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Printed and Published by L. K. Cameron. 

Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty. 
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Printed and Published by L. K. Cameron. 

Priilter to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty. 



To His Honor, 

The Lieutenant-Governor op the Province of Ontario : 

Sir, — I have the honor to transmit herewith, the report of the Royal Commission 
appointed in Jane, 1897, to investigate and report on the subject of "restoring and pre- 
serving the growth of White Pine and other timber trees upon lands in the Province, 
which are not adapted for agricultural purposes or for settlement." 

I have the honor to be. 


Your obedient servant, 


Secretary of Commission. 



Early in 1897 the following memorandam was addressed to the Honorable the Oom- 
missioner of Crown Lands : 

Hon. J. M. Gibson, 

Commissioner of Crown Lands : 

Sir, — In accordance with the instructions received on my appointment, I have 
devoted a good deal of time and study to the question of the feasibility of restoring and 
preserving the growth of white pine upon lands not adapted for settlement and which 
have been wholly or partially cleared either by lumbering operations or by fire. Until 
lately such a measure has not been considered possible except at an outlay which, under 
existing circumstances, would preclude its adoption. Recent investigations, however, 
have thrown new light on the matter by dispelling the erroneous views formerly generally 
current, and still held by some, as to the natural process of forest reproduction. It was 
popularly believed that when the original pine forest was destroyed and the soil remained 
uncultivated, the succeeding crop of spontaneous vegetation consisted in all cases of trees 
of a less valuable character, such as poplar, birch, bird cherry, and j%ck pine, and that 
some natural law precluded a second growth of white pine. The circumstance which 
gave color and plausibility to the theory was that in the majority of cases lumbered over 
lands were subjected to the ravages of fire, frequently more than once, which swept away 
not merely the undergrowth but the seeds deposited in the forest soil, so that when after 
the lapse of years vegetation again appeared, the lighter seeds, carried long distances by 
the wind, were the first to occupy the soil. 

Careful examination of many cut-over tracts and information derived from various 
sources, afi'ords abundant evidence that while the result of repeated fires may be to 
utterly destroy the white pine so as to prevent its spontaneous reproduction, the first 
crop will naturally and as a rule be succeeded by a speedy growth of its own kind, and 
that where protection from fire is afijrded these seedlings supply the vacancy left by the 
removal of the original forest and furnish a merchantable crop within a reasonable time. 
Already there are large areas of cut and burned over land on which young white pines 
are found intermixed with less valuible trees which only require to be guarded against 
forest fires to yield a profitable crop long before the present virgin timber resources of 
Ontario are exhausted. Even after a district has been burned over white pine or spruce 
will spring up where the seeds latent in the soil have not been burned, or where enough 
of the original trees remain to furnish seed. Near the village of Plevfla, in the county 
of Addington, a tract of land of considerable extent has been, as you are aware, with- 
drawn from sefetlem'ent on account of the valuable crop of young pine timber which has 
grown up during the past twelve or fourteen years' immunity from fires. There are many 
such tracts scattered throughout the Province unsuited for general agriculture which will 
in due course contribute to the ti caber supply, unless, as was the case with a fine crop of 
young pines in the township of M jthuen last year, the ravages of fire prevent this desirable 

The problem of reforestation is greatly simplified when it is understood that all that 
is really required to be done in most cases to secure a certain if somewhat tardy restora- 
tion of the original forest growth is to allow the reproductive energy of nature to have 
full play, with immunity from fire. So long as it was supposed that when the first pine 
crop was removed the second growth was invariably of an inferior and comparatively 
valueless character, and that nothing short of artificial planting at enormous cost would 
restore the pine growth, it is not surprising that a policy of mere exploitation was pur- 
sued by which it was sought to harvest the original crop of virgin timber as fast as the 
demands of the market warranted, and in a manner that would provide the greatest 
revenue to the Province. 

Since it has been established that it is possible to profitably grow successive crops of 
our most valuable trees on our non-cultivable lands, the question of the cheapest and most 
expeditious plan to pursae in this regard becomes very important. The greatest factor is 
of course the prevention or lessening of forest fires, and in the effort to do this many 


things must be considered. The withdrawal of certain lands fiom settlement, the degree 
of restriction found necessary upon the liberty now enjoyed by hunters, tourists, prospec- 
tor?, trapperp, and others in t-he Crown domain, the means of checking fires once started, 
and many other things most be carefuly considered in enacting legislation with this aim 
in view. 

While the adoption of a system of scientific forestry as practiced in Europe might be 
advantageous and would certainly increase considerably the future yield of any area, so 
managed, it is not -within the scope of the present communication to urge so extensive and 
radical a change in OB r methods of Crown Lands administration. With the limited in- 
formation at present available as to the extent, location and surrounding conditions of 
such areas as it might be desirable to withdraw from settlement and keep as permanent 
timber reserves, it is impossible to undertake the presentation of any comprehensive 
scheme for the selection, care and management of such reserves. 

I beg leave, therefore, to earnestly urge upon the Government the desirability of 
appointing a competent commission to go thoroughly into the whole question of forest 
management for the Province. Such commission should be under the general direotion 
of the Commissioner of Crown Lands. It should be instructed to personally inspect as 
large an area of the cut over Crown Lands of the Province as possible, and report as to 
the most suitable areas for permanent forest reserves, the lots suitable for general agri- 
culture, and having regard, in the location of reserves, to their probable influence on 
climate and water supply. The Commissioners should also, in the case of such lands now 
under license, ascertain on what terms it can be released if found advisable ; by interviews 
with lumbermen and otherwise investigate thoroughly the problem of forest fires and the 
means for their prevention and suppression, and, in general, submit plans for the guidance 
of the Legislature in adopting a system of forestry that will b? applicable to the condi- 
tions existing in Ontario. As for this object it is important to secure the advice of a 
trained forestry expert, the Commission should be empowered to engage a specialist hav- 
ing an acquaintance with the best European forestry systems, as well as some knowledge 
of conditions existing upon this continent. 

If I may be allowed to make suggestions as to the personnel of the Commission, I 
would submit the names of A. Kirkwood, chief clerk of sales branch ; J. B. Mc Williams, 
superintendent of forest rangers, and myself, all officers of the Department of Crown 

In any reconstruction of forestry methods, it is highly important that the timber 
industry, which, next to agriculture, is the largest in the Province, be carefully 
considered, and I would therefore suggest that there be added to the Commission two 
prominent and representative lumbermen. 

I have the honor to be, etc., 


Clerk of Forestry for Ontario. 

The Commissioner of Crown Lands signified his approval of the proposition and in a 
memorandum to council remarked that he had "for some time past had under considera- 
tion the important question of what steps might, without at present incurring any large 
expenditure, be adopted that would be of practical utility in restoring and preserving the 
growth of white pine upon lands in the Province which have been cleared or partially 
cleared by lumbering operations or by fire, and which are not adapted for agricultural 
purposes. The time seems to have arrived when a beginning should be made in the 
selection of portions of the public lands by way of reservations of growing white pine, 
which, if adequately protected from fire, may in the future become valuable portions of 
the timber assets of the Province. The expense of making selections from time to time 
need be but slight ; as a rule the advice of the officers of the Department will be suf- 
ficiently reliable to act upon. It is, however, in the practical initiation of this policy, de- 
sirable that the Department should have the fullest information and the best advice 
obtainable, and the undersigned (the Commissioner of Crown Lands) entirely concurs in 
in the suggestion of Mr. Southworth that a commission should be constituted for the 
purpose of reporting on this subject in its various phases and relations." 

{Great Seal.) 

Georgb a. Kirkpatrick. 

Province of Ontario. 

Victoria, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 
Queen, Defender of the Faith, ifec , &.o. 

To Edward Wilkes Rathbun, of Our To'vn of Deseronto, in Our County of Hast- 
ings, E' quire, John Bertram, Esquire, and Alexander Kirkwood, Chief Clerk cf the 
Lands Branch of the Crown Lands Department of Ontario, both of Oar City of Toronto, 
in Our County of York, John Bannon McWilliams, of Our Town of Peterborough, 
in Our County of Peterborough, Superintendent of Forest Rangers, and Thomas South- 
worth, of Our said Crown Lands Department, Clerk of Forestry, Our Commissioners 
in this behalf, Greeticg: 

r Whereas in and by Chapter Seventeen of the Revised Stat- 

A^fT°"" n 7' ] «tes of our Province of Ontario, entitled "An Act Respecting 

Attorney General, j^ inquiries Concerning Public Matters,'- it is enacted that whenever 
the Lieutenant-Governor of our said Province-in-Council deems it expedient to cause in- 
quiry to be made into and concerning any matter connected with the good government of 
our said Province, or the condoct of any part of the public business thereof, or the adminis- 
tration of justice therein, and such inquiry is not regulated by any special law, the Lieuten- 
ant-Governor may, by the commission in the case, confer upon the Commissioners or per- 
sons by whom such inquiry is to be conducted, the power of summoning before them any 
party of witnesses and of and requiring them to give evidence on oath, orally or in writ- 
ing (or on solid affirmation if they be parties entitled to affirm in civil matterf<), and to 
produce such documents and things as such Commissioners deem requisite to the fail 
investigation of the matters into which they are appointed to examine, and that the Com- 
misnorers shall then have the same power to enforce the attendance of such witnesses 
and to compel them to give evidence and produce documents and things, as is vested in 
any Court in civil cases ; but that no party or witness shall be compelled to answer any 
quFstion by his answer to which he might render himself liable to criminal prosecution. 

And whereas it has been made to appear to the Executive Government of our said 
Province, that the subject of restoring and pres9rving the growth of White Pine and 
other timber trees upon the lands in our said Province whr'ch are not adapted for agricul- 
tural purposes or for settlement, should be investigated. 

And whereas the Lieutenant-Governor of our said Province of Ontario- in- Council 
deems it expedient that inquiry should be made into the said subject. 

Now knew you that we, having and reposing full trust and confidrnce in you the 
said Edward Wilkes Rathbun, you ih*^ said John Bertram, you the said Alexander 
Kirkwood, you the said John Bannon McWilliams, and you the said Thomas South worth, 
do hereby, by and with the advice of our Executive Council of our said Province, appoint 
you the said Edward Wilkes Rathbun, you the said John Bertram, you the 
said Alexander Kirkwood, you the said John Bannon McWilliam", and you 
the 3aid Thomas Southworth to be our Commissioners in this behalf to inquire 
into and report to our said Lieutenant Governor upon the subject of restoring 
and preserving the growth of White Pine and other timber trees upon lands in our said 
Provirce which are not adapted for agricultural purposes or for settlement, giving to you, 
our said Commissioners full power and authority to summon before you any party or 
witnesses, and to require him or tfcem, to give evidence on oath, orally or in writing (or 
on solemn affirmation if such party or witnesses is, or are entitled to affirm in civil 
mattert), and to produce to you our said Commissfonera such documents and things as you 
may deem requisite to the full investigation of the premises, together with all and every 
other power and authority in the said Act mentioned and authorized to be by us con- 
ferred on any Commissioner appointed by authority or in pursuance thereof. 

