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PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ANNUAL REPORT OF THE LANDS AND SURVEYS BRANCHES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF LAND… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1945

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 PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
ANNUAL REPORT
OF   THE
LANDS AND SURVEYS BRANCHES
OF   THE
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS
FOR   THE
YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 81st, 1943
HON. A. WELLS GRAY, MINISTER OP LANDS
PRINTED  BY
AUTHORITY OF THE LEGISLATIVE  ASSEMBLY.
VICTORIA,   B.C. :
]'iinl_d by Charles F. Banfield. Printer to the King's Most Excellent Mtijesfy.
1944.  Victoria, B.C., March 1st, 1944.
To His Honour W. C. Woodward,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour:
Herewith I beg respectfully to submit the Annual Report of the Lands and Surveys
Branches of the Department of Lands for the year ended December 31st, 1943.
A. WELLS GRAY,
Minister of Lands. Victoria, B.C., March 1st, 1944.
The Honourable A. W. Gray,
Minister of Lands, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the Annual Report of the Lands and Surveys
Branches of the Department of Lands for the twelve months ended December 31st, 1943.
I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient servant,
H. CATHCART,
Deputy Minister of Lands. PART I.
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Report of Superintendent of Lands.
Revenue	
Sale of Town Lots	
Pre-emption Records	
Pre-emption and Homestead Exchanges
Land-sales	
Land Inspections	
Summary	
Letters inward and outward.
Coal Licences, Leases, etc	
Crown Grants issued	
Total Acreage deeded	
Home-site Leases	
Page.
._. 7
.__ 7
... 9
___ 9
... 10
___ 10
___ 11
___ 12
___ 13
___ 13
___ 13
... 13
___ 14  DEPARTMENT OF LANDS.
Victoria, B.C., February 18th, 1944.
H. Cathcart, Esq., I.S.O., :
Deputy Minister of Lands, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit herewith statements containing details of land
administration by the Lands Branch of the Department of Lands during the year
ended December 31st, 1943.
Comparison with former tabulations shows a slight decrease in several items
covered by our administration. However, the amount of business during the year is
very satisfactory, especially in view of the general reserve throughout the Province
covering the last quarter of the calendar year and prevailing war conditions.
The increase in general correspondence reported is due to a continued influx of
inquiry from Canada, United States, and Great Britain with regard to settlement
conditions in this Province.
I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient servant,
NEWMAN TAYLOR,
Superintendent of Lands.
REVENUE STATEMENT FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31ST, 1943.
Land-sales.
Victoria
Collections.
Agency
Collections.
Total
Collections.
Under the " Land Act "—
Townsites   -	
$3,179.20
44,536.95
$18,326.64
116,213.39
203.66
$21,505.84
160,750.34
203.66
6,544.46
20.00
254.15
6,544.46
11,949.59
1,230.00
11,969.59
1,484.15
$54,534.76
$147,923.28
$202,458.04
Sundry Revenue.
Under the " Land Act"—
$102,463.00
9,159.77
784.03
19,420.69
6,554.26
368.50
$102,463.00
9,159.77
$7,649.95
6,070.08
94.25
3,011.49
346.50
1,334.45
438.21
8,433.98
25,472.77
6,648.51
3,379.99
346.50
289.00
1,623.45
Former Dominion Railway Belt lands—
438.21
$139,021.25
$18,944.93
$157,966.18 C 8
REPORT OF MINISTER OP LANDS, 1943.
REVENUE STATEMENT FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31st, 1943
—Continued.
Sundry Revenue—Continued.
Victoria
Collections.
Agency
Collections.
Total
Collections.
Under the " Coal and Petroleum Act "—
$6,600.00
3,812.12
$6,600.00
3,812.12
$10,412.12
$10,412.12
Sundry Receipts.
Maps, blue-prints, etc.
Miscellaneous 	
Southern Okanagan Project, interest.
Former Dominion Railway Belt lands .
Totals   	
$10,255.20
62.22
31,401.70
13,307.67
$55,026.79
$10,255.20
62.22
31,401.70
13,307.67
$55,026.79
Summary of Revenue.
$54,534.76
139,021.25
10,412.12
55,026.79
$147,923.28
18,944.93
$202,458.04
157,966.18
10,412.12
55,026.79
Totals    	
$258,994.92
$166,868.21
$425,863.13
Summary of Cash received.
$258,994.92
111,328.14 1
590.24 j
25,176.20 )
10,898.64 j
2,371.67
$166,868.21
$425,863.13
" Soldiers' Land Act "—
" Better Housing Act "—
36 074.84
2,371.67
Totals   _  _	
$409,359.81
$166,868.21
$576,228.02 REPORT OF MINISTER OF LANDS, 1943.
C 9
Prince Rupert, 17 lots to Wartime Housing, Ltd..
Prince George, 37 lots	
Quesnel and West Quesnel, 22 lots	
Vancouver, 13 lots	
Vanderhoof, 23 lots	
Kimberley, 9 lots	
SALE OF TOWN LOTS, 1943.
Disposal of lots placed on the market after being offered at public auction:—
  $17.00
  3,705.00
.___  2,440.00
  7,425.00
  710.00
  '   655.00
Osoyoos Townsite, 16 lots . 2,695.00
Oliver Townsite, 7 lots  1,325.00
And 84 lots in various townsites  1,919.00
$20,891.00
Southern Okanagan Land Project sold 4 parcels, comprising 12.30 acres, the purchase price being $788.
In the University Hill (Endowment Lands) subdivision of Lot 140, Group 1, New
Westminster District, 7 lots were sold at a sales price of $10,747.50.
PRE-EMPTION RECORDS, ETC., 1943.
Agency.
Pre-emption
Records
allowed.
Pre-emption
Records
cancelled.
Certificates
of Purchase
issued.
Certificates
of Improvements issued.
20
19
3
8
1
2
2
7
72
16
1
32
7
2
1
1
15
14
2
8
3
1
11
2
70
17
1
14
9
2
4
24
1
95
52
18
,    126
22
172
53
154
178
262
161
88
222
57
168
78
76
1
133
43
938
Atlin             	
14
11
3
7
Kaslo           	
1
3
1
101
11
1
22
6
3
2
4
Totals        ____	
194
173
3,122
190 C 10 REPORT OF MINISTER OF LANDS, 1943.
PRE-EMPTION AND HOMESTEAD EXCHANGES.
Under 1934 Amendment to " Land Act."
Year. No.
1935   41
1936   21
1937   37
1938   10
1939 ____   3
1940    6
1941 :   7
1942   4
1943  '   2
Total  131
LAND-SALES, 1943.
Acres.
