what are known as Dominion lands in the west. Of these, 23,034,640 acres are in forest reserves, 4,657,743 acres are held under license, and 621,299 acres under permit to cut timber.* -
Lying between the Laurentian region surrounding Forest Hudson bay and the Rocky Mountain system is a
large interior plain of relatively recent geological age. The northern portion of this plain drains to the Arctic ocean, while the remainder in a general way slopes eastward from the Rockies, with the drainage largely into Hudson bay. This great plain is of a comparatively level, rolling nature, with the surface becoming more irregular as one proceeds westward. Only in a few places are there elevations of sufficient height above the surrounding country to deserve the name of mountains. Most prominent of these is the escarpment running north-westerly through Manitoba from the Pembina mountains. This gives rise to the Riding, Duck and Porcupine mountains.
The southern portion of this plain forms the well-known agricultural prairies of western Canada, extending from the open grassland of the south, through mixed grassland and woodland, to the forested region of the north. It rises in three fairly distinct levels, each of these in turn gradually increasing in elevation westward, from an elevation of about 750 feet above sea-level in the Red River valley, to some 4,000 feet along the borders of the Rocky mountains. This prairie region forms, roughly, a wedge-shaped block adjoining the international boundary, with a width, north and south, of approximately 110 miles in south-eastern Manitoba, and gradually widening through Saskatchewan to 360 miles in western Alberta. This area embraces practically the settled portion of the three Prairie provinces.
Bordering the prairie is usually a wide belt of woodland of nearly pure aspen, which in turn gives way to the northern or sub-arctic forest. This latter is in general a spruce type (white and black), with aspen, balsam poplar, white birch, and balsam fir, as associates. Tamarack and jack pine also occur, the latter occupying the sandy and rocky areas. Much of the area is muskeg.
On the west the prairies are bounded by a forested region of another type, as distinct from the northern spruce forest. This is the lodgepole pine-spruce forest, occurring on the east slope of the Rocky mountains, and which supplies a part of Alberta's lumber cut.
These two forest areas, the one extending across the northern portion of the three provinces, and the other through western Alberta,
*For the location of forest reserves, licensed timber berths and alienated lands, see maps of Alberta, Saskatchewan. Manitoba, and the Railway Belt of British Columbia, issued by the Railway Lands Branch of the Department of the Interior.