And we do require you our said Commissioners forthwith after the conclusion of such 
inquiry to make full report to our said Lieutenant-Governor touching the said investiga- 
tion, together with all evidence taken by you concerning the same. 

To have, hold and enjoy the said office and authority of Commissioners for and dar- 
ing the pleasure of our said Lieutenant-Governor. 

In testimony whereof, we have caused these our letters to be made patent, and the 
great seal of our said Province of Ontario to be hereunto affixed. 

Witness, the Honorable George Airey Kirkpatrick, member of our Privy Oouncil 
for Canada, and Lieutenant-Governor of our said Province of Ontario, at our Govern- 
ment House, in our City of Toronto, in our said Province, this fourth day of June, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety seven, and in the sixtieth year of 
our reign. 

By command, 


Provincial Secretary. 


Mr. Sauthworth was appointed Secretary of the Commission by Order-in-Oouncil, 
and, pursuant to his call, the Commissioners met for the first time on July 7th in the 
Council Chamber at the Parliament Buildings. Besides the members of the Commission, 
there were present Hon. A, S. Hardy, Premier and Attorney Ganeral, and Hon. G. W. 
Pioss, Acting Oommissioner of Crown Lands, Hon. J. M. Gibson, Commissioner of Grown 
Lands, being in England at the time. 

The Attorney-General, who from his long experience as Oommissioner of Grown 
Lands had taken a deep interest in the question of reforestation, expressed his apprecia- 
tion of the sacrifice made by Mr. Rath bun and Mr. Bertram in consenting to serve on 
the Oommission with no emolument for their services, and also referred briefly 
to the magnitude of the interests involved in the enquiry, and the vast importance to 
the Province of adopting some plan by whicb, with small expenditure of money, the 
large areas of broken land now lying waste and periodically ravaged by fire, could be re- 
stored to a permanently profitable condition. 

Upon the withdrawal of the Ministers, on motion of Mr. Bertram, Mr. Rathbun 
was elected chairman and Mr. Kirk wood vice-chairman of the commission. It was 
decided to first visit some burned over territory in the county of Peterborough, and after 
a general discussion of the situation the meeting adjourned. 

No attempt will be made to give a detailed report of the various meetings of the 
Commission, which were held in Toronto, Deseronto, and in the field. 

Members of the Oommission personally visited the townships of Smith, Harvey* 
Galway and Burleigh, in the county of Peterboro ; Hichinbrooke in the County o' 
Frontenac; the territory along the north shore of Lake Nipissing and down the Vermilion 
river in the township of Louise ; the country around Thessalon, Algoma Mills and Kil- 
larney ; the townships of Carlyle, Gofchen, No. 67, and Humboldt; and other points on 
the north shore of Georgian Biy and in the neighborhood of Sault Ste Marie; the Rainy 
River Valley; Thunder Bay District, and they also visited a small section of the immense 
territory north of the height of land lying along the Missinabi waters 

The aiea of the Province is so large that it would take a long time to inspect the 
diflferent sections of it, yet the Commission feel that they have secured sufficient inf jr- 
mation in their various visits to the forest in diff'erent pirts of the Province to reach 
tolerably safe conclusions in several important particulars of forest growth in Ontario, 
while fully conscious that much remains to be learned concerning many features of the 
somewhat complicated condition of the problem submitted to them. Particularly is this 
the case concerning the white pine, our most valuable timber tree, which grows and 
thrives under such widely varying circumstances as to reqaire years of patient study for 
a thorough knowledge of its sylvicultural characteristics. 


General Principles. 

It is well understood by those who have given the matter any consideration, that 
all vegetation playa a most important part in making the earth habitable for mankind. 
In the process of assimilating food the plant exhales the oxygen so essential to the main- 
tenance of animal life, and absorbs the poisonous carbon dioxide given off by decaying 
matter, and by animals in the process of respiration. In this way vegetable life and 
animal life form the proper corollary for each other, and help to maintain that equilibrium 
in the atmosphere necessary for the health of both. 

Where Trees Excel. 

Owing to the great area of surface in a liaaited space presented by the leaves of trees 
they exercise a correspondingly greater influence in this respect than other forms of 

The beneficial 6 ffct of trees on the atmosphere is not confined to the chemical 
action before referred to. Forests, groups of trees, and every single tree according to its 
situation, all have power more or less to modify the surrounding atmosphere, raakiag it 
cooler in summer and warmer in winter than would be the case if the treet were absent, 
and thus they are a powerful factor ia preserving equality of climatic conditions The 
temperature of the interior of trees has a much narrower range than the air, and it can 
thus be easily understood that when the general temperature drops below freezing point 
the air in the interior of a forest is much warmer than that outside its influence, and a 
corresponding difference would naturally exist in the summer with the added effect of 
the shade offered by the leaf canopy, by which the solar radiation from the soil is 

Whether the more even temperature of a tree is due to any chemical action going 
on in the process of cell building, or merely to the water drawn up from the subsoil to 
the leaves, being cooler in the spring and summer and warmer in the winter than the 
surface of the soil or the air, is not definitely known. In any event trees act as equal- 
izers of temperature to a great degree by the direct action of the tree trunks on the air. 

This action of the tree trunks on the atmosphere is further affected by the discharge 
of large quantities of water taken up from the subsoil by the roots and transpired through 
the leaves of trees. The superficial surface exposed by the leaves of trees varies largely 
according to the variety, lut as an example we quote from an article appearing in the 
Popular Science Monthly, for March, 1899, by Stephen Smith, M.D,, L.LD., on the sub- 
ject, "Vegetation a Remedy lor the Summer Heat of Cities." Dr. Smith says, "the 
Washington Elm of Cambridge, Mass., a tree of moderate size, was estimated some years 
since to produce a crop of seven million leaves, exposing a suiface of two hundred thou- 
saad feet, or about five acres of foliage. From this it may readily be seen that a large 
amount of moisture is given off by an acre of trees such as this. Prof. Fernow, of Cor- 
nell College of Forestry, states that " the total quantity of moisture returned into the 
atmosphere from a forest by transpiration and evaporation from the trees and soil, is 
about seventy five per cent of the precipitation." 

As the evaporation from the open field is only about forty per cent, of the rainfall, 
it wouM seem that the forest from taking up more rainfall, would tend to greater drought 
but it must be remembered that the water transpired through the leaves of trees ia taken 
from the underground supply, that the evaporation from the soil under a forest is only 
twelve per cent, instead of forty in the open field, the balance being made up from sources 
that do not affect the surface moisture. It is worthy of notice, also, that other forms of 
vegetation transpire about as much moisture per acre as trees, and owing to the shallower 
root system, the surface supply of water is drawn upon. 

AH this goes to show the manifest advantages of tree planting in cities and towns 
from a sanitary point of view, and at the same time the moral benefit to a community of 
the beautifying effect of shade trees is a consideration not to he lost sight of. 


Trees on Farms. 

Aside from the advantages of roadside and lawn planting, the beneficial (Sects which 
wculd accrue from utilizing every corner, every ridgp, or other uncultivated fpot where a 
tree can be made to grow, the phcing of wind breaks and shelter hill belts on all farms in 
cur settled districts, would enhance the value of such farms very materially in the im- 
proved appearance, and because of the mitigation of the severity of the cold of winter and 
the heat of summer, caused by the presence of the trees. This is aside altogether from 
the purely economic advantages of a gocd wood lot en a farm. It is not contended that 
it would be wise to convert a valuable wheat field into a forest, but there are few farms 
in this Province on which there are not sorce rough, broken or hilly places, now alFoid- 
ing only indiflferent pasture that would not yield far greater returns under a crop of the 
right sort of trees, than in their present condition. True, we cannot sow and reap our 
crop in the same year as with wheat, but every year added to ihe age of the tree crop 
adds to the capital invested, and incrrases the selling value of the farm. 


Important as is the presence of trees to the settled parts of the Province, both urban 
and rural, the in portance is lost sight of when considering the far greater necessity of 
restoring a forest growth of desirable trees to large districts of the Province from which 
fire has removed tfce original forest, and where the land is unsuitable for general agri- 
culture. Herein lies the real question of Canadian forestry; what should be our proper 
course in utilizing forest products and in preserving the productive power of our forests. 

Forestry is farming, with trees as the main crop. Seed time and harvest extend 
over a long or short period of years, dependent upon the sorts of trees and the purpose 
for which they are grown. Because of the long time required for a crop of trees to 
reach the most profitable age for cutting, few individuals are financially able to adopt 
this branch of iarming on a large scale, consequently, and bf cause of the general bene- 
fit to the community as a whole derived from large portions of the country being 
maintained in forest, forestry should be conducted by the State, or in other words, by 
the people as a whole and not by individuals for individual profit, often to the detri- 
ment of the best interests of the community. 

Ontario's Position. 

Fortunately for us, Ontario is happily situated in this regard. Of the 1 42 millions 
of acres comprising the Province about 120 millions of acres are still owned by the 
Grown. Out of this nearly 22 000 square miles or 14 million acres are under license to 
lumbermen, but even in this case the Grown still owns the lauJ, the standing timber 
only having been disposed of 

The Province of Ontario, therefore, owns one of the largest forest estates held by 
any State in the world. We were given that grf at forest upon our setting out for our- 
selves, and until recently we have done no more than to remove the original crop by axe 
and fire, making litfcle provision for the future. For many years the object aimed at by 
our legislators consisted in removing the standing timber to assist the settler in clearing 
the ground for his farm. The more valuable timber was sold to the best advantage, and 
the proceeds went to swell the revenue of the Province. As clearing went on by the 
lumberman and the fires that nearly always followed him, it v-as found that there were 
extensive areas not suited for tillage. In some cases settlers took up this land, and 
wasted years in proving it unfit for general farming, in other cases it was allowed to 
grow up to a young forest for a few years to be fire twept again. 

