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TIMBER, MINERAL AND GRAZING LANDS.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
OTTAWA, 30th December, 1887. SIR, -I have the honor to submit the eighth annual report of the Timber, Mineral and Grazing Lands Office of the Department of the Interior.
Statements showing the revenue, amounting to $121,415.52, derived from Crown timber, mineral and grazing lands, but exclusive of sales, for the departmental year which ended on the 31st October last, are appended hereto, together with the reports of the Crown Timber Agents at Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Prince Albert, and New Westminstor, B.C. The above amount includes $1,948.80 dues on timber cut on school lands.
The revenue exceeds that of last year by $337.67. There is an increase for timber dues of $7,628.10, for mining fees, $40, but a decrease for rent of grazing lands of $7,759.91.
For the sake of reference and comparison statements showing, both by fiscal and departmental years, the revenue received for timber, mineral and grazing lands from 1872 up to the 31st of October last, have been prepared, and may be found at the end of this report.
The total revenue from the Winnipeg Agency amounted to $45,611, being an increase of $3,941.58 as compared with the previous year,
The agent points out that this increase is due to the abundant crops of last season; that the settlers who have in many cases hitherto been without the means to improve their farms by building and fencing are now in a position to do so, and consequently the lumbering interests of the country are beginning to feel the effects of the improved condition of the farmers, in the increased demand for lumber,
The agent in his report sets forth in detail his reasons for urging upon the Dopartment the necessity of preserving the timber in bis district for the future needs of settlers and preventing as far as possible its destruction for speculative purposes, and suggests in view of the fact that so many young healthy trees are destroyed annually in making railway ties, that an effort should be made to divert the timber opera. tions of the railway companies to the Lake Superior district, or to some other place where the interests of settlement would not be so greatly affected.
In connection with the subject of the preservation of timber there is one essen. tial point which should not be passed without remark, and that is the necessity of providing some better means than at present exist to prevent the destruction, annually, by fire, of millions of feet of timber throughout Manitoba and the North-West Territories. A person who has lately returned from exploring the North Saskatche. wan and its vicinity, between Calgary and Edmonton, reported that during last summer miles of valuable timber had been destroyed through the carelessness of Indians and others in pot extinguishing their camp fires when moving from place to place; and an explorer, who, within the last few months, has been examining the timber resources of the Porcupine Hills west of lake Winnipegoosis, in the Province of Manitoba, makes the same complaint.
The Department, acting upon a suggestion made by the Crown Timber Agent at Winnipeg, is about to issue permits to parties to cut the burnt timber within the Winnipeg Agency at reduced rates of dues. The object is to save the burnt timber
as much as possible, and to prevont, in the future, the spreading of fires to the green timber,
The agent furnishes a statement showing the quantity of lumber sold in Mani. toba, of which he says about sixty per cent. was imported, and he gives it as his opinion that the fact of lumber being shipped into Manitoba and sold at low prices is an advantage, as it reserves our own forests for future use, our beaviert and best timber being as yet inaccessible.
The agent reports that wood is selling at the same price as in the fall of 1886, and he gives a schedule of prices of the several kinds of coal.
The price of lumber manufactured within the Winnipeg Agonoy varies from $10 to $40 per thousand feet, according to kind and quality of lumber. British Columbia lumber sold in Winnipeg at from $18 to $50 per thousand.
The total amount of dues collected for timber within the Edmonton Agency is 85,983,96, being $2,075.79 of an increaso over last year. This satisfactory state of affairs is accounted for in the same manner as the increase of the revenue within the Winnipeg Agency. The price of lumber at Edmonton during the year was from $15 to $23 per thousand feet, board measure, and at St. Albert $25.
There are at present five sawmills within this agency, one having been erected within the past year at Athabasca Landing by the Hudson's Bay Company. Another mill is at present being built at the Red Deer River by the Alberta Lumber Company.