Surveyed (first class)  :     9,801.48
Surveyed (second class)   11,068.39
Surveyed (third class)  _■_     9,172.01
30,041.88
Unsurveyed      1,090.00
Total   31,131.5 REPORT OF MINISTER OF LANDS, 1943.
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r- REPORT OF MINISTER OF LANDS, 1943. C 13
STATEMENT  OF LETTERS  INWARD AND  OUTWARD,  1943.
Letters inward   20,320
Letters outward   16,327
MINING LICENCES, LEASES, ETC., 1943.
Licences under the " Coal and Petroleum Act "—     No.      Area (Acres).
Original licences issued   42        24,712.00
Renewal licences issued   23 9,859.00
65 34,571.70
Leases under the " Coal and Petroleum Act "—
New leases issued      5 2,668.00
Renewal leases issued      4 2,432.70
5,100.70
Sundry leases under the " Land Act "—
Number of leases issued  194        30,812.28
CROWN GRANTS ISSUED, 1943.
Pre-emptions   .196
" Pre-emptors' Free Grants Act, 1939 " -____ 10
Dominion Homesteads   17
Purchases (other than town lots)  609
Town lots   449
Mineral claims   105
Reverted mineral claims   13
Supplementary timber grants   2
" Dyking Assessments Act "   17
" Public Schools Act "     	
Miscellaneous  3
Total  1,421
Applications for Crown grants   1,542
Certified copies  _'_  5
Clearances of applications for leases of reverted mineral claims
given  94
Total Acreage deeded.
Pre-emptions'  29,128.12
Dominion homesteads   1,457.90
Mineral claims (other than reverted)   3,849.39
Reverted mineral claims  556.59
Purchase of surveyed Crown lands (other than town lots)._ 30,277.29
Supplementary timber grants   200.44
Total  65,469.73 C 14
REPORT OF MINISTER OF LANDS, 1943.
HOME-SITE LEASES   (NOT EXCEEDING 20 ACRES).
No.
Total Annual
Revenue.
Fiscal Year
ended.
Leases existing on April 1st, 1929     	
67
8
12
11
31
23
24
18
26
15
29
21
27
27
23
12
—    307
374
13
1
—    14
360
$522.55
636.45
759.95
980.05
1,246.65
1,302.52
1,391.72
1,440.25
1,468.90
1,557.40
1,591.80
1,717.10
1,846.85
1,924.23
1,921.75
Leases issued, April 1st, 1929, to March 31st, 1930 __	
Leases issued, April 1st, 1930, to March 31st, 1931 _.	
March 31st, 1930.
March 31st, 1931.
Leases issued, April 1st, 1931, to March 31st, 1932 	
Leases issued, April 1st, 1932, to March 31st, 1933  	
Leases issued, April 1st, 1933, to March 31st, 1934	
March 31st, 1932.
March 31st, 1933.
March 31st, 1934.
March 31st, 1935
Leases issued, April 1st, 1935, to March 31st, 1936  	
Leases issued, April 1st, 1936, to March 31st, 1937    ..
March 31st, 1936.
Leases issued, April 1st, 1937, to March 31st, 1938 ._	
March 31st, 1938
Leases issued, April 1st, 1938, to March 31st, 1939 _	
Leases issued, April 1st, 1939, to March 31st, 1940	
March 31st, 1939.
March 31st, 1940
Leases issued, April 1st, 1941, to March 31st, 1942 	
March 31st, 1942.
Leases issued, April 1st, 1943, to Dec. 31st, 1943 	
Leases cancelled during this period	
Leases Crown-granted 	
(To Dec. 31st, 1943.)
Total revenue received from April 1st, 1929, to
December 31st, 1943  '
$20,308.17 PART II.
SURVEYS BRANCH.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page.
Report of the Surveyor-General, Surveys Branch  17
Report of Surveys Division _as  19
Table A—Summary of Office-work  19
Table B—List of Departmental Mineral Reference Maps  21
Table C—List of Departmental Reference Maps  22
Report of Aerial Photograph Librarian  25
Report of Geographic Division  25
Reports of Surveyors—
Topographical  Survey,  Duncan to  Nanaimo  and vicinity,  Vancouver  Island
(A. J. Campbell)  27
Topographical Survey, vicinity of Qualicum to Fanny Bay (N. C. Stewart)  29
Topographical Survey, West Coast of Vancouver Island, vicinity of Gayoquot
Sound (G. J. Jackson)  32
Triangulation Survey, Upper Skeena and Nass Rivers (H. Pattinson)  34  REPORT OF THE SURVEYOR-GENERAL.
Victoria, B.C., January 2nd, 1944.
H. Cathcart, Esq., I.S.O.,
Deputy Minister of Lands, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report on the operations of the
Surveys Branch for the year ended December 31st, 1943.
The Surveys Branch, now reduced by enlistments from its average staff of forty-
nine, is organized into three divisions—Surveys, Geographic, and Topographic. The
Surveys Division deals with field-notes of all surveys of Crown lands, whether made by
Government or privately employed surveyors; checks these field-notes and plots therefrom; and keeps an up-to-date record of the standing of lands and surveys on some
275 large-scale reference maps drawn on tracing-linen. The division has a blue and
ozalid printing department serving all branches of the Government, and meeting the
needs of these, and of the general public, for copies of reference and other maps to the
value of over $7,000 per annum.
The Topographic Division includes a staff of British Columbia Land Surveyors
specially trained in topographic mapping; these men spend their summers on field-
work and their winters plotting contour maps based on that field-work; the field-work
is permanent in character and, though adjusted to meet any immediate needs, fits without waste into a long-term plan for the progressive contour mapping of the entire
Province.
The Geographic Division is responsible for keeping the published maps of the
Province truly representative of the latest information available. That information
comes from triangulation surveys and from the Surveys and Topographic Divisions,
from the Forest and Water Branches, the Mines and Public Works Departments, from
the Geodetic, Geological, Topographical, and Hydrographic Services of the Dominion
Government; as well as from prospectors and others having knowledge of out-of-the-
way places. The Division draws the maps, secures tenders from lithographers, and
supervises publication; there is also in the Division photostatic equipment with an
experienced operator who makes photostats and enlargements and reductions to scale
for all Government Departments, and to some extent for Navy, Army, Air Force, and
general public.
Due to its general mountainous character, only a small percentage of the area of
the Province requires subdivision into small agricultural holdings, but immense tracts
of mountain terrain are rich in resources of mineral, timber, and water-power, and the
prosperity of the lowlands depends largely on the successful development of the mountain resources. In a country of such high relief, contour maps are the best foundation
for any appraisal of resources; and the need for such maps over vast areas, coupled
with the limited expenditures possible with our small population, has kept constant our
search for accurate yet economical methods. The method here developed uses aerial
photographs taken at 15,000 feet altitude; but, as such photographs vary greatly in
scale over the mountain country beneath, control over plan and elevation is secured by
triangulation, with stations on the summits and by rounds of oriented ground photographs taken from commanding positions, using special cameras of fixed focal length.