To restore these fire swept tracts of land to a productive condition so thab they will 
furnish us with a continual supply of timber for fuel and the arts, to prevent the other 
non-tillable arras now being exploited for the original crop of timber, from being allowed 
to get into an unproductive condition is the forestry problem awaiting solution in 


CoKDiTiONS Differ. 

No two countries present the same problem in this respect ; conditions here are so 
different from those existing in Europe that it w^ould be quite out oE the question to 
adopt the intensive and expensive forestry systems of Germ^iny or France in this cDuntry. 
We may profitably investigate these systems and see what they have accomplished with the 
means at their disposal, but we must evolve a system of our own, suited to our own needs 
and circumstances. What may be correct forestry practice in France or Germany, where 
every broken branch or fallen limb can be sold, where even the little twigs are tied in 
bundles of faggots and disposed of and the leaves are valued as stable litter, would not 
pay liere. Much labor may be expended in seeding or planting where labor is cheap, and 
all the product high priced, but here in Oanada we have to do with entirely different 
economic problemp, and so must find other solutions. 

To contribute in some degree towards such a solution is, we take It, the object of the 
Forestry Commission. The subject is a very complex one, the results of a proper solution 
vast and far reaching, and it is no*" of coarse expected that we can in so short a time 
produce a system of forestry that will be complete and symmetrical. There are difficulties 
in the way that make the immediate adoption of radical changes impracticable. At the 
same time we trust to be able to throw some light on the question and aid in carrying out 
the forward policy recentl}'^ inaugurated by the Government of the Province. 

The scope of our enquiry mainly concerned land owned by the Crown : lands under 
licen.«e to lumbermen ; lands not yet licensed or sold, on which the original forest is still 
standing ; lands that have been cut and burned over, but are not suitable for tillage ; 
how best to keep in profitable condition the areas not jet denuded, and to restore to the 
same condition the untillable lands from which the timber has been removed. 

The economic aspect of the question is necessarily the most prominent, but there are 
cognate questions only les3 importait than the main one, and intimately related to it 

The Province of Ontario is so great in extent that it includes somewhat different 
climates and a variety in the make up of its forests. For this reason it will be found 
expedient to consider the main forestry divisions of the Province, and indicate so far 
as possible the best treatment to give each class of forest in its various stages of growth. 


From a forestry standpoint the Province of Ontario is composed of three main 
divisions, which will be referred to as the Southern, Central and Northern divisions. 

The Southern division extends from near the confluence of the Ottawa and St, 
Lawrence Rivers, the most easterly point of the Province, along the St. Lawrence River 
and the Great Lakes to Cabot's Head, at the entrance of Georgian Bay, around the 
west and south fchores of the bay, to where the Laurentian and limestone series como 
in contact with each other on the east side of the bay ; continuing eastward in an 
uneven line along the southern boundary of the Laurentian ridge to the Ottawa River. 

This division is one of the finest agricultural districts in North America, and 
Ibrms the present settled part cf the Province. It was, before settlement began, 
covered with a dense forest of hardwood interspersed with conifers, single trees or groups 
•occurring where the soil was suitable. 

The very heavy crop of hardwoods with which the ground was everywhere covered 
made the work of clearing it for cultivation very slow and laborious to the eirly settlers. 
Not only had (he trees to be felled, there being a very limited market for the hardwoods, 
they had to be burned in log heaps, an operation entailing a great deal of work. Natur- 
ally the early settlers grew to look upon trees as enemies to their well being, to be got rid 
of if possible. It was not long, in the settler's war of extermination, till he was assisted 
by the lumberman. The magnificent specimens of white pine, that stood in their gran- 
deur towering far above the hardwoods, were floated down the St. L^iwrence to Quebec 
and then sent to Great Britain as raista or square timber, and in time some of the hard- 
woods came to have a value beyond that of the potash distilled from the ashes gathered 
ap from the log heaps. Gradually saw mills were erected in various places, and the 
possibility of selling his logs furnished another inducement to the pioneer farmer to get 


rid of the trees on his holding as expeditiously aa poasible. Batween the need of the- 
farmer to clear his land for farming, and the wants of the sawmill man, much land in 
this Southern Division has been cleared of trees that would have b^en far batter kept 
in permanent forest. It was a very shortsighted policy that removed the trees from the 
hillsides, and the hills, from broken and uneven land, and along the head waters of the 
streams, allowing the blasting and drying wind an uninterrupted sweep across the coun- 
try, allowing the washing of the soil of the hillsides into the valley below to tha detri- 
ment of both, and removing the causes that kept the streams and springs perennial. 

Proper Forest Area, 

Long observation and experience has demonstrated that, aside altogether from the 
needs for timber and fuel, the welfare of the community requires that 20 to 25 per cent, 
of the total area of a country should be tree covered. Instead of 2.5 per cent, of forest, 
some of the counties in this Southern Division have not over 5 per cent., and this in such 
scattered clumps of scraggy trees as to be of little use for climatic or water supply pur- 
poses. Nearly every spring the Grand River overflows its banks and causes heavy 
damages at Brantford and elsewhere. This stream flows through Brant, Waterloo and 
Peel. None of these counties have over 15 per cent, of wood land — Brant has only 7 
per cent., Peel about the same, Waterloo has about 13 per cent. 

The Farm Wood Lot. 

It is now becoming better understood that on all gravelly ridges and sand flats trees 
are by far the most profitable crop ; cut them all ofi in such places, and the soil is so com- 
pletely exhausted in a few years that it will hardly grow a crop of weeds. Such localities 
were often covered with conifers in the original forest, and it is well known that coni- 
ferous trees (pines in particular) require less moisture than deciduous trees and can grow 
to fair dimensions on comparatively poor soil. 

Even in the case of the richest land where it is hilly and with steep inclines, it is 

not wise to clear it all, the value of mmy a farm is so poured down the creeks or rivers 

from year to year, by the rains having free course down these hillsides, that it becomes 

useless for regular cropping When this state of aff^airs is found to exist the proprietor 

should at once see that his property is retained intact by planting trees where needed, 

and the forest cover, when once established, permanently retained. The duty of the 

hour is for every farmer, every landowner, to m%ke a close study of his property and 

grow what it i? bast adapted for. He will find it pays bast to grow treea in some places, 

grain crops in others. Every hill and hillside where the descent is so sharp as to allow 

the rain to wash the soil away, every ridge and sand flit, every place where the ground 

is so uneven that it cannot be cultivated to advantage, every waste place on the farm, 

/ should be planted with trees of whatever variety is most suitable for the difierent places, 

/ remembering that the most successful cultivation can be carried on when forests are 

I intermixed. 

If, for instance, it was thought desirable to obtain a growth of white pine on a 
gravel ridgfi, a beginning should first ba made with some quick growing deciduous tree, 
and after a few years the pine would find the requisite condition of light and shade to 
grow up into a valuable forest tree. 

If this programme were to be adopted by the farmers of Ontario it would prove of 
immense benefit and profit to themselves, and a boon to the community as a whole. 
Trees in the exercise of their functions would make the country a healthier one to live in, 
purifying the atmosphere, conserving the water and lessening the tendency of creeks to 
run dry, moderating the temperature both in summer and winter. They shield the crops 
from the drying winds of the summer, and shelter the farmstead against the stormy 
blast of winter, and they prevent the snow from piling up along the fences, leaving the 
fields bare to the menace of the fall grain. 

If the planting of trees became general in the places indicated, it would change the 
whole outward appearance of the country, and make the Province of Ontario one of the 
most beautiful and healthful places on the face of the earth, and add to the value of every 
farm, without decreasing by a single acre the cultivable area of the Province. 



The Laurentian or Central Division of Ontario extends from a short distance west 
of Ottawa city to Rit Portage, about 1,000 miles in a btraight line east and west. The 
soathern boundary of this district is the northern boundary of the Southern Division as 
far west as Georgian Bay, then following the coast line of Lakes Huron and Superior and 
the international boundary line between Canada and the United States to the northwest 
angle of Lake of the Woods. The northern boundary may be taken as a line running a 
short distance north of the watershed dividing the Hudson Bay basin in Ontario from 
the basin of the Great Lakes. 

Home of ihe White Pine. 

This district, which is more particularly deecribed in its topographical features else- 
where in this report, is of rocky and uneven surface, interspersed with areas of good land 
and innumerable lakes and streams. It is peculiarly the habitat, in Ontario of that 
most valuable of all trees in North America, the white pine (Pinus Strobus) which, 
while growing luxuriantly interspersed amongst deciduous trees in some sections of the 
Southern Division, is here the dominant tree, best able by its leafage and root system to 
sustain life and dominate other varieties in this extensive district. With it may be 
associated the red or Norw^ay pine (Pinus Resinota), not so valuable for commerce, but 
living and flourishing under the same general conditions.. 

A considerable number of settlers have entered this district, many of whom have 
done well, though others have located upon land that had afterwards to be abandoned, 
being too shallow for cultivation and better fitted for forest growth. 

It will require much cpreful investigation and research to decide how far settlement 
should be permitted in this Division. Judging by the amounts paid as bonus for timber 
at recent sales, it is evident that for the last decade or two the value of this country 
while under forest growth, has appreciated far more rapidly than any alluvial lands fit 
for cultivation. The quantity of land where good farms could be obtained sufficiently 
near each other to form a thriving settlement, is insignificant in comparison with what is 
held by lumbermen under license from the Government, and lands still held by the Gov- 
ernment not yet oflfered for sale. 

It is fortunate for the Province of Ontario that the lands licensed to lumbermen 
have not been sold in fee simple, and that under the form of license in vogue regulations 
may be adopted if desired to prevent the complete denudation of these areas. In the 
neighboring State of New York the people are expending millions to acquire posEession 
of forest lands in the Adirondack territory, for the purpose of creating forest reserves. 
With us no such expenditure is needed. The ownership of the land has never passed 
from the people, and when our forestry policy is matured, but little extra expenditure 
will be needed to make it operative. 

The Adirondack territory in New York corresponds largely with this Central Divis- 
ion in Ontario, in forming the watershed of the State. In this Central Division are the 
sources of all our principal streams flowing both north and south, and upon the mainten- 
ance of forest cover there depends their future regularity of flow. 

Much of this great territory has been more or less exploited by lumbermen, and too 
frequently have forest fires completed the work of forest removal begun by them. The 
greatest problem confronting the people of Ontario at the present time, is how to reforest 
these cut over and burned areas in the most exp( ditious and economical manner. 

