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will show that a large percentage of the butter and eggs consumed there is brought from California. This may surprise many oestern people. The demand for those articles there will without doubt increase at a marvelous rate, as the development of the products of the forest and mine goes on, as go on rapidly it must. Further, the shipping which will undoubtedly increase very rapidly owing to the Canadian Pacific Railway, will consumo a vast amount of such products.
Reserves for Stock Watering and Shelter. Daring the autumn of 1886 I personally inspected a portion of the Old Man's River, the Belly, and the Bow River and some of the tributaries thereof. Certain river bottoms were reserved to the public by Order in Counoil, for the purpose of water and shelter. This action has been warmly endorsed by the public genorally, and I had hoped to have inspected other portions of the district with a view of recommending further reserves. Time to do so has not been available, but I trust to be able to do so early next season. There is not the slightest doubt of the wisdom of such a course being adopted. Water and shelter, two of nature's most valuable gifts in a stock country, should not be permitted to be controlled by the few to the detriment of the many. This probably cannot be better illustrated than by the quota. tions which appear further on in this report, illustrating the practices adopted by the stockmen in the United States to securo water and shelter.
It was at one time very frequently stated that the policy of the leasing system was aiding the capitalists at the expense of he individual settler, and comparisons were instituted between the policy of the Canadian Government and that of our neighbors to the south of the line, such comparison not being at all favorable to ourselves. Parties who honestly make such comparisons exbibit very great ignorance of the subject, as the quotations alluded to illustrave. They might be indefinitely multiplied; they show the absurdity of applying a homestead law, suitable for a country in which nearly overy quarter section will support a settler, to a district adapted only for stock. Parties who have given the subject considerable attention have recommended the hamlet bomestead provisions ; the bomlets would be placed at certain centres where crops (usually by irrigation) to some extent could be cultivated.
Irrigation It is unfortunate for this district that there bave been, prior to this year, do settlers who have had any experience in irrigation. The Mormons, who settled this year south of Macleod, have had such experience, and should their location prove to be one requiring irrigation, the example they will show of what can be done in that way will prove invaluable. Persons who have not tried irrigation, invariably imagine that both the quantity of water required and the laying of it on the land are very much greater than they really are. It was anticipated that certain tests by diamond drill boring, which the North-West Coal and Navigation Company proposed making both for coal and water in the vicinity of Lethbridge, might show that artesian wells could be readily procured and irrigation made possible by such means. That Company have not so far made the anticipated tests, but will probably do so next spring, and should that district prove to be one capable of being irrigatou by artesian wells a very large area will be made available for settlement, in which there is everything to be desired so far as both soil and climate are concerned, the rainfall being variable and very frequently too little; but outside of that there are many districts where hay lands could be cheaply made available by irrigation, and it is to be hoped this to some extent will be tested. The more bay obtainable, the more stock the country will eupport. The winter capacity of the best grazing district is DOC 25 per cent. of its summer capacity.
Prairie Fires. The greatest source of danger to the cattle industry and also to the smallest settlers in this country is prairie fires.
This subject was alladed to at length in my report of last year, and after giving it considerable attention since then, I am of opinion that the origin of not more than five per cent. of the fires can be discovered. They are, no doubt, in the vast majority of cases, started accidentally; but if the truth were known, they are also lii by“ pilgrims," i e,-those who have been only a short time in the country. Many are caused in attempting to make "fire-breaks” around buildings, stacks, &c. No doubt, in many cases, the fires are thought to be wbolly out, and the parties have left the scene. An un perceived smouldering, however, is going on in some particle of dry cow.dung or in an ant-bill, and bours afterwards & strong wind arising carries sparks from the smouldering matter to the neighboring grass, and the result is probably the destruction of many thousand dollars worth of pro perty. There is enough property destroyed each year in this country by prairie fires in the settled districts to put a fire broak 30 feet in width around overy section, If those strips for fire breaks were ploughed at the time the sod thoroughly rots, they could theroafter be cheaply maintained by occasionally running a cultivator over them.
Might it not be well to enact that no fire-breaks should be made except by ploughing; and, fartber, that even when fires are put out this shall be done only under ihe supervision of some official in each district authorized to act, and only then wben whatever aid he desires is furnished. Make the penalty severe for all tiros started accidentally or otherwise. The subject is within the jurisdiction of the NorthWest Council.
This subject was also alluded to in my report of last year. Some of the stockmen have imported from Europe a number of large, powerful and ferocious looking wolf and stag hounds.
Stock Associations. There are two stock asssociations, one for the northern, the other for the southern portion of Alberta. Each has minor associations, or branches, which look after the interest of their respectivo neighborhoods. For a stock association to fulfil its maximum usefulness it is necesary that the management be vigorous and that its powers be ample. I do not know to what extent the North-West Territorios associations possess these qualities, but now that thoy have become organized it is to be anticipated that if they do not already possess them they will do so shortly ; the interests they are expected to conserve are sufficient to warrant a great deal of attention being paid to them.
Coal Mining. Outside of mining by individual settlers for their personal wants, or the requirements of the immediate neighborhood, coal mining has been, in the North-West, confined to the following points, viz., Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Bow River Mines and Anthracite.