The method takes advantage of our mountains, and our contour-mapping costs seem
to be as low as any in Canada, averaging, as they do for the 1-mile map, less than $25
per square mile, including everything from the aerial photography to plotting the
contour map.
17 C 18 REPORT OF MINISTER OF LANDS, 1943.
It is the settled belief of the Surveys Branch that good maps are a most useful
guard against costly errors in development. In British Columbia a large proportion
of the cost of surveys is entailed in getting men to and from the ground and from
place to place in the map area. With air photographs and with the triangulation and
photo-topographical methods of control now in use here, it costs but little more to
collect the information for plotting on a scale of y2 mile to the inch with 100-foot
contours with the object of publishing on the 1-mile scale than it does to get the information for the 4-miles-to-l-inch map with 500-foot contours. A large proportion of
the extra cost of producing the larger scale map is in office-work and printing.
Topography changes but little throughout the centuries, so our standard policy is to
collect information for the large-scale maps but to publish on any smaller scale called
for by present needs; large-scale maps can be produced as needed in future years
without another costly ground survey and at short notice; moreover, even small-scale
maps produced from complete information are better than are such maps produced
from less dense control.
The completion of the Alaska Highway on the route largely east of the Rocky
Mountains has made Edmonton the best supply-point for Northern British Columbia
and Yukon and leaves the present British Columbia road system without a share in
any future tourist traffic to Alaska. The building of a road from the Peace River farm
area to Prince George via the Peace, Pine, or Monkman passes would, to a small extent,
remedy this and would give Peace River motorists a shorter route to the Coast, but
the double crossing of the Rocky Mountains and the 500 miles of added distance would
deter many users of the British Columbia roads from taking the Alaska trip. A road
under 400 miles long connecting the Peace or Pine Pass road with the Alaska Highway
at Lower Post would follow alluvial valleys, would save 500 miles in distance, and 1,000
feet in altitude. The Surveys Branch has a detailed survey of this route and the United
States authorities found it a feasible route, even for a railway.
The triangulation net now being pushed southward from Telegraph Creek is
giving authentic information on the heights of passes and the general nature of the
country. This area contains the Groundhog coal deposits and is favoured by Hazelton
and Alaska Panhandle residents as a route -to Yukon and Alaska serving westerly
British Columbia.
All field-work is suffering from the lack of our capable younger assistants, now
serving in the armed forces. The older men, assisted by Indians, trappers, and high
school boys, are carrying on the more essential activities. Our topographical mapping
in 1943 was confined to Vancouver Island, this being due to military needs and to the
desirability of completing the small proportion of this important area still lacking
good maps.
Reports compiled by F. O. Morris and G. G. Aitken for the Surveys and Geographic
Divisions respectively, giving details of the work carried on under their supervision
and of the maps published, as well as reports from the surveyors employed on field-
work, are attached hereto. Owing to enlistments and the lesser skill of those temporarily employed to fill the gaps, some of our basic reference maps lag, and the fact
that much of the time of our Geographic staff is devoted to special map requirements
of the military authorities necessitates postponement of other map-work; however,
the staff has risen to the occasion and the general public is well served.
I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient servant,
F. C. GREEN,
Surveyor-General. APPENDIX TO REPORT OF SURVEYOR-GENERAL. C 19
APPENDIX TO REPORT OF SURVEYOR-GENERAL.
By F. 0. Morris, Assistant Surveyor-General.
SURVEYS DIVISION.
This Division deals with the general correspondence, the supply of survey information to land surveyors and the general public, preparation of instructions for surveying,
checking survey field-notes and plotting official plans therefrom, clearing all applications, and many minor activities.
A blue and ozalid printing plant is maintained, rendering service to the various
governmental Departments.
Aerial Photograph Library.—A considerable portion of the Province has been
photographed from the air and an effort is made in this office to have on record one
copy of each of these aerial photographs. These are available for inspection and at
present total 106,424 views, consisting of 77,206 taken by Department of National
Defence, 21,413 by B.C. Forest Service, and 7,805 by Western Canadian Airways.
Index maps showing the position of these aerial photographs are also on record and
available for inspection.
Departmental Reference Maps.—In order to keep a proper graphic record of alienations and inquiries, reference maps, generally on the scale of 1 mile to 1 inch, and
mineral reference maps on the scale of 1,500 feet to 1 inch, drawn on tracing-linen, are
maintained by the Surveys Division. There are now 195 reference maps and 80 mineral
reference maps, making a total of 275 maps. The work of keeping these up to date—
(1) by adding new survey information as it becomes available, and (2) by renewing
same when worn out with constant use and handling in the blue-print machines—-forms
a considerable portion of the work of the Division. During the year two new reference
maps were made and four were recompiled. Tables B and C, attached hereto, give
a list of these reference maps.
Table A, which follows, summarizes the main items of work.
Table A.—Summary of Office-work for the Year 1943, Surveys Division.
Number of field-books received  _  106
„          lots surveyed   116
„          lots plotted   130
„          lots gazetted  158
„          lots cancelled   23
„          mineral-claim field-books prepared   78
„           reference maps compiled   6
„           applications for purchase cleared  343
applications for pre-emption cleared   263
„           applications for lease cleared  :  298
„          coal licences cleared  83
„          water licences cleared  63
„          timber-sales cleared   2,218
„          free-use permits cleared  383
„          hand-loggers' licences cleared   8
„           Crown-grant applications cleared  1,479
„          reverted-land clearances   991
„          cancellations made  543
„          inquiries cleared  1,799
placer-mining leases plotted on maps   .  16 C 20
REPORT OF MINISTER OF LANDS, 1943.
Number of letters received         4,583
letters sent out          3,334
Crown-grant and lease tracings made         1,190
miscellaneous tracings made  85
•Government Agents' tracings made   75
blue-prints made        23,923
Revenue received from sale of blue-prints from other departments and public $4,397.52
Value of blue-prints for Lands Department $2,966.85
Number of documents consulted and filed in vault       26,652 APPENDIX TO REPORT OF SURVEYOR-GENERAL.        C 21
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' Skook " Davidson and pack-train near Caribou Hide.
Pack-train swimming Toodogonne Creek.  APPENDIX TO REPORT OF SURVEYOR-GENERAL.
C 25
REPORT OF AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH LIBRARY.
By W. J. H. Holmes.
