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94   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

vide adequate protection, there is little hope of the Provincial Government being able to provide the amount of protection urgently needed in the Trent watershed.

On the other hand, the Dominion Government is vitally interested in this situation, having already expended some ten million dollars upon works pertaining to the Trent canal. The protection of this watershed, and consequent regulation of waterflow, are essential to the full success of this undertaking. It is believed that, under these circumstances, the Dominion Government would be amply justified in incurring further reasonable expense for this purpose, in order to protect the investment already made, as well as the future expenditures which must be incurred in completing the project.

In the Dominion Forestry Branch, there is already in existence an organization admirably equipped to carry on this work. The Dominion Government has already been authorized by the provincial authorities to acquire Crown land in the Trent watershed at fifty cents per acre.

The Committee on Forests believes that the most practicable method of securing a beginning in the solution of this problem would be for the Dominion Government to proceed with the purchase of such portions of the 176,000 acres of unlicensed Crown lands as are fairly contiguous, and place the same under the Forestry Branch for protection and development; or else, considering the benefits which such action would confer upon the province, it may be possible to induce the province to place such areas, free of charge, under the care of the Dominion Government, under an arrangement by which, eventually, financial satisfaction might be secured for the province.

Undoubtedly, at least some plan of co-operation could be developed whereby a system of fire-protection would be established, covering the more important portions of the watershed outside as well as within this area. The cost of this work would not be great, in proportion to the benefits to be received.

 

 

In addition to the value of watershed protection, this

Value as   work would have a very great indirect value as an Demonstration

experimental demonstration to all the provincial gov-

ernments and owners of forest lands in eastern Canada, of what can be done in the way of restoring such waste lands to a productive condition. Educational work of this character is a thoroughly well-justified. function of the Dominion Government, and is closely comparable to work which the Dominion Forestry Branch is already doing in the west, as well as to work in other lines which other departments of the government are conducting throughout the Dominion. It is also directly parallel to work which the United States Government is carry--


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