Lethbridge. The coal mining at this point is carried on by the North West Coal and Naviga. tion Company, on rather an extensive scale. As the mining goes in from the outcrop the quality has greatly improved, which, and the introduction, about twelve months since, of coal-cutting machines, has made the oat-put there a first class bituminous coal, and for steam and domestic purposes all that oan be desired.
Medicine Hat. The ont put of this mine, near Stair station, Canadian Pacific Railway, was at one time considerable. Opened first in antamn of 1883, it has had a rather chockered career, caused chiefly by want of capital by the promoters; and, after several variations of financial embarrassment and litigation, it for some months past has ceased to be worked. A new company has been formed to develop the coal deposit on the opposite bank of the river, which is claimed to be of superior quality. This will necessitate the building of a branch line of railway from Medicine Hat, and the promoters, who have the necessary parliamentary authority, state that they have obtained a good line to their property, and intend developing it shortly,
Bow River Mines.
These mines are situated immediately adjacent to the Canadian Pacific Railway, about twenty-seven miles west of Calgary. The seam has been worked to a small extent for the past two years, and lies in sandstone ; it has a dip of about 33°, is about four feet in thickness, and is a first class cooking coal, containing a very large amount of resinous matter, consequently an intense heat can be obtained quickly; it is also a favorite coal with railway engine drivers. This seam bas heretofore been badly worked from wapt of capital. More attention has been paid to obtaining a return from coal mined than opening the mine with any regard for system, and the result is that a great deal of what has been done must be abandoned if the mine is to be worked as it should be. Now capital, it is stated, has been put into the concern, and at present the work carried on is largely exploratory. Where the mine has been opened seems to have been a point at which considerable geological disturbance has occurred, and probably wben the mining is carried to a certain depth it may be found more easily worked and the deposit more compact in its nature. A new seam has been lately opened about one mile north of the old workings. It has not been developed sufficiently, however, as yet to enable one to judge what the probabilities are. It will possibly prove to be the same seam as already worked.
The outcrop, however, is of excellent quality.
Anthracite, From recent explorations, it would appear that from the Gap to Anthracite station is one large anthracite coal deposit. Very many seams exist, varying in thickness from 40 feet down to a few inches. All, or nearly all, of it lies in sandstone, baving a dip to the south-west varying from 30 to 45°. There is consider. able variety of quality in the different seams, also in the same seam, but they bave now been sufficiently opened to warrant the assertion that an almost unlimited supply of anthracite of first-class quality exists there. The mine owned by the Canadian Anthracite Coal Company has for the past year been pushed with a great deal of vigor, and the result appears to warrant still larger expenditure. The experiment has been made of placing this coal on the market of San Francisco and other Pacific coast points, and if the result proves what is probable, in a very few years, no doubt, a trade will be built up which to most at present would appear incredible. The result will prove of incalculable benefit, and the traffic therefrom on the British Columbia portion of the Canadian Pacific Railway will be such that probably no part of that line will prove of greater benefit to Canada. It is within the range of probability that in mineral development in the Rocky and Selkirk Mountains alone the return will be sufficient to fully recoup both to the company and country the outlay.
Diamond Drill Company.
In connection with coal mining and prospecting, there is no doubt the use of a diamond drill would in several cases already in our territory have saved its cost several times over, and it seems incredible that it has cot already come into use. The first cost is considerable; the machinery necessary for a well equipped diamond drill company would probably cost from $12,000 to $15,000, but would, without doubt, provo a remunerative enterprise.
The existence of two natural gas wells at stations of the Canadian Pacific Rail. way indicates the probability of large supplies of that material at other points, were proper tests made and appliances used to utilize it when found. If, for instance, natural gas were obtained at Calgary, a manufacturing point would be at once ostablished. The coal interest need not be at all alarmed, as s'atistics from tbe natural gas producing States show that the quantity of coal mined has increased and the demand for coal lands improved.
In this connection the following extracts from the report of the Inspector of Mines for the State of Ohio may prove interesting:
“The past year has also witnessed a more general investment in coal lands all over the country than bas been noticed in the same time for many years. These investments are in the shape of purchases of large tracts of coal and mineral lands by companies with large surplus capital with which to develop and operate them. They seem to be confined to do special locality or state. Corporations with immense capital have purchased thousands of acres of coal land in Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, Illinois and Ohio, and a Canadian company has also boon organized to develop alleged anthracite deposits in the Rocky Mountains. The manutacture of coke is receiving more attention, and in some of the cases alluded to above, purchases of land have been made with a view of engaging in this industry as the main business."
“ Natural Gas and the Coal Trade."
