As has been said, however, the success of forest management in British
Columbia is absolutely dependent on the removal of debris from cut-
over lands, and the government must work consistently toward this end.
Since the establishment of a Forest Branch in the
Government Lands Department of the Government of British Forest Policy
Columbia, and the incorporation in its statutes of a
comprehensive Forest Act, a material advance in the matter of disposal of debris has been made, although some of the larger aspects of the problem still remain to be worked out.
Among the first of the steps taken by the Forest Branch was the removal of debris caused by road and railway construction; this, of course, constitutes merely a fire protective measure and has no relation to the larger problem.
The rights-of-way of 1,800 miles of railway constructed in the province during the last three seasons have been satisfactorily cleared of debris, as a result of the supervision given by the Forest Branch, under the authority of both the Provincial and Dominion Statutes.
In the clearing of slash, caused by the building of public roads, less progress has been made, owing to the tremendous demand made on the province for new roads, due to the rapid settlement of the country. However, the burning of the slash is an established policy of the government, and, where the heavy expense and popular pressure for rapid extension of roads prevents the destruction of the debris at the time of construction, the work will be undertaken later and, within ten years or less, it is thought that all the dangerous slash will be disposed of.
Timber Sales Complete power is held by the government in the fix-
and Railway ing of conditions for timber sales and permits to rail-
Permits way companies to cut timber free of charge for construction purposes, and the disposal of slash has been made a condition of purchase or grant of every timber sale and railway permit. In all, 59 timber sales, covering 22,775 acres, which have been advertised for sale, have included stipulations requiring the disposal of debris, and, on the fifteen sales on which operations are being con-ducted, the regulations are being carried out.
Ninety railway permits, covering an area of 138,376 acres, have been granted during the last two years, and timber has been cut on approximately 50,000 acres of this area. Disposal of the debris, by burning or by piling the brush, has been required on all portions of these lands except those occupied by the yellow pine type, or where the trees cut were scattered and the slash inconsiderable.