Number of aerial views on file, December 31st, 1943:—
Royal Canadian Air Force (A.)  75,586
Royal Canadian Air Force (B.A.)  1,620
Western Canada Airways (W.C.A.)  6,238
Mackenzie Air Service (M.A.S.)  1,473
Canadian Airways, Ltd. (Alaska Highway obliques)  94
British Columbia Forest Branch (B.C.)  21,413
Total..
106,424
Aerial views received and taken on file during 1943: Royal Canadian Air Force
(A.), 540;   and, in addition, 99 (A.) and (B.C.) duplicate prints were received.
There still remain a number of British Columbia photos taken during 1938, 1939,
and 1940 that have not been received for filing.
During 1943, 5,321 photos were issued on loan and 3,673 were returned.
There are at present (December 31st, 1943) 8,623 photos (aerial) out on loan.
Views were issued as required by the various branches of departments of the
British Columbia Government and to the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian
Naval Service, and, to a limited extent, to surveyors and others of the general public.
Topographic Survey Ground Views.—There are on file the ground views taken by
the Topographic Survey Branch from 1914 to 1943, and estimated to number something
over 35,600, also the corresponding photographic plates.
Aerial photo index maps number 95 and Topographic ground photo index maps 73.
GEOGRAPHIC DIVISION.
By G. G. Aitken, Chief Geographer.
Maps.
Published.
Name.
No. of
Copies.
Date of
Issue.
Dept.
Map No.
Scale.
Area ir.
Sq. Miles.
British Columbia Land Recording Districts
3,000
3,000
3,500
350
Jan., 1943
June, 1943
Aug., 1943
Nov., 1943
lex
4g
1h
Ijcp
50 m. to l in.
2 m. to 1 in.
15.78 m. to 1 in.
27 m. to 1 in.
366,255
3,100
170,000
366,255
Northern British Columbia (reprint)	
In Course of Printing.
Fort George Pre-emptors' Map._
5,500
March, 1944
3 m. to 1 in. 9,350
In Course of Preparation.
IA
3e
1/1,000,000 or
15.78 m. to 1 in.
4 m. to 1 in.
366,255
17,000 C 26 REPORT OF MINISTER OF LANDS, 1943.
Geographic Board of Canada, Naming and Recording.
Number of map-sheets' names reviewed for Dominion Government Departments   12
New names recorded   153
Geographical Work for Other Departments,
National Defence and Public.
Fifty-six items, receipts and value of work     $734.25
Map Stock and Distribution.
Maps issued to Departments and public       15,776
Maps received into stock       12,805
Total value of printed maps issued $4,901.37
Revenue from printed maps  $4,621.73
Photostat.
Total number of photostats made          3,279
Revenue from Departments and public $1,234.59
Value of photostats for Lands Department, etc.      $545.00
Letters.
Letters received and attended to         1,705
Standard Base Map.
Fort George Pre-emptors' Sheets, compiled complete  2
Peace River Pre-emptors' Sheets, compiled complete  2
Standard Base Map, skeleton sheets compiled  10
School districts plotted from description  28
Control nets supplied  53
Triangulation.
Main, by least square adjustment, triangles adjusted  111
Secondary, by rectangular co-ordinates, stations  654
Index-cards, records   918
Triangulation index maps  , 14
Twelve control nets supplied, in answer to requests from the Canadian armed
forces and, in addition, geographical positions of about 200 stations were determined
for the Canadian hydrographic survey during the year.
RESUME.
The Division suffered a severe loss in the death of the late Harry Miller Wright,
who passed away on April 11th, 1943. Mr. Wright had been with the Geographic
Division since its inception in 1912. He served his apprenticeship and early training
in map work and art with Messrs. W. & A. K. Johnstone, Geographers, Edinburgh,
Scotland; and was also a student in the Edinburgh College of Art. He came to
British Columbia and secured an appointment on the draughting staff of the Surveys
Branch, Department of Lands, in 1911. His loyal and unstinted devotion towards
the production of the highest possible standards and success in the work of the
Geographic Division is acknowledged; and his passing has been a loss felt by all his
associates. TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEY, DUNCAN TO NANAIMO. C 27
The Division honours the memory and mourns the passing of John Frank (" Jack ")
Stevens, killed in action in Sicily on July 12th, 1943. He was born April 29th, 1920,
and joined the Geographic Division on August 23rd, 1937. Volunteering for Active
Service on September 28th, 1939, with the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry,
he served with that unit throughout his period of service, attaining the rank of
Quarter-Master Sergeant.
Lieutenant-Colonel G. G. Aitken, M.C, resumed his duties as Chief Geographer
on February 8th, 1943.
Alan C. Horwood was appointed as apprentice draughtsman (war replacement),
July 3rd, 1943.
Albert Edward Stone, apprentice draughtsman (war replacement), enlisted November 19th, 1943.
The distribution and sale of topographical maps of the coastal areas of the Province are restricted owing to present war-time requirements. After the war, should
these maps be made generally available, they will be of value for public interest and
travel.
TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEYS, DUNCAN TO NANAIMO AND
VICINITY, VANCOUVER ISLAND.
By A. J. Campbell, B.C.L.S.
F. C. Green, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report on the triangulation and
topographical control surveys carried out under your instructions during the field
season of 1943. The area covered this year adjoins to the east that controlled during
1942 and lies along the east coast of Vancouver Island, in the vicinity and between
the cities of Duncan and Nanaimo, also including several of the islands off the coast
of the main island.
The purpose of the survey was to produce a map at the scale of % mile to 1 inch
with a contour interval of 100 feet. The control was for the purpose of fixing in
position the vertical aerial photographs to be supplied by the R.C.A.F. In mountainous country and wherever else possible this necessary control is obtained by photo-
topographical methods. In sections where this is not possible it is obtained by triangulation, three-point method, or by chain and traverse connected with the triangulation
system. A considerable number of ties were made to lot or section corners, to posts
marking the power-line right-of-way, and to railway lines, so as to be able to fix the
cadastral surveys and the other features in position on the map.
In connection with our usual triangulation work we were instructed to join the
British Columbia triangulation system on Vancouver Island to the geodetic stations of
Bruce and Benson. These are stations of main coast triangulation. Bruce is located
on the summit of Mount Bruce, the highest point of Saltspring Island, and Benson is
on the south-easterly point of Mount Benson, back of Nanaimo. This join was successfully made but was somewhat complicated on both these stations by fire lookout
cabins having been built so close to the triangulation point as to blanket a considerable
portion of the circle. This made it necessary to occupy eccentric points to complete
the readings, which is much less satisfactory and means more work when time may be
very precious on account of light conditions. These cabins were built subsequent to
the establishment of the triangulation points and, in our opinion, would have served
their purpose equally well, and blanketed the triangulation point much less, if they
had been located as far from the station as the mountain-top permitted.