The importance of retaining the crown canopy of green forests of any sort to control 
the flow of streams, while inducing the growth of the most valuable trees of commerce 
among them, can scarcely be overestimated. Aside from the question of water supply 
and climate, that of Provincial revenue is sufficient to make this problem a sarious one, 
and of far reaching consequence to the people of the Province. Elsewhere in this report 
will be found some hints, from the experience of practical lumbermen, upon the treatmeat 
of different kinds of forests with a view to their continuation and improvement, but 
apart from that there stands out prominently a few main factors by which we must be 


Some Essentials. 

All unregulated fires must be strictly guarded against and prohibited 

Every acre of forest lands under license, and all Government lands in their immed- 
iate vicinity or wherever prospectors or tourists are allowed to go, should be under the 
supervision of competent fire rangers strictly under Goverrtni'int control, and clothed with 
full power to call to their aid needful assistance to extinguish fires. 

Young growing trees too small to cut profitably and often neglected by licensees as 
of no value, should be jealously guarded as the source of future wealth, and all isolated 
pine trees or small groups of trees still living afcer a fire ha3 passed over a district, 
should be taken care of as the parents of future forests. 

Too rapid and especially too close cutting where the forest is mixed should be dis 
couraged ; better to have a moderate and continuous income from this source, than a 
larger but brief income with wasteful or extravagant cutting. 

No forest lands should be left derelict. When a licensee has practically abandon d 
his holding by failing to pay his ground rent, the Government should resume possession 
and b^gin active management of the territory with a view of protecting furture growth. 

The unsold lands in the Central Division, whether under license or not, should be 
carefully examined by competent men, and when the conditions are found to be favorable, 
by the absence of tillable land, or for other reasons, should be added to the forest reserves 
of the Province. 

This is the district of watersheds in Ontario, and whitever policy may be adopted 
■with reference to the southern part of the Central Division, there can be doubt or ques- 
tion that in the interests of the Province as a whole, the watershed should remain in the 
hands of the Government pprmanently and be administered as forest reserves, with regu- 
lations governing the cutting of trees. 


The Northern Division of Ontario comprises that great section of country whose 
streams flow into James Bay. Speaking broadly it may be said to commence a short dis 
tance north of Lake Temiscamingue, at the eastern boundary of the Province, and extends 
westward (o the sources of the Albany River, bounded on the south by a line a short dis- 
tance north c f the Heia[ht of Land, and on the north by the Albany River and James Bay. 
It is greater in area than the other two divisions combined. 

In this Division the question of preservation rather than restoration of forests has 
to be considered, for it has not been entered upon by the lumberman or the settler. In 
extent a kingdom in itself, as large as the islands of Great Britain and IreUnd, its capa- 
bilities as jet but imperfectly understood, it h an asset of enormous proportions belonging 
to the people of Ontario, a heritage not to be entered upon li^jhtly, but only after mature 
consideration, and a further knowledge than we now possess of the resources of this, at 
present largely unexplored land. 

In a general way, we know this vast area is tree covered, with spruce the dominant 
tree, mixed with tamarac, cedar, Banksian j.inw, birch and poplar. It may be considered 
a spruce country, white and red pine being found only in scattered trees at a short dis- 
tance north of the Height of Land Until quite recently, spruce was regarded as a tree 
of little value in Ontario but the rapid increase in its consumption for the manufacture of 
paper, is making it only less valuable than the white pine. 

The Wood Pulp Industry. 

It may be said, in passing, ihat the great spruce forest of the north is not confined 
to Ontario but extei ds northward on the catt side of James and Hulson's Bays to Port- 
land Promontory, a distance of six hundnd miles frcm the southern extremity of James 
Bay, and on the west side of the great inland sea as far north as Fort Churchill. It 
requires no ))i ophetic eye to tee the time now near at band when this part of the Dominion 
of Canada will be \he seat of a great paper making industry, that together with cbarcoa 


and othor iron saa king works, will make thin one of the busiest parts of the continent. 
With the great supply of raw material to be found in the district, and almost unlimited 
water pow^ers this result can not fail to be achieved. 

Paper making from wood pulp, for which the spruce treeh*? been found best adapted, 
has assumed such proportions in the past few years as to become a lumbering and forestry 
question Already is this tree more valuable for pulp than for lucnher, for which it was 
largely cut in Qu! bee. New Brunswick and the New England States. As showing how 
pulp mills are taking the place of saw mills in utilizing spruce forests, we qiote tho fol- 
lowing from a recent issue of the "American Lumbarmm," in an article entitled : "From 
Logs to Pulpwood," " Eight years ag \" the article states, " the pulpwood business on the 
Androscoggin River consumed 12,000,000 feet of spruce at Berlin Falls (New Hampshire), 
and about 10,000,000 feet of spruce at various points below on the river to Livermore. 
In 1898 the consumption of wood v>nlp on the Androscoggin River had incrpas^^d from the 
above 12,000,000 feet to about, 195,000 000 feet, or an increase of abiut 183,000.000 feet 
in eight years . . . It is a somewhat reirarkable fact that on the Androscoggin 
River, where daring the palmy days of spruce manufacture perhaps 200,000,000 of spruce 
timber was sawed, only one set of mills now remains, that of the Berlin Mills Cooipany 
at Berlin Falls, N. H. A cord of wood manufactured into cheap newspaper may be 
valued at $40, but would only be worth $7 sawed into lumber." 

Here then is the keynote o! what should be done with New Ontario. Thirty three 
dollars of extra labor, less the profit obtained, expended on one cord of wood, would create 
an industry of enormous proportions and provide employment for many of the settlera- 
both in the forests and in the mills while the farms are being cleared. 

The Northern Plain. 

That there is a large area of land in this district fie for settlement is now well understood. 
It consists of a level clay plain, commencing on the east about seventy-five miles north of 
Lake Abittibi and extending south to Lake Temiscamingue, crossing the Moose River, with 
its many tributaries, the highly fertile K-^nogami River district, and on to Like Joseph, the 
immediate terminus of a proposed railway from Port Arthur. Where Mr, Niven, Ontario 
Land Surveyor, crossed the plain in running the boundary line between Nipissing and 
Algoma, he found it to extend about one hundred and twenty miles in width. Its centre is 
about the 49th parallel, the southern boundary of Manitoba This liae runs north of Lake 
Abittibi, which is 180 miles north of Like Nipissing, so there can be no climatic reasons 
why this country should not provide hom^sa f >r a happy and healthy population. The 
winter temperature at some places on the Height of Land is severe, but this is due rather 
to the altitude than the latitude. The land drops in altitude as we go north from the 
Height of Land, and the temperature becomes more equable, difi"ering not much from 
that of Ottawa and the Lower St Lawrence. 

Throughout thio clay plain, settlement should only be extended as the timber can 
be utilized, and not burned up as was the case with the hardwoods of Southern Ontario. 

While a great deal of this north couniiry is fij for settlement, much of it is not, 
and it will no doubt be found expedient to retain large areas as forest reserves. Since 
, spruce reproduces itself readily, and owing to the smaller size required for pulp wood 
than for lumber, it can be cut in much q-aicker rotation, palp mills could obtain a con- 
tinuous supply of raw material. 

As the district is so far entirely unopened it afi'jrds an opportunity for the inaugu- 
ration of any policy that the experience of the pasb may show to be desirable Bafore 
finally deciding upon this or any pDlicy, further information should be acq lired, and to 
this end a topographical and exploratory survey would be very helpful. 

Northern Pine Lands. 

There is a portion of this Northern district difijring materially from that we have 
been considering ; the territory lying between the Height of Land proper ami the southern 
boundary of the great clay plain sloping towards James Bay. In this district, though 
spruce is now the predominant timber tree, it has evidently suppUnted the pine in com- 


paratively recent times. The Oommissioners, in examining the district immediately 
north of the watershed, found isolated white pine trees, still living, of a much greater 
age than Ihe prevailing spruce forest. These pines showed evidences of damage from 
fires years ago, having undoubtedly survived the fire that destroyed the main forest 
about seventy years ago. From the location and condition of these trees, and their 
relation to the younger forest, the conclusion was reached, that the northern limit of 
the white pine was at one time considerably north of the present boundary as generally 
recognized. White pine was, undoubtedly, indigenous to the district, and there is no 
reason why it should not live and flourish north of the Height of Land, so far, at least, 
as the reeky district extends, just as well as it grows immediately south of the divide. 
The climatic conditions and the soil are similar and small clumps and isolated trees make 
it certain that there was once in this district a great pine forest that has been pushed 
back and driven out by the immense body of spruce from the north. 

All the forests along the canoe routes in this territory are comparatively young, the 
older forests having been removed by fire. Spruce is more prolific with seed than is 
pine, ana the seed will germinate much more readily under the shade of other trees, 
hence in a struggle for supremacy the spruce would be able to take the ground formerly 
held by the pine, and that has happened. 

To Restobe the Pine. 

As this district immediately north and south of the Height of Land, because of 
the nature of its soil, and because it forms the source of our streams, is more fitted for 
Forest Reserves than for anything else, it will doubtless become part of our permanent 
forest estate. Hence the c fficers in charge of the reserves could by degrees establish nur- 
series of young pine trees in suitable places, from which seed would be distributed, and 
in time the district would again be covered with the more valuable timber. 

It should be borne in mind, in considering this question of pine north of the Height 
of Land, that there are vast tracts of country, away from the canoe routes, about which 
we know nothing. As before stated, the fr rests along the canoe routes are comparatively 
young, less than a century old, yet Mr. Niven, Surveyor, who in running the boundary 
line north, had to leave the streams, found a spruce forest very much older than this, in 
which the spruce trees were much larger than are usually seen in that country. 

The fires in this country have been mostly due to the cirelessness of the Indian 
inhabitants, and as they stick to the canoe routes most of the fires have originated there. 
The interior of the country has not been so gererally burned over, according to Mr. 
Niven, and it is quite possible that further exploration will show the white pine forest to 
extend much farther north, in the interior, than it is found along the shores of the main 

Fire Protection. 

We have only been able to speak very generally of this extensive district, from very 
meagre information, and consequently cau only indicate a policy for the immediate future 
in general terms. The fire ranging system should be extended to at least cover the main 
lines of travel, and fire proclamations in the English, French and Indian languages prop- 
erly posted. In this way a beginning may be made at slight expense, and important 
protective measures be thereby inaugurated, to show that this new country is under the 
care and jurisdiotion of the Government of the Province. 


