FOREST CONDITIONS ON DOMINION LANDS IN MANITOBA
The province of Manitoba contains approximately 147,000,000 acres of land. Of this, some 27,000,000 acres in the south have been surveyed, to meet the demands of settlement, and the bulk of this has passed into private ownership. The alienated portion occupies, in a general way, the area north from the international boundary for about 110 miles on the east, gradually widening to about 225 miles at the western boundary of the province. The northward extension of settlement is at present largely taking place in the region lying between lake Manitoba and lake Winnipeg.
The remaining unsurveyed acreage belongs mainly to the Dominion government. The region is imperfectly known, as regards its possible industrial uses, but it is expected that not more than one-sixth of it will prove suitable for agriculture, and to that extent it will in time be alienated from the Crown. The larger portion of the province consequently is unsuitable for farming. Of this an unknown proportion is suitable only for supplying wood products, and will undoubtedly in time be set aside for that purpose. The present discussion, how-ever, is concerned only with the forest reserves and timber berths already in existence.
The timber berths in 1912 covered an area of 1,235
Berths square miles under license and 365 square miles under
permit regulations, a total of 1,024,000 acres. These berths are situated, mainly, on the Winnipeg river, around the shores of southern lake Winnipeg, the northern portion of lake Winnipegosis and the series of lakes north of it (Cedar, Moose, Cormorant and Goose lakes), and within the Porcupine Hills reserve and the southern half of the Duck Mountain reserve. Lumbering in Manitoba has been in operation since a very early date, and the cut now is relatively small, being only around 50,000,000 feet annually. The lumber is practically all white spruce (to the extent of 90 per cent), with small quantities of poplar, tamarack, jack pine and white pine. The market is local.
Some 20 years ago the Department of the Interior Forest decided upon the advisability of setting aside areas of
non-agricultural land as sources of future timber sup-ply in the west. Naturally this policy was first carried out in Manitoba, and in 1895 the Riding Mountain, Spruce Woods and Turtle Mountain reserves were set aside. The policy was continued until now the