Previous Forest Protection in Canada 1913-1914 Next

 

272   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

Even with the most perfect patrol force fires will start, and this contingency must be provided against by reducing inflammable conditions. At first the work will need to be done by co-operation between the lumbermen and officers of the department. Experiment with different methods to suit different conditions will be necessary. Brush disposal is an art in itself, and success can only be reached through experience. Beforehand "knowledge" of what can not be done is the commonest hindrance to progress.

The question of the relationship between lumbering methods and the next revenue-producing crop on Dominion lands has been discussed in the section on licenses (see pp. 263-265). This next crop will be inferior in quality as it is, owing to the preponderance, among the trees left behind, of other seeding tree species which cannot be cut because of lack of market. This unfavourable feature cannot be helped. But the present logging operations in general leave fewer trees of the commercial species than are desirable to provide seed for the succeeding stand. This can be remedied with least interference to the lumbering industry through the application of the clause in licenses providing for "the leaving of such seed trees as may be designated by the department."

The decision as to whether the management of Dominion timber lands, in so far as it relates to cutting methods, is to follow along time-honoured paths, or is to take advantage of the world's progressing knowledge in silviculture, at once confronts the lumberman's brief of vested rights. Undoubtedly there is some foundation for this claim, resulting in large part from the allowing of transfer of licenses, as if they were property and not scrip. A license is the right to cut for one year, under certain conditions, but this has been tacitly ignored, and the power to regulate cutting has thus been correspondingly weakened.

On the other hand, license conditions agreed to each year pro-vide for renewal "subject to the payment of such rental and dues and to such terms and conditions as are fixed by the regulations in force at the time renewal is made." This is a yearly warning, and changes have been made from time to time in the conditions attached to Dominion licenses. The enforcement of cutting regulations in the interest of the next crop would be no hardship, considering Dominion timber charges in comparison with other parts of Canada (see pp. 262-263) , and the increased value of stumpage since purchase. Besides, in the case of berths held for increment in value, the operator, through the natural growth, becomes the owner of wood product which was not on the berth at the time of purchase, and which was not represented in the original bonus he paid. Paying ground rent for a long


Previous Forest Protection in Canada 1913-1914 Next