The question has now reached a stage at which the various types of forest embraced 
in'the Crown domain should be considered with the view of adopting such special treat- 
ment in each case as its peculiar features demand in order to realize the best results. 
No timber berth or township can be found in the Province where all the trees are of one 
species, but in many tracts of smaller dimensions pine so largely predominates as to give 
a specific character to the whole area. In such instances the timber is frequently found 
at two or three stages of growth. Some very old trees may be seen, many of them 


showing decay at the butt and slowly dying of old age, while the main body are suffi- 
ciently advanced to have killed off the competitors which started even with them in the 
race, the place of the latter having been taken in part by seedling pine or by the shade 
enduring hemlock or spruce. In all probability the trees of the main body commenced 
their growth with the usual surroundings of poplar and birch over which the pines in the 
course of time asserted an easy supremacy, or they may have been subjected to a severe 
competition with their own species or with other conifers which they have been enabled 
to outlive by reason of quicker growth, better adaptability to the locality or more robust 

Selective Cutting. 

This type of forest is the easiest to understand and treat in accordance with the 
principles of forestry by selective cutting. The merchantable timber should be cut 
down and marketed, and many of the smaller trees, growing too close together under the 
shade of their neighbors should also be removed as they would ultimately die before 
attaining maturity. But due care should be taken to preserve the forest cover and yet 
to make sufficient openings in it to allow the sunlight to reach the younger trees and give 
the seed a chance to germinate. 

"When these considerations are borne in mind it will be seen that no absolute rule 
can be applied as to the smallest tree that should be cut, as a tree which it would be de- 
sirable to spare if growing in one situation considered with regard to its neighbors, might 
be clearly superfluous in another. A pine that would make a 10-inch butt log sixteen 
feet long would be regarded aa merchantable, but it would not be good forestry practice 
to cut it unless a sufficient number of smaller trees be left standing near it to fairly cover 
the ground. It has been demonstrated by many specimens now in the Bureau of Forestry 
that the accelerated grow^th of the young trees resulting from the removal of the over- 
topping mature vegetation will quite equal if not surpass the total growth of the forest 
before it was entered upon by the lumberman. It is a question that can only be deter- 
mined on the spot, how far the shade enduring varieties should hi cut in a forest con- 
sisting chiefly of pine, as they may be of great use in keeping the soil of the foiest cov- 
ered when too great a gap lias been made in the forest canopy. If the smaller but mer- 
chantable timber is to be extensively cat away the retention of the shade endnrine trona 
is desirable if the reproductive value of the forest is to be retained. ? 


"^Ina mixed forest of hardv^ood and pine where the foroaer prevails it will nearly 
always be found that the pine trees are large and old, the remnants of a former forest 
growth before the advent of the hardwood. The latter possesses such a thick shade that 
where it prevails pine saeia droppai under its cover either will not germinate or attain 
only a very sickly growth A specimen of pine struggling to live under such conditions, 
examined under a magnifier showed a growth of only one inch in diameter during a 
period of thirty to forty years In saoh a case, if the perpatuation of the hardwood 
forest is desired, the pine should at onca ba cat as fully ripa, together with as many of 
the large hardwood treas as are considered desirable leaving the space gained to the smaller 
trees. If on the other hand the district is not considered suitable for avalaable hard- 
wood growth, it should all be cleared off", leaving a pine tree here and there in sheltered 
localities if possible, and the surface of the ground should be burned over to get rid of 
the rubbish and debris. It will then present favorable conditions for seeding by the 
ever-prevalent birch and poplar, to be followed by degrees by the pine saedlings sprinty- 
ing from the scattered old trees left standing. 

PuHE Pine Forest.^ 

•9 A pine forast miy oftaa be se?n where the trees are nearly aU the saoie aje— or it 
may be differing by tea or twenty years, and where they have suc^aeded by their abund- 
ant growth in ovarshadowia^ and killing oat every other variety, the oaly diffirense 
observable being in the diaoaeter o? the trees broaj[ht aboit by the diversity of their 
2 F.C. 


individual surroandings. The tall and slender trees have maintained the straggle for 
existence with insuflBcient sunlight, having been overshadowed by their more favorably 
situated neighbors, and while they are of small diameter it would be of no use to leave 
them standing, as when the others were removed they would only hlow down and encum- 
ber the ground. The only course to pursue if the reproductive character of the forest is 
to be maintained would be to preserve the trees on any neighboring ridge or hillside, the 
height of which would secure the distribution of the seed over a wide area, or in case the 
country is comparatively level, then clumps of trees growing on the highest ground avail- 
able should be allowed to stand for that purpose. 

After the remainder of the forest has been levelled the ground should be burned 
over to destroy the covering of pine needles and the litter left by lumbering operations, so 
as to leave the soil in the best condition for future seeding. ■ In doing this due care should 
be taken to leave a cleared space around the groups left standing so that the fire cannot 
reach them. 

Mixed Oonifers. 

One of the most difl&cult conditions to deal with, where the growing of a future crop of 
pine is the end in view, is when the existing forest consists mainly of balsam, spruce and 
hemlock intermixed with good-sized old pine trees. In such areas it will be found that few 
seedlings of pine are coming up among these shade enduring trees, unless it may be on high 
land or where the canopy happens to be thin. The young pine is not so tolerant of shade as 
the other conifers. Hemlocks, for instances, may be seen growing up in the gloomy shade 
of their parent trees where a pine seed would not e\en germinate. The treatment of a 
forest of this kind will depend entirely upon its locality. If the less valuable conifers can be 
cut down and marketed without loss, then by all means remove a sufficient quantity of 
them to insure such opening in the canopy as will admit light enough to permit the growth c f 
the young pine. If on the other hand the ground is covered thickly with young trees of the 
shade enduring species with little or no pine growing amongst them, then a clean sweep may 
as well be made, first cutting the mature pine trees with the exception of a sufficient number 
in well-chosen localities spared for future seeding. 

As to whether fire should be used or not in clearing the ground depends on the 
number of young pine trees coming up. In many districts where pine is being cut and 
which it is desirable to retain in timber, the spruce, balsam and hemlock cannot be 
cut so as to repay the outlay. The forester must be guided by the existing conditions 
in the locality, or allow the question to stand over for future solution, bearing in 
mind that new factors are likely before long to simplify the problem. 

It is very evident, for instance, that if Chicago and other cities on or near the 
lake frontier, continue to increase in population at the same rate as in recent years, all 
varieties of timber will greatly increase in value, and the kinds now slighted by the 
lumberman for want of any profitable market, if growing in territory tributary to 
the lakes so as to admit of easy transportation will be an increasingly valuable asset. 

Though as has been said no two forests are alike, and a great variety of special 
conditions as to soil, climate and location may create frequent divergencies in the result, 
yet the evolution of an ordinary pine forest can easily be traced in its broad general 
outlines. The rocky and broken region of Central Ontario, the same style of country 
in Wisconsin, ard Minnesota, with the gravel ridges and sand flats of Michigan are pecu- 
liary the home of the pine tree. No doubt large quantities grow in New York, Pennsyl- 
vania and the North eastern States, but were found more as persisting among the hard- 
woods which the soil was better fitted to nourish than as the prevailing forest type. Its 
adaptability to the districts where it specially flourishes and predominates, is shown by 
its power to maintain itself and thrive in conditions adverse to other species. While it 
grows on rich soil and attains its greatest proportions alongside the hardwoods, it will 
flouiish where its roots are only embedded in the fissures of rocks or amongst the disin- 
tegrated blocks and debris at the foot of escarpments where hardwoods could only survive 

as stunted bushes. 

Forest Evolution. 

The prominent features in the evolutions of a pine forest can be seen in its various 
stages in almost any pine district. While a pine-covered tract is overrun by one of the 


frequently recurring fires to which all coniferous forests are liable, it will usually be found 
that here and there a tree or a email group of trees has been spared by some favoring 

What then takes place is that the ground is first seeded by poplar and white birch, 
trees which are very widely distributed and each year shed immense quantities of seed 
well adapted by their structure for being carried long distances by the wind. The 
seedlings of these varieties spring up immediately and during their earlier years grow 
rapidly, covering the burned overground. Conifers, on the other hand, do not bear seed 
every year and are not so prolific. 

White pine, so far as has been observed, seeds irregularly perhaps every third or 
fourth year, so that as a rule the deciduous trees, which have seeded first hold possession, 
get a good start and commence to shade the soil, making an ideal condition for the 
growth of young pine. When a seed year for pine comes round then those trees left in 
in the district will distribute' their seed and seedling pines begin to make their appearance 
among the varieties already growing. Finding the requisite amount of light and shade 
amongst the poplars they grow up under these favorable circumstances as forest trees, 
shedding their lower branches as they grow older owing to the close neighborhood of the 
other trees and shooting upward rapidly. 

It is a matter of common observance that pine growing up without shade progresses 
more slowly as the main strength of the tree is put forth in developing the branches which 
expand at the expense of the stem. The restriction of space in the forest, however, pro- 
motes the upward growth as the trees struggle towards the light. If a sufficient number 
of parent trees have been left to cover the ground fairly with a young growth, then com- 
mences a conflict for existence between the rival occupants of the soil. It will be gener- 
ally found that in say from twenty to thirty years after the new growth began the tallest 
pine and poplar are about equal in height, but after this period the struggle is very 

The pine will so completely overmaster the poplar that in about thirty years more 
hardly a poplar or a birch will be left alive, except it may be where pine has not seeded 
or some other variety is disputing possession. Of course the process indicated is liable to 
be modified or reversed by conditions in which other varieties of forest vegetation are 
introduced, especially in wet or swampy places, which will be occupied by the trees best 
fitted for such surroundings. When a forest ot pine once fairly covers the ground its 
life may with care and attention be continued indefinitely, adding yearly by its growth 
to the wealth of the country besides exercising other valuable functions in the economy 
of nature. 

Rate of Growth. 

The rate of growth of pine trees is a question of great interest to all concerned in 
sylviculture, and as has been pointed out the answer depends greatly upon varying local 
and individual considerations. As a general rule however, any lumberman can testify 
that having cut the merchantable trees in a pine forest leaving the smaller growth, he can, 
if fire is kept out, go lack in twenty years and take another crop, not so large it may be 
as the first, yet sufficient to pay him handsomely for the operation. 

The rate of growth of any given tree can easily be determined by counting the rings 
denoting the annual increase, the history of the life of the tree being thus written on the 
cross section. 

