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FORESTRY ON DOMINION LANDS   237

reserved areas aggregate 4,108.5 square miles (2,629,440 acres). The complete list is as follows :

 

Riding Mountain reserve   1,535   square miles

Duck Mountain No. 1 reserve   1,462.25

Porcupine No. 1 reserve    777.5

Turtle Mountain reserve    109.25

Spruce Woods reserve    224.50

 

4,108.5 square miles

The more important of these are the first three, situated along the rough, abrupt escarpment in western Manitoba.

Riding   Next to the Rocky Mountains and Lesser Slave Lake

Mountain   reserves, this is the largest so far created, comprising

Reserve nearly 1,000,000 acres. It is a rolling plateau-like region, rising in its highest portion about 1,000 feet above the surrounding country, and giving rise to numerous rivers flowing north, east and south. On account of the rough topography and boulder-strewn nature of the soil, the area is unsuited to agricultural use.

The reserve has been logged over and has also suffered severely from fires in the past, so that to-day less than 25 per cent of the area can be described as timbered.* Some two-thirds of the reserve has been overrun by fire once or oftener. As a result the prevailing type is poplar, mostly aspen (white poplar), with balsam poplar (black poplar) where drainage is slower. The poplar stands are of all age-classes, in accordance with the dates of the fires they followed. In many cases, due to repeated fires, the stands are too open to produce anything better than fuel ; but in close stand the trees at maturity reach a height of from 70 to 90 feet, with a diameter of 12 to 18 inches, and free from limbs. Many stands are over-mature, since the lumber industry does not as yet utilize poplar to any extent; these older stands occur mostly along the eastern side of the reserve. Both srecies of poplar are much subject to fungus defect, a large percentage of trees on approaching maturity showing evidence of attack by the false tinder fungus.

Where the fires have been less severe white spruce is found, mixed with the poplar, or else scattered throughout in small pure stands. These latter areas are the only ones suitable for logging, however, and aggregate but a small percentage of the total.

The poplar and poplar-spruce types occupy the richer and better drained soils. The poorly drained muskegs, covering over 15 per cent of the reserve, carry a stunted growth of black spruce and tamarack,

*The figures here used are taken from Bulletin 6 of the Forestry Branch, which gives a detailed description of the reserve.


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