The total amount of dues collected for timber within the Calgary Agency during the year amounted to $10,3?1.55, being a decrease of $1,705.93. There is, however, $4,815.71 owing the Department for dues on lumber sold prior to the 31st of October, 1887, which there will be no difficulty in collecting, and if this amount bad been received before that date it would have increased the revenue to $13,167.26. There are at present seven mills in operation under Government license within this agency, one in the neighborhood of Fort McLeod, one at Lethbridge, one at Cypress Hills, one at Calgary, one at Kananaskis, one at Cochrane, and one on the north fork of Sheep Creek. There are also several portable mills, the owners of which have been cutting timber from time to time under permit. During the past season the Eau Claire and Bow River Lumber Company erected a sawmill at Calgary, having a cutting capacity of 25,000 feet, board measure, in twelve hours, and Major Walker erected a sawmill at Kananaskis with a capacity of 15,000 foot, board measure, in twelve hours.
The returns from mill owners show that lumber sold at Calgary for $17 per thousand feet, at Cochrane $16, at Fort McLeod $20 to $40, at Lethbridge $30, and at Cypress Hills $10 to $12.
The total amount of dues collected within the Prince Albert Agency was $2,762.63, being a decrease of $2,672.93. It may be said in explanation of this decrease that about $2,400 which should have been paid during the last departmental year is only now being collected, the Department having thought it undesirable to press for payment until the crop of 1887 could be realized upon. There is only one sawmill within this agency cutting under Government license, namely, thai at Prince Albert, erected in 1876 by Messrs. Moore and Macdowall. There are two other sawmills at Prince Albert, one owned by Mr. James Saunderson and the other by Mr. Chester Thompson, and one at Battleford, owned by Messrs. Prince Brothers, all manufacturing lamber for settlers who received permits to cut timber for their own use. Lumber sold at Prince Albert from $21 to $42 per thousand.
The total amount of dues collected for timber cut on Dominion lands in the Province of British Columbia, amounted to $15,141.47, being an increase of $5,934.81 over last year.
The indications are that the revenue from this agency will be increased during the present year. The returns received show 10,930,478 feet, board measure, of lumber as having been manufactured during the year.
Saw-mill returns, received at the head office, give the following quantities of building material as having been manufactured and sold during the year within the five agencies :
Manufactured. 36,413,687 teet, 5,453,023 2,605,850
Forty.eight licenses to cut timber, over a total area of 2,025.03 square milos, have been issued during the year. The areas leased in the Province of Manitoba, the three Provisional Territorial Districts, and on Dominion lands in British Columbia, are as follows:
346 67 British Columbia,.......
In addition to the 2,025:03 square miles in Manitoba and the North-West Territories under yearly license, an area of 791 square miles is covered by twenty.one years leases which were issued prior to December, 1883.
The number of applications received during the year to cut timber was 121, of which 66 were for licenses to cut timber in Manitoba and the North-West Territories, and the remainder for licenses to cut tim ber apon Dominion lands in British Columbia. The number of applications during the previous year was 164,
The regulations governing the granting of yearly licenses to cut timber in Manitoba and the North-West Territories, approved by His Excellency the Governor General in Council on the 8th of March, 1883, as amended by Ordørs in Council passed since that date, are attached to this report. These regulations also govern the disposal of timber on Dominion lands in the Province of British Columbia as far west as the height of land near Eagle Pass, which is situated about eight miles west of Revelstoke, on the line of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
The provisions of the regulations governing the disposal of timber on Dominion lands in the Province of British Colombia lying west of the 120th degree of longitude and north of 49° 34' north latitude (Yale) in force last year, have been amended and these regulations now govern the disposal of timber on Dominion lands as far east as the height of land at Eagle Pass. "A copy of the regulations accompanies this report.
No amendments to the regulations governing the disposal of licenses to cut timber on Dominion lands lying south of 49° 34' north latitude and west of the 121st degree of longitude have been made during the last year. A copy of the regulations will be found at the end of this report.
MINING LANDS OTHER THAN COAL. Returns from the Dominion lands agents show that during the year fifty-seven entries were made for mining locations other than coal. The revenue from mining lands for the year was 8637,50, made up as follows:
Fees for entry and registration of assignments 8230, and $407.50 in payment of a mining location in Townships 50 and 51, Range 4, west of the 5th meridian, and a stone quarry at the narrows of Lake Manitoba,
Regulations for the disposal of Dominion lands containing minerals other than coal were approved by an Order in Council, dated the 5th October, 1887, and were substituted for the regulations of the 7th of March, 1884.