The question of how far pine seed will distribute itself is more difficult of solution. 
After naany obsfrvations conducted in diflferent districts we are still unable to say how 
far a pine seed may be carried. Obviously it depends on the position of the tree and the 
strergth of the wind. If the parent tree stands in a hollow or even on level ground sur- 
rounded by other trees it cannot fly veiy far, but if situated on a ridge or mountain — a 
situation much affected by pine trees — the seed could be carried a long distance. The 
structure of the £e(d is peculiarly fitted for this, as the kernel is light and attached to a 
broad sail of thin texture. When the cones open in the fall of the year on a tree high up 
on a hillside, and the seeds become detached from the cone, which is most likely to occur 
in a violent windstcim, they may be whirled a great distarce. It is only on this assump- 
tion that the appearance of young trees springing up a mile or two from where any pax'ent 



tree may be seen can be accounted for. This will apply to all conifers though more fre- 
quently noticeable as regards pine, as the latter are more generally found occupying high 
and sterile ground, where they can maintain themselves better than the other varieties. 

Reference has been made to the effects of fire as regards re-forestation. When a dis- 
trict has been burned over once the utmost care should be taken to prevent another 
visitation. The deliberate or careless setting of fire in a forest should be a criminal 
ofience. A second fire occurring soon after a first is very detrimental to the soil, besides 
killing off such young trees as may have appeared in the meantime. And if fire sweeps 
the same locality again and again, as in that part of the township of Burleigh visited by 
the Commission in 1897, it will leave nothing but a howling wilderness, a veritable 
barren land that will require generations to recover any degree of fertility. 

While precautions are being wisely taken by the Government of Ontario, through 
their fire ranging system, to prevent forest fires, it by no means follows that fire should 
never be used. As has already been shown, fire is, under certain circumstances, the best 
and cheapest agency that can be used in preparing the ground for another forest crop. 
The soil is often so thickly covered with moss, needles, leaves, old trees and dead 
branches, in addition to the debris left by the lumbermen, that it is difficult for seed to 
come in contact with the ground. 


Some recommendations and suggestions for future forestry methods were contained 
in the Preliminary Report of the Commission issued in 1898. From these and the various 
suggestions contained in the preceding portion of this report, your Commissioners make 
the following summary of suggestions : 

1. A large portion of the Central Division of the Province is more profitable from 
the standpoint of public revenue as forest land than under cultivation for farm crops, 
and as in addition to this it contains the head waters of all our principal streams, all that 
part of this Division found upon examination to be not well adapted for farming should 
be added to the permanent Crown Forest Reserves. 

2. All licensed and unlicensed lands held by the Crown where tourists, lumbermen 
or prospectors are permitted should be patrolled by fire rangers, and these rangers should 
be controlled directly by the Government. 

3. Suitable regulations should be enforced to prevent too rapid or too close catting 
upon lands under license. 

4. No license in arrears for ground rent should be renewed, but the territory if not 
suitable for agriculture should be added to the Forest Ptsserves. 

5. Fire notices in the English, French and Indian languages should be posted along 
the canoe routes throughout the territory north of the Height of Land. 

6. License holders should not be allowed to cut any trees for logs smaller than will 
measure twelve inches across the stump two feet from the ground, except by special per- 
mission from the Department of Crown Lands and under the supervision of the district 
forest ranger. 

All of which is respectfully submitted, 

fE. W. RATHBUN, Chairman. 
Commissioners, i JOHN BERTRAM, 


By M. J. Butler, C.E., O.L.S. 

The Province of Ontario embraces an area of 222,000 eqaare miles, 142,080,000 acre?. 
The area under actual cultivation as farming land is very approximately 8,960.000 acres, 
though there are about 23,000,000 acres sufficiently settled so as to be under organized mun- 
icipal government. The southerly and south-westerly boundaries consist of the River St. 
Lawrence, Lake Ontario, the Niagara River, Lake Erie, the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, 
the St. Olair River, Lake Huron, the Saulfc Ste. Marie River and Lake Superior. The 
international boundary follows the centre line of the various lakes and rivers, intersecting 
the northerly shore line of Lake Superior at or near the mouth of the Pigeon River, on the 
48th parallel of north latitude, from this point westerly it follows the Pigeon River, a chain 
of lakes and rivers into the Rainy Lake and River, etc., on to the north-west angle of the 
Lake of the Woods. From this point the boundaries are distinctly set forth by 23 Vic. 
chap 21, as follows : Thence along a line drawn due north until it strikes the middle line of 
the course of the river discharging the waters of the lake called Lac Seul, or the Lonely 
Lake, whether above or below its confluence with the streams flowing from the Lake of the 
Woods, towards Lake Winnipeg ; and thence proceeding eastward from the point at 
which the before mentioned line strikes the middle line of the course of the same river 
(whether called by the name of the English River, or as to the part b^^low the confluence 
by the name of the River Winnipeg) up to Lac Seul or the Lonely Lake ; and thence 
along the middle line of Lac Seul or Lonely Lake to the head of that lake ; and thence 
by a straight line to the nearest point of the middle line of the water of Lake St. Joseph ;. 
and thence along that middle line until it reaches the foot or outlet of that lake ; and 
thence along the middle line of the river by which the waters of Lake St. Joseph dis- 
charge themselves to the shore of the part of Hudson's Bay commonly known as James*^ 
Bay ; and thence south-easterly following upon the said shore to a point where a line 
drawn due north from the head of Lake Temiscamingue would strike it ; and thence due 
south along said line to the head of said lake ; and thence through the middle channel of 
the said lake into the Ottawa River ; and thence descending along the middle of the 
channel of the said river to the intersections by the prolongation of the western limits of 
the Seigneuries of Rigaud, such midchannel being as indicated on a map of the Ottawa 
Ship Oanal Survey, made by Walter Shanly, O.E., and approved by order of the Gov- 
ernor-General in Council dated the 21st July, 1886 ; and thence southerly following said 
westerly boundary of Seigneury of Rigaud to the south-west angle of the said Seigneury ; 
and thence southerly along the western boundary of the augmentation of the Township 
of Newton to the north-west angle of the Seignory of Longueuil ; and thence south- 
easterly along the south-western boundary of the said Seignory of New Longueuil to a 
stone boundary on the north bank of Lake St. Frances at the cave west of Point au 
Baudet, such line from the Ottawa River to Lake St. Frances being as indicated on a 
plan of the line of boundary between Upper and Lower Canada, made in accordance with 
the Act 23 Vic. chap. 21, and approved by order of the Governor General in Council, 
dated 16th of March, 1861. Report Minister of Public Works, 1890. 

It admits of a sub division into seven natural areas, more or less distinct in their 
physical, geological and topographical features. 

1. The Lower Ottawa District. 

This district is essentially an agricultural area, occupying the country lying between 
the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers as far we&t as a line drawn roughly between Brock- 
ville and Perth and a point on the Ottawa River lying a little to the north of the mouth 
of the Madawaska River. It presents a generally level surface ; the height above the 
sea at the confluence of the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers is about sixty feet, and at 
the Chaudiere Falls on the Ottawa near the City of Ottawa about 118 feet. From those 
levels the district rises near its north-west boundary to about 400 feet above the sea. 
The average elevation may be placed at from 200 to 300 feet above the level of the sea. 


There are large areas of swamp, capable of being readily drained as a rule. On the 
•whole it is an area of good fertility. 

The Rideau Canal passes through the central portion, a large part of its more south- 
ern and eastern area is drained by the South Nation River, which rises near the St. Law- 
rence River in Edwardsburgh Township, flowing north-easterly into the Ottawa in Plan- 
tagenet Township. 

The strata of this district are essentially lower silurian overlaid with drift deposits 
and other more modern superficial accumulation. 

2. The Ganancque and Northern Townships District. 

This section, lying immediately west of that just described is of a very different 
character. It forms a narrow belt of more or less broken and rocky land, extending along 
the St. Lawrence River between Brockville and Kingston, but in its northern and north- 
western extension it widens and covers a large area. In its southern prolongation, it 
crosses the St. Lawrence River into the State of New York and forms the wild region of 
the Adirondacks. North of the St. Lawrence River it extends over Leeds and Renfrew 
and embraces the Northern Townships of Frontenac, Addington, Hastings, Peterborough, 
Victoria and Simcoe counties, its southern boundary striking the Georgian Bay near the 
mouth of the Severn River. From this point it forms the shores of the Georgian Bay to 
beyond Killarney. Its north-western boundary is to some extent a merely conventional line 
running from the latter point to near the head of Lake Temiscamingue. 

The average elevation of the district is about 700 feet above the level of the sea. 
Lake Nipissing, its largest body of water, lies at an elevation of 665 feet above the sea, 
but the ground to the north and south of the lake is considerably higher. The maximum 
elevation is probably 1,000 to 1,100 feet above the sea level. 

This district is essentially a rugged country of crystalline rocks, high ridges, and 
hills, and deep swamps and valleys. The soil where found is rich and productive, and in 
places large areas of fertile land are found. It is a land of lakes, rivers and streams. 
Nearly all the rivers which drain the rich and fertile portions of the older Ontario here 
find their source. It contains within its limits immense areas of valuable timber, pine, 
hemlock, spruce and the deciduous trees, oak, maple, birch, beech, elm and ash. 

2, The general direction of the river valleys is that of southwest, The principal 
rivers which have their source within the above area are : The Gananoque, which flows 
into the St. Lawrence, and which furnishes power to drive all the factories in the thriv- 
ing town of Gananoque ; the Napanea River which flows into the Bay of Qainte near 
Deseronto, the various falls on which are utilized by mills and thriving industries as at 
Yarker, Thompsonville, New'burgh, Napanee Mills and Napanee. From Napanee to 
Deseronto the river is navigable for steamers drawing eight feet of water. The Salmon 
River, which falls into the Bay of Qainte at Shannonville ; the Moira which discharges into 
the Bay of Qainte at Belleville ; the Trent River and its tributaries, the largest river 
within the area, and which is now being canalized for a six and one half feet navigation. 
An immense quantity of water power will be available along the Trent as soon as access 
can be had to it, a portioa of which only is now utilized at Trenton, Campbellford, Hast- 
ings, Peterboro and Lakefield. Flowing easterly into the Ottawa River are the Mississ- 
ippi, Madawaska, Bonnechere, Pettewawa, Mattawan, Jooko, Metabechewan, Montreal 
and the Blanche. Flowing westerly into the Georgian Bay are the Severn, which drains 
the Lake Simcoe basin, Moon or Muskoka which drains the large area of Muskoka Lake, 
Seguin, Shawanagan, Magnetewan, and the French. An almost innumerable number of 
minor streams are to be found, and lakes of greater or less extent abound throughout 
the entire area. 

