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238   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

fit only for fuel. The few sterile, sandy stretches are occupied by jack pine; most of it has been burned over, so the present stands are young.

In addition to the species already mentioned, there is a minor mixture of white birch along with the aspen and spruce, and of balsam fir in the wetter spruce stands. There is also a sparse occurrence of bur oak, green ash, American elm and Manitoba maple. Small open grassland areas occur, where fires have been most frequent.

The present stand of saw timber on the reserve is estimated at about 200,000,000 feet, board measure. Over one-half of this is poplar (largely aspen), with spruce next in order, and the other species each forming but a small percentage of the total. Logging operations on licensed berths in the past have been confined to spruce, and this is pretty well exhausted. The cut from these berths for the last two years aggregated but 2,500,000 feet. Practically all the commercial spruce remaining on the reserve is under license. So far there has been very little market for poplar lumber. The tamarack, on account of its small size, is of most value as fuelwood.

While the reserve has little value at present as a source of general saw-mill supplies, it is of vast importance locally for building and fencing material, fuel, etc. This is shown by the following statement of material cut from the reserve under settlers' permits:

Material

1912

1911

1910

Lumber, feet, b.m    

3,794,613

2,268,663

2,871,110

Building logs, lineal feet    

15,590

10,466

22,755

Cordwood, cords    

4,515

3,704

2,878

Fence posts, pcs    

17,550

25,030

43,400

Fence rails,

17,320

9,600

 

pcs    

Roof poles, pcs    

8,000

4,700

}   41,600

This was roughly 5,000,000 board feet of material in all, average per year, apart from the lumber removed under license. The material was probably three-quarters spruce.

 

 

North of the Riding Mountain reserve lie the Duck

Other   and Porcupine reserves. These have a forest cover Reserves

similar to that just described, but have probably suf-

fered less from fire and have a greater proportion of spruce stands A considerable area in each is still under license.

About 15 miles east of Brandon is a small reserve known as the Spruce Woods. This is a light sand area, with a scattered growth of spruce, except for a small low-lying portion with tamarack. Considerable work has been done on this reserve in reforesting.


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