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246   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

of balsam poplar, along with a scattering of the other northern species. Both poplars are very defective, materially reducing the yield of pulp-wood.

The remaining forest types cover relatively small areas. Jack pine, as usual, appears on the sand ridges, the majority of the stands being immature. The merchantable white spruce occurs in localized patches, as the remnants of larger fire-swept areas. The undrained locations carry the usual stunted black spruce and tamarack.

While the present stand of mature timber on the reserve is small, being estimated at some 350,000,000 feet of saw timber, 4,000,000 ties, and 33,000,000 cords of pulpwood, the potential crop is important as a source of supply for the future neighbouring settlement, which will undoubtedly develop. In addition, the forest growth is essential for the proper regulation of waterflow in the main drainage streams ; these are navigable streams, upon which this region is dependent for intercommunication. At present no management is feasible beyond protection from fire.

The Cooking Lake reserve is a small area of very Other   broken land, with much muskeg, situated about 40

Reserves

 

miles east of Edmonton. It has suffered extremely from fire, so that practically all the original conifers are gone. The usual poplar reproduction prevails, but considerable areas will need to be replanted. The northern portion is set aside as Elk park.

The Cypress Hills, another small reserve, lies in south-eastern Alberta, extending into Saskatchewan. The eastern portion is forested, but the western portion has been reduced to grassland by fires. It is the most important elevation in a region where irrigation farming is practised, and hence is very important in the conservation of water supply. As the only source of local wood supply, it has likewise great value.

FOREST CONDITIONS ON DOMINION LANDS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

Dominion lands in British Columba comprise a strip of land 20 miles wide on either side of the main line of the Canadian Pacific railway (known as the railway belt), the Peace River block of 3,500,-000 acres, and some 50,000 acres of coal lands in the Crowsnest region. These were provincial grants to the Federal government, associated with early railway construction.

The railway belt, in its stretch of over 500 miles, may

The Rail-

be said in a broad way to traverse an interior moun-

way Belt

tainous plateau, lying between the Rocky mountains on the east and the Coast range on the west. The region is one character-


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