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REPORTS OF COMMITTEE ON FORESTS   95

ing on in the eastern states, under the Weeks law. This law carries a large appropriation for the acquisition of non-agricultural forest lands on the watersheds of navigable streams.

The work in the Trent watershed could be taken up on this basis, by the Dominion Government, without any large expenditure, either for first cost or for annual charges. Also, entirely aside from the indirect benefits resulting from better watershed protection, the investment would, in the long run, undoubtedly be a paying one, from the sale of forest products in future years. In addition, these relatively barren lands would be made productive, and would thus add to the wealth of the country and afford an opportunity for labour on the part of the local population, for whom there is far too little remunerative employment under present conditions.

 

WIDER USE OF' WESTERN COAL

During the past several years there has been some difficulty on account of excessive fire danger resulting from the use as loco-motive fuel of certain western coals having poor coking qualities. This difficulty has interfered quite seriously with the use of some of these coals by railways during the summer season. In order to increase their summer market, the Canadian Coal and Coke Company has employed an expert to devise a spark arrester which shall so check the emission of live sparks from the stack, as to permit the reasonably safe use of such coals the year round. The Grand Trunk Pacific railway and the Operating and Fire Inspection Departments of the Railway Commission are co-operating with the Canadian Coal and Coke Company in the conduct of these experiments. The results already secured give considerable promise of success. Such an out-come is greatly to be desired, since the utilization of local coal supplies means the development of additional Canadian industries.

 

CO-OPERATIVE FIRE; PROTECTION

A notable occurrence of the past year in eastern Canada was the organization last spring of the Lower Ottawa Forest Protective Association. The territory protected by this association comprises some 7,500,000 acres, on the watersheds of the Gatineau, Lievre, Rouge, Coulonge and Nation rivers, in the province of Quebec. The lines of organization are closely similar to those which had previously proved so successful in the case of the St. Maurice Forest Protective Association, whose territory lies just east of the territory embraced within the Lower Ottawa Association. The combined territory of these two associations now comprises approximately 15.000,000 acres


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