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242   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

southwest of Lesser Slave lake. These are similar in composition to those in northern Saskatchewan, except for the more westerly situated ones, which have more or less of an inclusion of Rocky Mountain species. The lumber cut, largely from Dominion lands, approached 50,000,000 feet in 1912, with 90 per cent of it spruce. Small quantities of pine, poplar, Douglas fir and tamarack comprised the balance.

Rocky   The forest reserves of Alberta cover 26,112 square

Mountains miles, or nearly three-quarters of the total area set Forest Reserve aside as Dominion reserves. The largest and most important of all is the Rocky Mountains reserve. This immense re-serve, of over 13,000,000 acres, recently created, is situated along the east slope of the Rocky mountains, extending in a north-westerly line from the International boundary some 450 miles. It includes the land which, owing to the character of the topography and soil and to its elevation, is unsuitable for any form of agriculture beyond local interior grazing areas. In a general way the eastern boundary follows a line in the foothills at about 4,000 feet elevation, the line being raised or lowered according to regional conditions. South of the Crowsnest branch of the Canadian Pacific railway the width of the reserve is only some 10 or 15 miles. Northward it widens more or less, gradually reaching a maximum breadth of about 85 miles south of Jasper park, and again narrowing down as the Peace River drainage is reached.

Within the reserve certain areas have been proclaimed park and game preserves, notably Rocky Mountains park, comprising a tract of 1,740 square miles, north and south of the Canadian Pacific Railway line, and Jasper park, 1,200 square miles*, along the Grand Trunk Pacific railway.

The remainder of the reserve, for forest administrative purposes, is divided into five units, known as the Crowsnest, Bow River, Clear-water, Brazeau and Athabasca forests. The first two of these include the mountain sources of the South Saskatchewan river; the Clearwater and a portion of the Brazeau, those of the North Saskatchewan; while the remaining forests include headwaters of the Athabaska and Peace rivers. Thus the reserved slope is the source of the great Saskatchewan system of the prairies, draining to Hudson bay, as well as of a portion of the Mackenzie system which drains into the Arctic.

The Saskatchewan drainage system, in its entirety totaling some 154,500 square miles, embraces the major portion of the settled area

*Enlarged in June, 1914, to 4,400 square miles.


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