The Turtle Mountain reserve consists of a block of some 70,000 acres, lying south of Boissevain, along the international boundary. Owing to excessive cutting and repeated fires practically no mature timber remains. The whole reserve has been burned over, with a resultant reproduction of poplar and birch, and a scattering of the other Manitoba hardwoods. No conifers occur. At present it affords fuel and hay to local permittees, and stock grazing is permitted on certain portions. The reserve is also used as a summer resort.
In the utilization of the aspen and the regeneration o
Suggested the more valuable spruce must lie the future of the Management
Riding Mountain reserve and those to the north of it.
As already said, poplar lumber is but little in demand, yet there were 4,700,000 feet of it sawed in 1911 in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. With the gradual exhaustion of spruce sup-plies in the middle west, attention will be turned to poplar as a saw timber. But it is not as useful a species. In the log it is a poor floater, the wood is soft, weak and very perishable in exposed situations. The lumber warps and checks badly and cannot be obtained in large sizes. However, owing to its great abundance in the west, poplar will eventually have great value for certain uses, in which its inferior qualities and small size do not matter. It is an excellent fuelwood, is satisfactory as boxboard material, and its toughness makes it suitable for stable and barn lumber. In north-eastern America it is Chiefly used for excelsior and paper pulp, in the latter use ranking next to spruce and hemlock.
The aspen makes an excellent nurse tree for the young, more slowly growing spruce. Its light foliage protects the young growth, and the tree must play an important part in improving the quality of these forests in the future. In the interests of the reserves, all encouragement should be given the spruce by restrictions on cutting; at least, settlers should be prohibited from cutting the remaining spruce under permit, since poplar will meet most of their needs. The yearly cost of administration of these reserves would not be increased by the adoption of a policy to gradually alter them from poplar forests to spruce.
FOREST CONDITIONS ON DOMINION .LANDS IN SASKATCHEWAN
The province of Saskatchewan not only leads the Prairie provinces in the production of wheat and oats, but also of lumber. Its lumber cut in the north much exceeds that of the other two provinces combined, 23 mills in 1912 reporting a total cut of 157,255,000 feet board measure, worth $2,535,600 at the mill. This was nearly all spruce.