PROVINCIAL.  LIBRARY
VICTORIA, B. C C 28 REPORT OF MINISTER OF LANDS, 1943.
The party, for most of the season, consisted of five, with R. D. Fraser and S.*L.
Clarke of the permanent service as assistants, and two boys under 19 years of age as
survey helpers. For the first part of the season the party occupied a house near
Duncan, boarding at a restaurant in that place. For the remainder, a house at Lady-
smith was occupied with board obtained at private houses.
The field season commenced on June 8th, with a preliminary expedition to Salt-
spring Island to erect a signal on the main geodetic triangulation station Bruce. On
this trip other stations on Saltspring Island were occupied and also an unsuccessful
search made for a minor geodetic point on Bodega Hill, Galiano Island. We established
our own point on Bodega Hill and this proved very useful as an outlying point. The
stations Bruce and Bodega were finally occupied on September 7th and 8th, just before
the smoke from the usual fall slash-burning made any further work impractical. On
this visit to Bodega the geodetic point was located and tied to our triangulation.
The weather through the season was consistently good, but not particularly so
for photographic or triangulation work, due to persistent light clouds hanging over the
tops of many of the hills. Also it was a much more hazy year than 1942 and the photographs suffered to some extent. But a comparatively small amount of time was lost
due to the weather and we were fortunate in choosing suitable days for some of our
longer trips.
During the season 131 triangulation and other points were occupied and twenty-
eight dozen photographs taken.
PHYSICAL FEATURES.
The area under consideration is too well known to require much description in
respect to its physical characteristics. The most striking feature'is, probably, the two
large and comparatively flat areas which are separated by a range of hills running east
from the mountains along the north side of Cowichan Lake and ending in Mount Bruce
on Saltspring Island. The E. & N. Railway and the highways pass through a low
gap in these hills between Mounts Prevost and Sicker on the west and Mount Richards
on the east. The flat area around the city of Duncan and on up the valley of the
Cowichan River forms the southerly area. To the north and extending to the Nanaimo
River an area of low rock ridges and plateaus gradually rising to the 4,000-feet hills,
10 to 15 miles back from the salt water, is found. North of the Nanaimo River is
a similar area of low rock ridges and plateaus but rising to a range of hills projecting
closer to the coast-line. Of these, Mount Benson, with an altitude of 3,344 feet, is
a conspicuous landmark and visible for many miles up and down the island. This
makes it an ideal triangulation station and forest fire lookout.
FORESTS.
In last year's report mention was made of the many logging-railways and truck-
roads tapping the timber resources. These have been further extended. The V.L. &
M. logging-railway up the Chemainus River has been pushed well up Chipman Creek,
nearly to a junction with Comox truck-road coming down from the north. The Comox
Logging Company's truck-roads have been extended out in many directions, principally
up the branches of Haslam Creek. During the summer this Company opened a logging-
railway from Ladysmith to and up the Nanaimo River.
Considerable exploratory work has been done in that section and there are timbered areas there which, it is claimed, will require forty years to log.
In much of the older logged areas reproduction has well started, but large sections
still have the barren appearance left by the loggers, and it will take many years before
it is covered with a new growth. Considerable reforestation is being carried on in
chosen parts. TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEY, QUALICUM TO FANNY BAY. C 29
MINES.
The Twin J. mine, on Mount Sicker, has completed the construction of a fine mill
and concentrator and is now under production. The concentrates are shipped to the
Tacoma smelter for refining. This mine was reopened as a war measure for the production of the base metals, principally copper, and has sufficient ore in sight for a couple
of years' operations, with probabilities of greater ore-bodies being blocked out.
Three operating coal-mines were noted in the district, located near Mackay Lake,
South Wellington, and Extension. The mine near South Wellington is reported to be
nearly worked out and is expected to close shortly. Another report states that a large
deposit of good coal has been located near the White Rapids, on the Nanaimo River,
and that a mine is to be opened there.
GAME.
After the season of 1942 when we saw much game, principally deer, it was surprising that only a half dozen were noted. It is probable the nearness of well settled
areas explains this, but there is no doubt there are many deer in the country. Blue
and willow grouse and wild pigeons were reasonably common.
Once more our thanks are due to the logging companies for permission to use
their roads, and in placing at our disposal valuable information from their plans and
maps. Being able this year to use the extensive road system of the Comox Logging
Company out from Ladysmith made it possible to reach many of our stations which
otherwise would have been very difficult and costly to occupy.
TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEY IN VICINITY OF
QUALICUM TO FANNY BAY.
By N. C. Stewart, B.C.L.S.
F. C. Green, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the following report on the topographical survey
carried out under your instructions during the field season of 1943. The area mapped
is on Vancouver Island, extending north-westerly from Qualicum River, Home Lake,
and Alberni to the headwaters of the Tsable River and westerly from the east coast
of Vancouver Island to the westerly boundary of the E. & N. land grant. This work
is a continuation northerly of my 1942 survey, and also joins up with the 1940 survey
of R. D. McCaw and my own surveys of 1934, 1937, and 1938. This area contains
approximately 300 square miles.
The survey was designed to produce a map at the scale of % mile to 1 inch, with
a 100-foot contour interval, using air photos to be supplied by the R.C.A.F. The ground
control was obtained by photo-topographical methods in the mountainous sections and
by chain and stadia traverses in the flatter parts. The camera stations and traverses
were fixed by secondary triangulation derived from existing geodetic points. The
coast-line is supplied by the Hydrographic Survey of Canada. Many ties were made
to lot corners with the idea of accurately placing the cadastral surveys.
The instrument-work was all done by myself, for my trained assistants were in
the armed services. Five boys under 19 years of age were engaged as helpers. Main
camp was established at Mud Bay, where board was obtained at a farm-house. Field-
work commenced on June 8th and ended on September 11th, when smoke from slash-
burning forced me to close down. C 30 REPORT OF MINISTER OF LANDS, 1943.
PHYSICAL FEATURES.
For purposes of description, this area may be divided into three parts—the comparatively flat bench-like portion along the east coast, the Beaufort range of mountains
in the middle, and the wide timbered valley of the Ash River to the west.
The area between the east coast and the steep easterly flank of the Beaufort
Mountains varies from 3 to 5 miles in width and rises in a series of rocky benches to
about 1,400 feet. These benches are broken by numerous streams that are fed by
great accumulations of snow on the north-east face of the mountains, the larger of
these streams being the Tsable River and Rosewall Creek.
