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248   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

moisture. Lodgepole pine and spruce, especially the latter, are still abundant. Usually the valley bottoms and lower slopes carry spruce, cedar, hemlock, western white pine and Douglas fir, with the first three predominating. The higher slopes are generally clothed with white pine, Douglas fir, lodgepole pine and spruce, with lodgepole pine probably the commonest. The timber line consists of spruce, alpine fir, whitebark pine and alpine larch. The occurrence of spruce through-out is noticeable.

Westward, from about Shuswap lake, an arid belt, with a precipitation of only 10 inches at Kamloops, is encountered for some 175 miles, to the vicinity of North Bend. The tree species are much reduced in number, the characteristic tree being the western yellow pine or bull pine. It occupies the lower elevations, and in many localities forms very open non-commercial stands. Altitudinally it is succeeded by Douglas fir, a species adapted to a variety of soils and climate, but here of proportionately poorer development. A belt of lodgepole pine is usually to be found above the fir, or occasionally spruce.

The forest of the remaining portion of the railway belt is of the well-known lower coast type, Douglas fir, hemlock and cedar being the main species. With abundant moisture, both soil and atmospheric, all three reach their maximum size, resulting in very heavy stands of timber. In addition, some new species enter the flor-t. notably tideland spruce, lowland fir and lovely fir, likewise important timber trees.

Timber Berths.—Outside the arid section, the railway belt shows a large number of timber berths under license, these comprising about 1,800 square miles. They are located largely on the Columbia river and its tributaries, in the Shuswap Lake region, and from the vicinity of Harrison lake westward to the coast. A map showing the timber berths practically depicts the accessible stands of mature timber. De-spite the large area, less than 75,000,000 feet of lumber was manufactured in 1911-12 from these licensed berths. This was increased probably by about one-third last season, owing to the necessity of utilizing burned timber. The licensees operate mainly in provincial timber. The reason would appear to be the low ground rent charged by the Federal government, as contrasted with that of the province, this favouring the holding of timber for speculative purposes.

Forest Reserves.—Reservation of forest land began in 1888, with the setting aside of Glacier park, followed by Yoho park in 1901, and the Long Lake reserve in 1902. In 1906, six more reserves were created, and during the present year (1913) four others, with additions to some of those already formed. At present the thirteen forest re-serves comprise a total of 3,782 square miles.


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