It is of the highest importance for the well being of a large section of Ontario, 
that the forest belts within this section be carefully guarded. The agricultural, manu- 
facturing and other interests are of great value and extent. The continual success of these 
to a greater or less degree depends upon the maintenance of cheap power for manufac- 
turing, and this means water power. The elevation and magnitude of the water shed 
insures a great body of water at a good elevation, a prime requisite, and a continuous forest 
is a well-known conservator of water, thus insuring a reasonably even run-off. Within 


the limits of this district lies Alsjonqain Park, a forest and game preserve ; the beautiful 
district of Muskoka, the tourists Paradise, aptly characterized as the Highlands of 
Ontario, and the wonderful Liike Tenoagatni. 

3. The Lake Ontario Section. 

In this district we come again upon a rich agricultural area, underlaid by limestone, 
shales and other sedimentary rocks. It ranges along the shore of Like Ontario. Its east- 
ern and northern limits are bounded by the crystalline region embraced in district No. 2. 
Its western boundary is the high escarpment which runs from the Niagara River near 
Qaeenston, at first in a westerly direction to the north of Hamilton, then northward and 
northwesterly to the Georgian Bay by Dundas, Georgetown, Bellefontaine, and Orange- 
ville to the north part of Nottawasag^, and from thence northwesterly by the Blue 
Mountains, etc., to Cabot's Head on the Georgian Bay. From the latter point eastward 
the district forms the shore of the Georgian Bay to near the mouth of the Severn River. 
It thus includes portions of the Counties of Frontenac, Addington, Hastings, Peter- 
borough, Victoria, Simcoe, Peel, Halton, Wentwnrth and Lincoln, with the whole of 
York, Ontario, Durham, Northumberland, Prince Edward and Lennox, 

Numerous lakes, of which Lake Simcoe is the largest, lie within this district, and 
espenially along its northern edge. The Trent, which rises in the Laurentian country 
of the north, and flows through a series of lakes into the Bay of Qainte, leading to Lake 
Ontario, is its most important river. Other streams which flow into the Bay of Qainte 
are the Napanee River, Salmon River, Moira Eiver. 

Into Lake Ontario direct are the Humber River and the Credit River, besides a 
number of smaller creeks. 

In its surface features the district presents but few marked inequalities of land. 
The ground rises gradually from Lake Ontario (245.38 ft. above the level of the sea) to 
a series of ridges and table lands running in a generally east and west direction. These 
ridges aie composed of drift materials, gravel, boulders and clay. The highest elevations 
are about 1,000 feet above the sea level. The highest region, in Albion and King Town- 
thips has an elevation of about 1,000 feet above the sea level, but becomes gradually 
lower to the east. Near the village of Stirling, in Hastings County, it averages about 
750 feet above the sea level, Lake Simcos to the north is 719 feet above the sea, and 
Baltam Lake, the northern part of which lies in the crystalline boundary, has an eleva- 
tion of 839 feet above the sea Stoaey Lake lies at an elevation of 771 feet above the 
sea, Belmont and Rice Lakes are approximately 600 feet above the sea level. Scugog 
Lake, in the midst of the drift ridges, lies at an elevation of 800 feet above the sea. 
The strata of the district consist essentially of lower Silurian formation overlaid by 
glacial and post-glacial deposits. Within the district the extent of forest is limited to 
that left by the farmers, suflficient in most cases to supply fuel and fencing material. 

4. Erie and Huron District. 

This section of country occupied throughout by comparatively undisturbed lime- 
stones and other Silurian and Devonian strata, with overlying drift clayp, sands, and 
more recent superficial surface deposits, is essentially a rich agricultural area. It lies 
immediately west of the Lake Ontario district. On the south the district is bounded by 
Lake Erie, on the west by Lake Huron. The greater portion of its area is an elevated 
tableland from 1,000 to 1,400 feet above the level of the sea Along its northern edge 
the ground rises in places to an elevation of 1,600 feet above the sea, but it slopes 
gradually to the level of Lake Erie on the south (371.50 feet above the level of the sea) 
and towards L<ike Huron on the west (580.2 feet above the sea level). It surface, except 
where cut by river valleys, is remarkably even and presents a marked contrast to the 
rest of Ontario, in the absence of lakes. 

It is traversed, however, by many important rivers, and especially by the Grand 
river, falling into Lake Erie, the Thames into Lake St. Clair, the Maitland and Saugeen 
into Lake Huron. The eastern and northern escarpment is also cut through by numerous 
small streams. Speaking generally, the watersheds of the rivers and creeks of the dis- 


trict may be said to be cultivated lands, the proportion of forest being rather lower than 
in any of the settled regions of the Province. Hence we here see the effects of such 
forest denudation in violent floods in the rivers. 

The strata of the district consist, in its more eastern portions, of middle and upper 
Silurian representations, with various Devonian formations in the western end. The deep 
deposits of drift material, as evidenced along the valley of the Grand River, are peculiarly 
subject to erosion, hence the river carries in flood time an inmense quantity of sand, 
gravel and boulders, wearing the banks and filling up the flats. 

In the western peninsula is found the natural gas and oil formations. Near Niagara 
and along the shore of Lake Erie the celebrated peach and grape growing regions lie, the 
quality and flavor of the fruit of the vicinity being unsurpassed. 

5. The Manitodlin and Other Islands. 

This section is in its geographical and topographical'features very similar to the Lake 
Erie and Huron sections. 

The eastern end of the Grand Manitoulin Island is Laurentian rock ; the middle and 
western the higher limestone of the Niagara, showing beautiful fossils of the coral and like 
ages. The northerly shore line is a bold high escarpment, shelving off to the level of the 
lake at the south. The island is well timbered and the soil is fertile. 

6. The District of the Upper Lakes, 

This region may be described in general terms as extending over the entire north- 
western portion of Ontario, extending along the north shores of Lake Huron and Superior 
and the international boundary as far west as the western boundary of the Province. On 
the east it is bounded by a conventional line extending from a point just west of 
Killarney to a point near the head of Lake Temiscamingue, on the north by a more or 
less irregular line which follows the height of land from near Lake Temiscamingue to 
Lac Seul on the northwesterly boundary of the Province, 

It forms for the greater part a densely wooded but rugged and mountainous region, 
broken by numerous bodies of water and underlaid throughout by crystalline rocks of 
the Laurentian and Huronian series. Over the floor of the crystalline rocks by which 
the vast region is underlaid, drift clays, sands, gravel and boulders, and post glacial 
sands and clays, and other more recent accumulations are spread in many localities. 

Although the country is newly opened for settlement, yet in places there are large 
areas of valuable farming land. Along the Sault branch of the Canadian Pacific Rail- 
way, in the vicinity of Thessalon and other points, there are thriving and prosperous 
farms which rival the older Ontario. Again in the valley of the Rainy River is an exten- 
sive tract of rich and fertile soil, and considerable areas of good land are found south- 
west of Thunder Bay and along the line of the C. P. R. between Port Arthur and Rat 
Portage. It is, however, a forest region and embraces the southerly slope of the water- 
shed of the upper lakes within its limits. Here is the natural region for extensive 
forest reserves. 

The surface of Lake Huron is 580.- 2 feet above the level of the sea, and that of Lake 
Superior 600.48 feet above sea level. From these levels the ground rises more or less 
abruptly to an average height of 1000 to 1500 feet above the sea level, with points ot 
considerably greater elevation. 

The height of land, which, roughly speaking, forms its northerly boundary although 
shown as a ridge on the maps, is by no means anything of the kind. It is rather a plateau, 
the rugged hills rather lie on the slopes approaching the summit. Almost innumerable 
lakes abound throughout the section. 

The rivers are large and important streams, the most notable of which are, the 
Spanish River, the Missisagua, the Michipicoten, the Magpie, the "White, the Nepigon, 
and the Kaministiqua. Lake Nepigon is the largest lake in the district and lies at an 
elevation of 852 feet above sea level. 


7. The District of the James Bat Basin. 

This extensive area, lying north of the height of land which separates the waters of 
the St. Lawrence basin from those of the Hudson's Bay, extends from the eastern bound- 
ary of the Province to the western, and is to a considerable extent, a terra icognita. The 
officers of the Geological Survey of Canada have, it is true, traversed the main rivers and 
examined a narrow fringe along them, and a line has been run by the Grown Lands De- 
partment of Ontario from the shores of L^ke Nipissing to those of James Bay approxi- 
mated on the 81st parallel of longitude. 

The Department of Crown Lands through its officers has accumulated a good deal of 
information, such as was possible to get along the main rivers traversed by the Indians 
and Hudson Bay voyagers. Yet after all that has been done we have but a very slight 
knowledge of this enormous extent of country. The southerly edge of the basin lies 
at an elevation ot approximately 1500 feet above sea level and gradually falls to the sea 
level at James Bay. 

The entire area is in forest, and no land is under cultivation within its limits. Recent 
reports by Niven, Ontario Land Surveyor, show a belt of approximately level clay land 130 
miles in width, on the middle of the slope, and the report of P.L.S. O'Sullivan of Quebec 
shows an extensive tract of level clay land corresponding in locality in the Province of 
of Quebec. It is therefore reasonable to assume that a tract of good arable clay land lies on 
this northerly slope some 60 or 70 miles south of James Bay and extending east and 
west for a considerable distance. 

Within the bounds of this area lie immense spruce forests, the white and red pine 
are also found to a greater or less extent for a short distance north of the height of land. 

Near James Bay an extensive muskeg seems to mark the land as practically worth- 
less, but further exploration may show that the area of muskeg has been over estimated. 

It is a land of large lakes and many of them. The rivers are numerous and import- 
ant, and at this time furnish the only means of access. 

The map which accompanies this description will assist to a clear understanding of 
the various sections of the Province. 


In seeking to study the influence of forests on rainfall and run off, the latter of 
which is really the more important, it is obvious that the scope of our inquiry is beyond 
that of any previous observers. The studies hitherto made in Germany, France and 
other countries, have been on a laboratory scale, in comparison with the almost con- 
tinental spread we have under consideration. 

The seemingly discordant and unsatisfying results, as to the influence of forests on 
precipitation, hitherto published as the results of scientific investigation in Europe seem 
to be based on data too brief, minute and altogether inadequate, to warrant the some- 
what sweeping generalizations found in the reports. 

In order to make clear the basis of what follows, it seems desirable that a brief 
outline of a few elementary meteorological laws be given as a premise : 

" Whatever tends to lower the temperature of the air below the dew point is a 
cause of rain." 

(Ency. Brittannia, Vol. XVI., page 150, et seq.) , 

The mixture of a vapour with a ?as follows the two laws below ; 

1. "The weight of vapour which will enter a given space is the same whether the 
space be empty or filled with gas, provided plenty of time be allowed." 