The Beaufort Mountains, while very steep on both east and west flanks, are more
or less rounded on top, with summits varying little in altitude, the highest point being
Mount Joan—altitude, 5,109 feet. Advantage was taken of this characteristic, for we
travelled the crest from Mount Joan to Mount Tsable without any great ascents or
descents, the going being in beautiful alpine country all the way. Southerly from
Mount Joan the range is divided into two parts by the valley of Big Home Creek,
which flows into Home Lake.
The steep westerly slopes of the Beaufort range, which extend in an almost
straight line from Bainbridge, near Alberni, to Comox Lake, define the easterly edge
of an intermontane valley, averaging 4 miles in width; the floor of this valley rises
from sea-level at Alberni to a divide about 1,400 feet altitude, 5 miles south of Comox
Lake.
The Ash River, entering from the west, flows into Elsie Lake, then through Dixon
Lake, and after meandering through the valley joins the Stamp River, which in turn
joins the Somass River, the latter entering salt water at Alberni. From Alberni to
a point just north of the junction of the Ash River with the Stamp River the valley-
floor is almost flat, while north-west of this point it is broken up with low bumps, the
surface is rougher and the soil more gravelly and rocky.
FORESTS.
Originally this area contained some of the finest timber on Vancouver Island.
The climate seems to be absolutely suited for the production of great forest growth,
the precipitation is bountiful and the mountains give ample protection from strong
winds. However, the greater proportion of this timber has been logged off, especially
along the east coast and around Home Lake. The Victoria Lumber Company, of
Chemainus, cutting along the Tsable River, is the largest operator in the east coast
section. But there are several smaller outfits, some of which are cutting on the sites
of the earliest logging. Some of the logged-off areas have recently been planted. The
Alberni Pacific Lumber Company is operating in the Ash River Valley in a big way.
The varieties logged are Douglas fir, red cedar, hemlock, spruce, balsam, and occasional
white pine and yellow cedar. Alder and maple for furniture-making are being logged
at Deep Bay. Detailed reports on the timber resources may be obtained from the
Forest Branch, Department of Lands.
MINERALS.
With the exception of traces of zinc in the limestone north of Home Lake, there
are little or no indications of metallic minerals in this area. Coal has been found
along the Tsable River and other streams near Fanny Bay. Drillers were working
along the Tsable River, defining the coal-measures there. In Memoir 69, compiled by
D. B. Dowling, Geological Survey, Ottawa, 1915, it is stated that the coal measures of
the Comox field extend along the east coast of the island to Northwest Bay and that
these measures very possibly contain workable coal-seams. TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEY, QUALICUM TO FANNY BAY. C 31
GAME.
Deer are plentiful; some fine specimens were seen on the Beaufort range. We
saw several small black bears. Blue grouse are plentiful, while willow grouse frequent
the lower altitudes. Several flocks of wild pigeons were seen. Various kinds of ducks
and other water-fowl live along the coast. Signs of fur-bearing animals, including
mink, marten, beaver, muskrat, and racoon, were found. Trout-fishing can be had in
Home and Elsie Lakes and in the larger streams, while salmon provide good sport in
the Strait of Georgia. There is a fur-farm near Fanny Bay and a muskrat-farm on
Dixon Lake
CLIMATE.
The lowlands along the east coast are protected from the south and west winds
by the Beaufort Mountains. Here we have a precipitation slightly greater than that
at Qualicum Beach (average 31 inches), with mean temperatures a little lower. The
snowfall on the crest of the Beaufort Range is very great for large snowbanks were
found there in July. In the Ash River valley the annual rainfall averages around 70
inches; hence the climate is considered wet. Fogs originating in the Alberni Canal
often drift up and fill the valley. As most of the rain falls in winter, I found the field
season comparatively dry, although cloudy. There were only five cloudless days during
the summer.    Slash-burning started on Hornby Island on September 4th.
ACCESSIBILITY.
The Island Highway and the E. & N. Railway adequately serve the section east
of the Beaufort range. Numerous logging-railways extend from tide-water up the
slopes of the mountains. The more notable of these are the road around the north
side of Home Lake connecting with the Alberni Highway, the road up Chef and Rose-
wall Creeks, and the logging-railway of the Victoria Lumber Company from Fanny
Bay up the Tsable River. The area along the east coast is also accessible from the
Strait of Georgia, there being good wharves for small boats at Deep Bay and Fanny
Bay. An excellent auto-ferry service connects Denman Island with Vancouver Island
at Buckley Bay.
There is a good road from the town of Alberni to Camp 1 of the Alberni Pacific
Lumber Company, a distance of about 13 miles, but northerly from Camp 1 in the Ash
River valley the Company's railway system furnishes the only means of travel.
INDUSTRIES.
Logging is the chief industry. As already mentioned, the Alberni Pacific Lumber
Company in the Ash River valley and the Victoria Lumber Company on the Tsable
River are the largest operators.    There is a large shingle-mill at Fanny Bay.
Fishing fleets operate off the southerly tips of Denman and Hornby Islands; these
tie up chiefly at Deep Bay, Fanny Bay, and Denman Island, where Government wharves
are provided.    At Deep Bay there is a fish packing and reduction plant.
There are numerous small farms along the Island Highway, several of these being
dairy farms. Good crops of vegetables, fruits, hay, clover, and grain are produced.
Considerable expansion in small farming might be expected adjacent to the east coast,
but inland the soil is very gravelly and therefore more suited for forest reproduction
than for farming.
The east coast attracts many tourists and summer campers. This business will
increase, for fine sites for summer homes are still available. Home Lake is ideal for
swimming, boating, and fishing. The " caves " in the limestone, about 1 mile from the
west end of Home Lake, are a local attraction. The Beaufort Mountains, while not
as spectacular as the mountains adjacent to the Forbidden Plateau, provide safe mountaineering and the alpine country along the crest of this range is well worth a visit. C 32 REPORT OF MINISTER OF LANDS, 1943.
Again I would like to convey my thanks to the logging companies for the use of
their roads and railroads, accommodation in their camps, and for the valuable information from their maps and plans; and also to the various members of the Forestry
Branch for help in many ways.
TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEY, WEST COAST
OF VANCOUVER ISLAND.
By G. J. Jackson, B.C.L.S.
F. C. Green, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit herewith my report on the topographical survey
made by me, under your instructions, during the past summer.
The area completed is on the west coast of Vancouver Island, in the vicinity of
Clayoquot Sound, and completes map-sheet 92 F/5 and the south half of sheet 92 E/8.
This includes Flores Island and the areas of Tofino, Tranquil, Bolson, Ursus, and Cypre
Creeks and Bedwell Sound, and Herbert arid Shelter Inlets.
