Office" in Chiayi responsible for managing the exploitation of Alishan forest and the Alishan Forest Railway.


The forestry agency expanded its functions and set up the Forestry Office as an public enterprise to operate the forest exploitation, afforestation, the disposal and sale of forest assets. At the same time, the Alishan Operation Office was also subordinated to the Forestry Bureau and renamed "Alishan Branch Office".


It was renamed "Chiayi Branch Office", Forestry Bureau.


Chiayi Branch Office, Forestry Office, Production Bureau


Two institutions were established, which were later transferred to the government of the Republic of China after the Recession of Taiwan. These institutions were Chiayi Branch Office, Forestry Office (forestry) and Taiwan Development Co., Ltd. (railway).


Chiayi Mountain Forestry Office, Taiwan State (Forestry) and Taiwan Production Co. Ltd. (Railway)


The ROC government began exercising jurisdiction over Taiwan in October 1945. The "Chief Executive Office, Taiwan Province" set up the "Forestry Bureau" under the Department of Agriculture and Forestry to take over the forestry and other businesses from the Office of the Taiwan Governor-General and established 10 offices across Taiwan Island, which were Taipei, Luodong, Hsinchu, Taichung, Puli, Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Taitung, and Hualien Forestry Management Offices, under which the branch offices, four model forest farms and three forestry laboratories were set up. Among them, "Alishan Forest Farm" and Tainan Forest Management Office were later merged into the Yushan Forest District Office under Forestry Bureau.


In 1947, the Chief Executive Office, Taiwan Province was reorganized into the "Taiwan Provincial Government." On May 30 of the same year, the Taiwan Provincial Government decreed that the Forestry Bureau under Department of Agriculture and Forestry subordinate to the former Chief Executive Office, Taiwan Province should be changed to the Forestry Administration.


The Taiwan Provincial Government formally established the "Forestry Administration, Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Taiwan Provincial Government", and appointed Tang Zhenxu as the director.


The Taiwan Provincial Government reorganized its affiliated Department of Agriculture and Forestry into the "Agriculture and Forestry Agency".


The Forestry Administration was reorganized into the "Forestry Bureau".


Alishan Forest Railway was affiliated to the "Yushan Forestry District Office, Forestry Bureau, Agriculture and Forestry Agency, Taiwan Provincial Government." The Yushan Forest District Office had two subordinate units, Transportation Section and Construction Section. The Transportation Section was in charge of 15 stations and 3 garages. The Construction Section was in charge of 3 railway maintenance sections and one maintenance work.


Reorganized into a public organization, the Yushan Forestry District Office and a part of Nannong Forestry District were merged and renamed as "Chiayi Forestry District Office, Forestry Bureau, Agriculture and Forestry Agency, Taiwan Provincial Government," under which six subordinate units, Forest Administration Section, Hillside Stabilization Section, Operation Section, Recreation Section, General Affairs Office, and Forest Railway Section, were set up. The Forest Railway Section had four subordinate units, including Civil Works Subsection, Transportation Subsection, Maintenance Subsection, and Materials Subsection, and was responsible for managing railway affairs.


Based on the streamlining of the Taiwan Provincial Government, the Chiayi Forestry District Office was reorganized into "Chiayi Forestry District Office, Forestry Bureau, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan" and the Forest Railway Section used to manage the operation of Alishan Forest Railway until 2013.


The Executive Yuan agreed to allow the private sector to invest in the operation of the Forest Railway. The Forestry Bureau commissioned Hongdu Alishan International Development Co., Ltd. to operate Alishan Forest Railway.


After Alishan Forest Railway was seriously damaged by typhoon Morakot, the company failed to submit a complete full-line reconstruction plan, breaching the contractual agreement. Considering the best interests of the government and the public, the Forestry Bureau ended the BOT project, took over the operation, and gradually reconstructed and resumed operating the Alishan Forestry Railway.


According to the instructions of the Executive Yuan, the Forestry Bureau and the Taiwan Railway Administration signed an administrative contract and commissioned the Taiwan Railway Administration to assist in the operation of Alishan Forest Railway until June 30, 2018.


Executive Yuan agreed that Forestry Bureau established the dedicated agency.


The authority established "Alishan Forest Railway and Cultural Heritage Office, Forestry Bureau, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan" as the dedicated agency.