2. " When a gas is saturated with vapour, the actual tension of the mixture is the 
sum of the tension due to the gas and vapour separately, that is to say it is equal to 
the pressure which the gas would exert if it alone occupied the whole space plus tie 
maximum tension of vapour for the temperature of the mixture." 

" If a vapour at saturation be subjected to a fall of temperature, while its volume 
remains unchanged a portion of it must be liquified, corresponding to the difference 
between the density of saturation at the higher and at the lower temperature. There 
are two means of liquifying a vapour, increase of pressure and lowering of the tempera- 


ture Since cloads are merely condensed vapour, their formation is regulated by the 
causes which tend to convert vapour into liquid Such liquefaction implies the presence 
of a quantity of vapour greater than that which, at the actual temperature would be 
sufficient for saturation, a condition of things which may be brought about by the cool- 
ing of a mass of moist air in any of the following ways : 

" (a) By radiation from the mass of air of cold sky ; (b) By the neighborhood of 
uold ground, for example, mountain tops and in a less degree a large forest area ; (c) 
By the cooling effect of expansion when the mass of air ascends into regions of dimin- 
ished pressure. This cooling of the ascending mass is accompanied by a corresponding 
warming of the air which descends, it may be in some distant locality, to supply its 
place. Causes (b) and (c) combine to produce the excessive rainfalls which generally 
characterize mountainous districts. It is believed that water spouts are produced by 
the rapid ascent of a stream of air up the axis of an aerial vortex. 

" (d) By the contact and mixture of cooler air. It is obvious, however, that this 
cooler air must itself be warmed by the process, and as both the temperatures and 
vapour density of the mixture will be intermediate between these two components it 
does not obviously follow (as is too often hastilj- assumed) that such contact tends to 
produce precipitation. Such is, however, the fact, and it depends upon the principle 
that the density of saturation increases faster than the temperature." 


Dew is caused by the temperature of the ground sinking below that of the air. 
The surface of the earth as it gradually cools lowers the temperature of the adjacent 
air which thus becomes saturated and a further cooling yields up a portion of its vapour 
in the liquid form. A gentle breeze is favorable to the deposition of dew. The earth 
frequently sinks from 8 to 10 degrees F. below the temperature of tha air, at which times 
dew falls. 


Generally speaking, the wind blows from regions of high to regions of low bar- 
ometer and with greater force as the barometric gradient is sfceaper. The march of the 
barometer is in general opposite to that of the thermometer, that is to say, the barome- 
ter usually falls when the thermometer rises, and vice versa. This law is one of the most 
general in meteorology and is easily explained; in fact, when the temperature rises at any 
place, it produces a dilation of the air, and consequently an overflow into neighboring 
regions, the weight of air over the place is thus diminished. On the contrary a fall of 
temperature produces an inflow of air and an increase of pressure. Mean barometric 
ieight should be lower durJng warm and rainy winds than during cold and dry winds. 

A study of the map of North America in its relation to the Province of Ontario dis- 
closes to the south, southwest, and west, the vast prairie regions extending across the 
States of Ohio, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and pirts of Wisconsin and 
Minnesota. The prevailing winds are from the southwest, west, and northwest. The rain 
giving wind is generally one from the soathwest and the reason for it seems obvious ; the 
gentle breeze of the far south, moving northerly over the highly heated area of the great 
prairie, is highly expanded until when it meets the basin of the greit lakes it ia in a fib 
condition to take up an enormous quantity of aqueous vapour and undoubtedly does so, 
to the point of saturation. As it moves on northerly it comes into contact with the 
wooded elevations which constitute the height of land where, owing to the increased eleva- 
tion of the land and the cooling efi'ect of the large forest area, it necessarily parts with an 
immense quantity of its vapour in the form of rain. The prairie States constitute the fur- 
nace, the great lakes the evaporating pans, and the high, wjoded slopes of the height of 
land the condensers. 

Denude the height of land of its forest covering and beyond doubt the cjoliag and 
condensing efi'ect would be lost, the highly heated rocks which would then ensue would 
but add to the capacity of the air by still further expanding it. The marshes and lakes 
which form so prominent a feature of the section would dry up or tend to dj so, and the 
height of land would cease to be the barrier it is now, and the moisture-laden air would 


drift into the basin of the Hudson Bay. That this is what would reasonably take place 
is evidenced by the heavy rainfall of the bad lands lying to the northwest of the Hudson 
Bay, where the above described condition of affairs in a large measure now exists. 

The main causes that produce rain are cosmic, and local conditions are to a certain 
degree of minor importance. Nevertheless it can hardly be doubted that a forest of large 
area does lower the temperature. In so far as it performs this function, it is a cause of rain, 
and as, in addition, in Ontario, the great forest belt is also on higher elevation it becomes 
of more importarce. 

The effect of deforestation on mean run-off of rivers is beyond question ; a watershed 
stripped of its forest belt is one where the river valley is every spring subjected to violent 
floods. With the forest cover, its mosses, roots, fallen leaves, branches and tree trunks, 
the rain and snow are mechanically held back, dammed up as it were. The evaporation 
is lessened, the protection from the sun's rays offered by the foliage causes the snow and 
ice to melt slowly, the mosses, roots, etc., do not allow the water to freely escape, hence it 
reaches the main river in small streamlets. Whereas, in the case of a deforested belt, the 
snow and ice are rapidly melted, and the water runs off in torrents. It may be stated 
without a doubt that the beds of all rivers are fitted to carry off the mean flow without 
injury to its banks or the adjacent valley. 

The evil effects of the deforestation in this Province has so far been felt only in the 
western end of the cultivated region as described under the fourth division of the general 
description of the Province. The Grand River and the Thames have one or two violent 
floods each year, one usually early in January, and the second at the breaking up of the 
ice in the spring. It is reasonable to suppose that the floods will increase in violence, not 
cnly on these rivers but on all otners where like conditions are working themselves into 
existence. A large expenditure of money will be required to mitigate the damage being 
done : already the cities of Brantford and London have suffered and the former city has 
gone to a great expense to endeavor to protect its citizens from the destroying fury of the 
Orand River. The character of the vegetation on the watershed exerts a considerable 
influence on the ultimate distribution of the rainfall. In the following table, abstracted 
from a paper by D. W, Mead on the Hydro Geology of the Mississippi Valley, published 
in the Journal of the Associated Engineering Societies, Vol. Xfll, will be seen the relative 
quantity of water required by different crops. 


Oats . . 
Corn . 

Mean number of 
lbs. of water 
required per 
lb. of dry grain. 

301 5 

Computed yield 
of dry grain 
per acre. 





Water required Per Acre. 



The daily consumption of water by the different crops 


Lucerne grass. 
Meadow grass 


Indian corn . . 


Vineyard . . . 




Oak trees .... 
Fir trees 

Inches of water. 

Minimum. Maximum. 









Mr. Tweedle, a well-known authority, finds that this table agrees with careful experi- 
ments made in France and elsewhere, and calculates from it, that from seed time to 
harvest, cereals will take up fifteen inches of water and grass may absorb as much a» 
thirty- seven inches. 

This table shows also one of the important reasons why a decrease of stream flow 
follows the destruction of forests, and their replacement by meadows and cultivated 
fields. It is quite ' evident also that if the watershed were covered with grasses and 
cereals, there would be comparatively little water left for the flow of streams. 

Ontario shares with the United States the basin of the great lakes. The areas of 
the water surface and of the watershed are as set forth in the following table : — 

Name of reservoir. 

Lake Superior 

Lakes Michigan and Huron . 

Lake St. Clair 

Lake Erie 

Lake Ontario 

Area of water 
surface in 
square miles. 






Area of water- 
shed in square 


The above information is derived from a paper by Oaptain Hiram M. Chittenden, 
Corps of Engineers U. S. Army, Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers 
Vol. XL., page 369, et seq. 

Lake Michigan lies wholly within the boundaries of the United States, yet has its 
interest and influence for us as the discharge must be through the Niagara River, the 
mean discharge of which in second feet is 232,800, the area of the watersheds tributary 
being 265,095 square miles. 

With the increased development of the country and the improvement in long-dis- 
tance transmission of electric energy, every water power in the Province has a potential 
value. It therefore becomes a problem of surpassing moment how best to conserve the 
waterfall. There are but two methods available, the construction of reservoir dams, 
and the preservation of the forest on the watershed. A forest suitable and beneficial as 
a conservator of water supply may, or may not, be valuable as a source of timber supply. 
An Engineer before being able to reach a conclusion as to the value of a water power 
project, must familiarize himself with the catchment area of the river, he must study its 
topography, meteorology and geology, the minimum flow of a river in its critical stage, 
and the durations of the period of such minimum flow. 

The mean daily flow which may be relied upon is the desideratum to calculate the 
value of a proposed power development scheme. For such purposes there is only one 
safe course and that is to make a thorough topographical survey of the catchment area. 

All of which goes to show the necessity for a geodetic and topographical survey of 
the country, the want of which is already seriously felt, and which will from this on be 
more and more a necessity. A topographical map such as is now being prepared of the 
United States, and which is partially completed consists of an exact reproduction of the 
natural features and of the public culture of the regions surveyed. They are mapped 
with minute accuracy, shew dwelling houses, roads, railways, political boundaries, and 
all features comprising surface relief, as hills and valleys, lakes and rivera, swamps, 
marshes, cultivated fields, woodlands, etc., and all in exact conformity to the true surface 
position, as well as the relative elevations above the sea level. 

From a map so constructed, one in which the distance between two points can be 
measured with accuracy and one on which all the elevations are accurately shown, it is 
possible for the student of hydrography, to at once determine the relations which exist 
between various catchment areas, and a reasonably clear and accurate project may be 

Ontario is rich enough to carry on such a survey at once, and is singularly behind 
the rest of the world in this particular. India, Australia, all the countries of Europe, 


and the United States, as well as a number of the South American countries have accur- 
ate geodetic maps, and in nearly every country topDgraphical maps are either completed 
or ai-e in the process of completion. The want of such information as such maps only 
can supply will be seriously felt more and more with the increasing opening up and 
development of the country. 

Free use has been taken of all the available data in preparing this paper. IVIore 
particularly the maps and reports issued from time to time hj the Dipartment of Orowa 
Lands of Ontario, the maps and reports of the Gaological Surv^ey of Oiuada, the maps 
and reports of the Geographical Society of Qaebec. 

Prof. Chapman's Minerals and Geology of Canada has been followed in the general 
description of the topographical features, other sources of inform ition have been 
acknowledged in the text. 



2 2001