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250   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

FOREST PROTECTION ON DOMINION LANDS

The extremely important duty of protecting the forests on all Dominion lands from fire, with the exception of Dominion parks, lies with the Forestry Branch of the Department of the Interior. Two separate organizations, enforcing different regulations, are in charge of the work, one guarding the forest reserves and the other all Dominion forest land outside the reserves. In both organizations the method in use is that of a patrol system.

Within   The protection of the reserves depends upon the forest

Forest   rangers, who perform this work in conjunction with

Reserves. their other duties. To each forest is allotted a certain number of rangers, each of whom is in charge of a specified territory, and responsible for the same to the superior officer administering the business of the forest. The size of the district varies according to the fire risk and accessibility to movements of the general public. The duties of the rangers consist in a patrol of the district, to enforce the regulations made under the Dominion Forest Reserves and Parks Act, and to put out fires. In wet weather they are engaged on permanent improvement work, such as building roads, trails, telephone lines, and ranger cabins. The wages are $75 to $100 per month. Licensed and unlicensed portions of a reserve receive the same attention.

The forest reserve regulations relating to fire protection are very complete. On the reserves, a closed season for fires exists from April 15 to October 31, and this period may be extended, if deemed advisable, in ,the case of a summer of special danger. During this season no fires, except camp fires, may be set, unless a permit be obtained from a forest officer. Also, the regulations and penalties of the province in which the reserve is located are applicable to the reserve. Full precautions are taken with reference to railway lines being operated within reserves. Most of the railway companies whose lines pass through reserves are already under the authority of the Board of Rail-way Commissioners for Canada, which requires special patrol by the companies where material fire danger exists. Those not under its jurisdiction are subject to a similar reserve regulation requiring patrol as specified by the department.

These provisions are ample, consequently the efficiency of protection is a matter of personnel. This will be discussed later.

 

 

Outside Reserves An enormous area of Dominion lands exists in Manitoba,   the northern portion of these three provinces

Saskatchewan,

and Alberta which is not included within any reserve. It is not all timbered, to be sure, much muskeg occurring, but the forested areas are numerous and valuable, including many licensed timber


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