The area has all been covered by vertical views of the R.C.A.F. and the British
Columbia Forest Service, taken at 15,000 feet elevation. In addition, the shore-lines
are covered" by views taken at 10,000 feet. The triangulation was controlled by stations
of the British Columbia triangulation net and of the Hydrographic Survey of Canada.
The party was organized in Victoria'and arrived at Ahousat on June 7th. Here
the main camp was established and work commenced in the vicinity. As much of the
transportation was by water, a launch was hired for the season. Camps were also
established at the heads of Bedwell Sound and Tranquil Inlet. From these, fly-trips
were made up Ursus Creek and Tranquil Creek to the sources. On August 31st three
of the men left for school, but we continued work for ten days with the remaining two,
and we arrived back in Victoria on September 12th.
The weather during the season was dry for the west coast, but the fog was
unusually bad and often did not clear for days at a time. There was very little smoke
and no fires in the area.
During the season views were taken from thirty-six stations and four triangula-
tions were occupied. Several miles of traverse were run, several land-ties made, and
many barometer readings taken.
Ahousat, on Flores Island, is the only settlement in the area. Here there is a
Government wharf, Gibson's store and gas-tanks, and a post-office. Near-by is the
Indian Settlement of Markosis, where there is a school. The telephone-line along the
west coast runs through Ahousat. A C.P.R. boat from Victoria calls every ten days
with mail and supplies.
Flores Island, which is about 60 square miles in extent, is low lying and swampy
along the south and west coasts, and the timber is scanty and scrubby. The remainder
of the island is a jumble of hills, the highest nearly 3,000 feet in elevation, and all are
heavily timbered to the tops.
The area east of Bedwell Sound and drained by the Tofino, Tranquil, Bolson, and'
Ursus Creeks is very rugged. The valleys are narrow, the sides rising steeply to
precipitous, bare, rock ridges and peaks, the highest reaching elevations of over 5,000
feet. The country to the west lying between Bedwell Sound and Shelter Inlet is more
regular, with gentler slopes, and few of the hills reach above timber-line.
The whole area is heavily timbered to about 4,000 feet elevation and has a heavy
growth of underbrush.    The timber is hemlock, balsam, cedar, spruce, and jack-pine, TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEY, WEST COAST OF VANCOUVER ISLAND.    C 33
with scattered fir. Commercial timber is in the river valleys and on the lower hills,
and does not extend far inland from salt water in most places.
As transportation is mostly by water, there are few roads and trails in the area,
and these, if not in use, are soon filled in with brush and fallen timber.
On Tranquil Creek there is a camp building about one-half mile up the river,
which can be reached by boat at high tide. From here there is a truck-road partially
built for about a mile up the west side of the creek, and a trail that goes a couple of
miles farther to a small cabin. We blazed a trail from there to the forks of the
Tranquil and about 4 miles up each fork.    The forks are about 5 miles from salt water.
There is now a truck-road up the Bedwell River to the Musketeer mine, about 8
miles up the river. This starts about one-half mile from the beach on the west side
and can be reached by boat at high water. About 2 miles up the road a trail branches
off to Ursus Creek, crosses the Bedwell on a cable, and continues up the north side of
the Ursus to the forks, about 10 miles from salt water. From here it continues up the
North Fork on the east side to the Trophy mineral claims, which lie on the ridge
between the North and East Forks. There is a cabin on these claims at about 2,000
feet elevation.
Fishing is the chief industry. Purse-seiners and trollers operate in the vicinity.
The fish are sent to the canneries and reduction plants on Barclay Sound, or iced and
sent to markets down the coast. A number of fishermen were catching dogfish for the
livers, and were doing well, as the price for livers was high and dogfish were plentiful.
There has been little logging done in the area, but this year Gibson Brothers had
several camps taking out isolated patches of spruce for aeroplane construction.
Except for the odd prospector, mining is at a standstill until after the war.
A great number of claims have been staked in the area, but only a few have had much
work done on them. The Bedwell River area was quite active until a year ago, a fair
road was constructed up the valley and considerable work was done on the properties.
The Musketeer and the Buccaneer mines were brought to the producing stage. The
Musketeer was closed down in 1942, due to the difficulty in obtaining labour and supplies, although it was producing good values in gold and silver. The Buccaneer was
closed down and dismantled about the same time. All other properties have stopped
operations for the present time.
The climate is very moderate but precipitation is heavy, over 100 inches a year
along the coast and more back in the hills. There is little snowfall on the coast but it
is heavy in the mountains. The snowfall last winter was unusually heavy. During
June snow was still lying on some of the hills at 3,000 feet elevation, and it did not go
entirely off some of the higher hills during' all the summer. There is considerable fog
during the summer months every year.
There was very little game in evidence. An occasional deer, black bear, and some
grouse and pigeon were seen. Water-fowl are quite plentiful in the inlets during the
winter months but are scarce during the summer. There are some fur-bearing animals,
chiefly mink, marten, racoon, and otter, but these have been constantly trapped and
are not plentiful.
Trout in moderate numbers are to be found in most of the rivers and lakes. Salmon
of all varieties come into the inlets in season and ascend the rivers to spawn. Halibut,
cod, pilchard, herring, anchovies, and dogfish are also caught commercially along the
coast.
The work on the maps is now in progress and the usual plans are being prepared. C 34 REPORT OF MINISTER OF LANDS, 1943.
TRIANGULATION CONTROL SURVEY, COVERING PART OF DRAINAGE AREA OF UPPER SKEENA AND NASS RIVERS, CASSIAR
DISTRICT.
By Hugh Pattinson, B.C.L.S.
F. C. Green, Esq.,
Surveyor-General, Victoria, B.C.
SIR,—I have the honour to submit the following report on the above survey carried
out by me under your instructions dated June 1st, 1943.
The main object of the survey as defined in your instructions was the extension
south-easterly from stations " Windy " and " Slate " of my season 1942 triangulation,
in order to obtain a rigid connection with two stations of E. R. Foster's triangulation
northerly from Hazelton, thus closing an uncompleted circuit.
At the same time, my instructions directed me to collect information that might
be of value in appraising the merits of a highway route crossing the Stikine River
above Telegraph Creek and connecting by the most suitable route with the British
Columbia road system at Fort St. James or Hazelton.
The party was made up of nine men, three of whom were taken on at Prince
George and the remainder at Ware. Experienced help was difficult to obtain owing
to the abnormal conditions prevailing and the average age of the personnel was much
higher than that of the usual pre-war party.
