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206   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

support the cattle in the winter. It is claimed, and probably with truth, that cattle can be brought to the "stocker" condition by free range in the forest. It is to be noticed, however, that in the later and drier portions of the season they do most of their grazing along the edges of the marshes, especially those along moving streams, where both food and water are accessible. Even under the most favourable conditions in the bush, cattle range over large areas in a day to find satisfying quantities of food. It is evident that they would fatten more readily if kept more closely confined in ranges, including areas of the more solid blue-joint grass-producing portions of the marshes (to avoid the danger of cattle being mired), and larger areas of the uplands. It is noticeable that white clover and blue grass grow luxuriantly along the margins of trails. It is also noticeable in cases of severe burning, where everything is killed and the litter burned down to the mineral soil, that pure stands of white clover and blue grass often cover patches several square rods in extent. It might be that pasturage could be materially increased in this way. If, by care-fully managed trials, the cattle-raising industry should prove successful, it could be made a source of considerable profit through rentals of grazing areas. Indeed, it might well prove to be more profitable to utilize these semi-barren areas for permanent pasturage than for forest purposes.

Market Gar-   Another alternative measure is the conversion of the

dens from   marshes and swamps into market gardens. As stated

Swamps above, many of them are already grass covered, and these vary in size from a few acres to those containing several hundred acres. Some would require but little drainage, others considerable. Nearly all of these marshes have streams flowing through them ; they are not of the undrained peat bog type, and consequently are but slightly acid, a condition readily rectified by liming. An analysis of the soil of one of these marshes showed it to consist of decaying vegetable matter to the extent of 60 per cent of its dry weight, 25 per cent silt, 4 per cent clay, and the rest mostly of the finer grades of sand. Soils of this kind extend to the depth of three to twelve feet and if properly managed they would furnish a practically inexhaustible supply of plant food matter to garden crops.

The utilization of these soils would, of course, be a matter of provincial control. The beginnings could be small, without a great initial outlay of money. It would be very desirable to establish an experimental farm on these soils. If it were demonstrated that they could be successfully managed, then encouragement could be given settlers to take up these lands by aiding in drainage, the cost being


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