“ (In considering this subject special reference is made herein to the coal trade of Ohio, and so far as the same is relatively affected, western Pennsylvania, us comprising mainly ihe territory in which natural gas has come into competition wita coal.) It is said that natural gas has been discovered in paying quantities in nineteen States and Territories. No record is kept of the yield of patural gas in cubic feet, but the chief of the Bureau of Mineral Statistics estimates that the amount of coal displaced by gas in 1885 was 3,160,600 tons, valued at $4,854,200. In 1884 the coal displaced was valued at $1,460,000. The yield has increased tepfold since 1083. In western Pennsylvania alone sixty-six natural gas companies have been organized and nearly $21,000,000 of capital invested. There is said to bo 461 miles of gas mains entering Pittsburgh, and it is estimated that two and one-half million tons of coal have been displaced there the past year. The gas companies and the increase of active work in the iron mills have, bowever, given employment to over 3,500 men supposed to bave been thrown idle in mining and other industries by the introduction of natural gas."
“The revenues now received for supplying gas in Pittsburgh amount to over $2,000,000 per annum. A statement of the earnings of one of the large natural gas companies there, for a period of eight months, showa gross earnings, $964,665 ; total expenses and interest charges, $242,884 ; net earnings, $721,781. The company divided 8400,000 in eight months, being one per cent. monthly, and had a surplus left of $321,871."
The following from the bulletin of the American Iron and Steel Association, will give some idea of the extent of the introduction of natural gas in the great iron and steel district of western Pennsylvania :
“Two years ago not more than six rolling mills and steel works in the United States used natural gas as fuel; now we have a record of sixty-eight rolling mills and steel works which use the new fuel, and of sixteen which are making proparations to use it. Every rolling mill and steel works in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, fifty-five in all, now use natural gas. In western Pennsylvania, outside of Allegheny County, it is used in twelve mills and steel works, and seven others, including the rolling mill and Gautier departments of the Cambria iron wurks, 79 miles east of Pittsburgh, are preparing to use it. One rolling mill in Ohio is now using it, and eight mills are getting ready to use it. At Wheeliog, West Virginia,
one mill is making arrangements to introduce it. In all but a very fow of the mills. and steel works referred to, natural gas is used as fuel exclusively."
"Since this was written all the mills on both sides of the Ohio River, at and near Wheeling, have began using the new fuel, which will add coosiderably to the list above enumerated, and all of which draw their supply of gas from the same district. The mills of Youngstown, as noticed further on, are also about to join in the general use of gas.”
"At to the pormanency of the supp!y, opinions differ. Professor Lesley, of the Pennsylvania Geological Survey, in a paper read before the Institute of Mining Engineers, says: 'I take this opportunity to express my opinion in the strongest terme, ibat the amazing exbibition of oil and gas, which has characterized the last twenty years, and will probably characterize the next ten or twenty years, is never. theless not only geologically, bat bistorically, a temporary and vanisbing phenomenon, one wbich young men will live to see come to its natural end. And this opinion Í do not entertain in any loose or unreasonable form; it is the result of both an active and a thoagbıful acquaintance with the subject.
For I am DO geologist if it be true that the manufaciure of oil in the laboratory of nature is still going on the bundredth or the thousandih part of the rate of its exhaustion.
* I hold the same opinion respecting gas, and for the same reasons, with the difference merely that tbe end will certainly come sooner, and be all the more bastened by the multiplication of tho gas wells and of tbe fire boxes and furnaces to which it is led,' &c.”
“Experience bas shown that the pressure of the wells increases and diminishes at times, but the general tendency is to decrease gradually. One well, in the Cannousburg field in Pennsylvania, has been flowing for a year, and shows, by measure. ment, a decrease in that time of thirty.five pounds prossure to tho square inch. The Homewood gas district at Pittsburgh, oponed in 1881, is now practically exhausted. There is no doubt that in many instances where pipod gas has given out at the point of consumption, the cause can be traced to defective methods of piping and distributing rather than to a falling off in the supply. Nevertheless, gas men have very generally come to the conclusion that the life of a well is a mero question of time, and that the gas company having the largest territory to draw from may be considered the surest of longevity.”
“ As yet natural gas bas not heen successfully utilized as a fuel in blast furnaces. An experiment was made in this direction by the Isabella Furnace, near P.ttsburgh. The result was that a reduction of ten per cent. in the coke supply caused the fur. Dace to show signs of chilling, and the manager was obliged to return to the former amount of coke to avoid trouble in the working of the furoale. Without radical chango in tbe present furnace practice it would seem to be impossible to substitute gas for coal or coke in smelting iron. A solid fuel is necersary to support the burden, and the fuel should be mixed through and permeate the whole mass. Until this difficuly can be overcome, it is not probable that a gaseous fuel will entirely take the place of others in blast furnaces. At Findlay and Bowling Green, where lime is being burned by natural gas, the same difficulty is met with. The stone nearest the gas jet is burned too hard, wbile that furthest away receives too littie heat. If this be the case in small limo kilns, how much greator dificulty would be met in introducing a similar fuel in our large furnaces, under conditions, in this respect, comparatively analogous."
Petroleum. The alleged petroleum discoveries at Lake Dauphin bavo not as yet been sufficiently tested to enable one to state whether or not that mineral exists in quantities to be of any considerable economic value. The expense of placing the necessary machinery there bas been largely the cause; a company has, bowever, made a fair effort, bat had the services of a diamond drill company been available, much more information could have been obtained than has been heretofore. There is a danger, if the present