The principal changes may be briefly stated as follows:
The area of a mining location is changed from forty to a little over twenty acres,
Under the former regulations a mining claim had to be rectangular in form and the boundaries due north and south and east and west lines, and not more than four
in number. Under the present regulations the form of a claim must be a parallelogram, with a length not exceeding 1,500 foot and a breadth not exceeding 600 foet, but there is no roquirement for the boundaries to be due north and souch and east and west lines.
The former regulations required $500 to be expended on a claim within one year of the date of entry, and before patent could issue, with the privilege of another year in certain cases within which to make such expenditure. The present regulations call for $ 100 expeoditure in each of five years, thus giving the locates five years within which to make the $500 worth of improvements, but if he wishes to obtain a patent sooner, he can do so by making the necessary expenditure at any time before applying for patent.
A new feature of the present regulations is that provision is made to a limited extent for the formation of mining partnerships of not exceeding four persons, whose claims must be adjacent to each other, and the entries for which must have been made within three months of each other. In such cases the four partners will be permitted for the first two years to concentrate their annual expenditure on any one of the four claims. Such expenditure, however, does not count as expenditure on any but the claim on which it is made. The present regulations provide that within surveyed territory the mining locations shall be adapted to the system of surveys. Tho old regulations did not provide for this. The present regulations enablo the Minister of the Interior, if h's deems it expedient, tu grant petroleum claims of an area of 160 acres each, under the same conditions as the former regulations provided for claims for iron mining locations.
Clause 18 of the former regulations is so amended in the present regulations that creek or river placer claims shall not exceed ten acros in area when the dis. tarco from base to base of the bill or bench exceeds ten chains.
Under the head of ditches, the former regulations provided for the granting of water required for works in connection with mining. Subject to the same condi. tions, the present regulations permit of the acquisition of the same right in conneotion with stamping mills, reduction works, &c.
Clause 81 of the former regulations, which provided for the collection of a roy. alty on the sales of the products of all mines, has been repealed. By the present regulations lots containing stone quarries can be taken up, but the products are either subject to royalty or the lots may be sold absolutely at such price as the Minister of the Interior may determine.
A new provision of the present regulations is that which permits the owner of a mine, who finds in the course of development that his lode or vein will pass beyond the vertical lines of his claim before he has reached the depth beyond which working would cease to be remunerative, and the adjacent land is vacant, to obtain an addi. tional area of 20 acres on the side to which the lcde or vein deflects. This privilege only attaches, however, to a claim which is in process of being worked practically and bona fide.
COAL MINING LANDS,
The number of applications received during the year was sixty nine, and sixty of the applicants have been givon the privilege to purchase within a specified time the location for which they applied.
The revenue for the year derived from the sale of coal lands was 87,650, being a decrease of $30,758.16 as compared with the previous year. The prospects are that the revenue from this source will be considerably increased during the present year.
The coal mining regulations are to be found at the end of this report. No changes have been made since last year, but by an Order in Council dated the 31st of October, 1887, authority was given for the insertion of a clause in all patents from the Crown for lands situated west of the 3rd Meridian in the North-West Territories, reserving to Her Majesty, her successors and assigns forever, all mines and minerals which may be found to exist within, upon, or under such lands, together with full power to work the same, and for this purpose to enter upon and use and occupy the said lands, or so much thereof and to such an extent as may be necessary for the effectual working of the said minerals, or the mines, pits, seams and veins containing the same.
The total number of leases of grazing lands in Manitoba and the North-West Territories issued by the Department was 167. Some of these leases have been cancelled and others returned to the Department by the lesseos. The number of leases now in force is 132, covering an area of 4,466,844 acres. The lands leased are situated principally in the District of Alberta and the southern portion of the District of Assiniboia, with a few tracts in the District of Saskatchewan and the Province of Manitoba. The number of new applications received for leases of grazing lands during the year was 149, being 112 less than the previous year.
The amount received for rent of grazing lands was $39,577.10 as compared with 847,337.01 for the year which ended on the 31st of October, 1886.