Twenty-five pack-horses were used for transportation purposes and these were
obtained from J. 0. Davidson, Kechika River, who himself had charge of the pack-
train. On June 18th the party commenced the long trail trip to Kluayaz Lake in the
valley of the Kluatantan River, in the vicinity of which the first station to be occupied
was located. Some delay was occasioned by the exceptionally high stage of water in
the Finlay and Toodogonne Rivers. Two crossings of the former and one of the latter
had to be made before the party reached Caribou Hide. From Caribou Hide a route
was taken following Laslui, Tuaton, and Happy Lakes to the extreme head of the
Stikine River, then over a timber-line pass and down Skelhorne Creek to the Kluatantan-
Kluayetz divide; whence an existing trail was followed to our first main camp in the
vicinity of Kluayaz Lake.
Actual survey operations commenced on July 15th with the occupation of station
" Windy " and were carried on continuously until late September, when weather conditions necessitated closing down the work.
The general direction of survey operations was south-easterly and the triangulation covers part of the watersheds of the Upper Skeena and Nass Rivers. The last
station occupied was station " Twister," situated east of Bird Flat Creek, from which
sights were taken across the Sustut River. Unfortunately, the corresponding station
" Mosque " on the west side of Bird Flat Creek was not occupied, as after waiting three
days for visibility a heavy snowfall occurred which made it advisable to move to low
altitudes. No station south of the Sustut River was occupied. It was found necessary to cut out and blaze considerable new trail and also to brush out and reblaze many
miles of old trail. The old trails along Slowmaldo Creek and Bark Creek were in particularly bad condition, being almost completely grown over with devil's-club, wild
rhubarb, etc., and strewn with large spruce windfalls. There is little or no horse-feed
along the above creeks, and during a three-week trip into that region three horses went
lame and a fourth got into poison-weed. Other old trails used during the season were
not too bad, except perhaps a short stretch along Duti Creek, below the mouth of
Malloch Creek, where the windfalls were very numerous. The highest point utilized
as a station was Mount Alma, situated near the head of Thutade Creek, which has an
altitude of 7,897 feet. TRIANGULATION SURVEY, CASSIAR DISTRICT. C 35
ACCESS.
The only means of access at the present time is by trail, of which there are three
at present passable for pack-trains. That most generally used is the one which begins
at Telegraph Creek and runs easterly to Buckley Lake, crossing the Klastline River at
a canyon and following it for some distance. The trail crosses a 3,940-foot summit
before dropping down to Klappan River crossing. The distance to the crossing from
Telegraph Creek is between 70 and 80 miles by trail and with full horse loads takes
about six or seven days. From Klappan River crossing the trail continues southeasterly following the Little Klappan, Indian Creek, Kluayetz Creek, and Kluatantan
River to the Skeena.
Another trail leaves the Finlay River from the mouth of Bower Creek above Ware.
It runs westerly to Caribou Hide, crossing the Finlay south of Fishing Lakes and
follows Toodogonne River, continuing westerly to Caribou Hide on the Stikine River.
From Caribou Hide Indian and game trails can be followed to the head of the Stikine
River and on down Skelhorne Creek to the existing trail in the Kluatantan Valley.
A third trail .from Takla Landing follows the Driftwood and Bear Rivers, crossing
the Sustut River about 15 miles above its mouth and continues north-westerly to the
head of Malloch Creek, passing close to Thutade and Tatlatui Lakes. It then follows
Malloch, Duti, and Black Creeks, passing to the south of Tzahny and Beaver Lakes and
joining the main trail in the Kluatantan Valley. There is not much to choose between
the above three routes to the Upper Skeena River and the amount of time required is
about the same for each, though the route from Telegraph Creek is probably a little
quicker. The distance travelled each day over any of these trails is governed to a certain extent by various factors, such as suitable camp-sites and good feeding-grounds
for the horses. Much better mileage can be made in the late summer when the trails
are dry than in the spring when they are soft and frequently covered with several
inches of water. In addition to the three trails mentioned above, there is another
trail entering the region from Hazelton which follows the Skeena River and Slowmaldo
Creek. This trail is in no condition to take horses over, being littered with windfalls
and badly overgrown with vegetation. It has not been in general use for many years
and the bridges at most of the creek crossings have been washed out.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS.
The region covered by the season's survey operations lies mainly within the drainage area of the Upper Skeena and Nass Rivers and includes the high glaciated mountains of the Tatlatui range. The mountains on both sides of the Upper Skeena are
rugged in character, with steep craggy peaks and large glaciers on the northerly
slopes. The valley of the Upper Skeena is thickly timbered and not very wide. Its
main headwater branches are Duti Creek and Kluatantan River, both of which drain
rugged mountain areas. The former heads in the mountains west of Kitchener Lake
and is fed from numerous glaciers. It is a swift-flowing creek, difficult to ford except
during periods of low water. The lower Duti Valley is thickly timbered with spruce,
but farther up in the vicinity of Malloch Creek there are some fairly extensive old
burns and much fallen timber, making travelling slow and arduous.
The Kluatantan River heads in open grassy country and flows south-easterly down
a wide valley through semi-open country for about 7 miles, where its volume is
increased by the water of Kluayaz Creek which flows out of Kluayaz Lake. It then
continues southerly through a narrowing valley and empties into the Upper Skeena
about 10 miles above the mouth of Duti Creek. The lower Kluatantan Valley is wooded
and the vegetation increases in density towards its confluence with the Skeena.
The Sustut is the only other river of importance. It heads in the high mountains
of the McConnell range, one of its headwater branches flowing out of Sustut Lake. C 36 REPORT OF MINISTER OF LANDS, 1943.
It empties into the Skeena River about 11 miles west of the Takla Lake trail. At the
trail crossing there is a good ford, the width at that point being about 100 feet. Its
main tributaries are Bird Flat Creek and Bear River. The former heads near Bird
Hill and flows through a wide grassy valley at its upper end. It flows parallel to the
trail most of the way down to its mouth and the descent is rapid for the last few
miles, narrowing to a ravine in places.
The Bear River flows out of Bear Lake and is only a short creek. It parallels the
Takla Lake trail and enters the Sustut River about 4 miles above the ford.
FOREST-COVER.
There is no timber of commercial value except in the Skeena and Slowmaldo Creek
valleys below the 3,000-foot contour, where there are some good stands of Canada
spruce, with some trees running over 24 inches in diameter. The remainder of the
region is too high in altitude to produce timber of commercial grade and generally has
a medium coverage of scrub spruce, with occasional patches of jack-pine and poplar
with some birch. Alpine balsam predominates above the 4,000-foot level. A comparatively small proportion of the region has been burnt over. The timber down the
Skeena and Slowmaldo Creek appeared to be all first growth and no old burns were
noticed; in fact, the only burnt areas observed were along Duti and Malloch Creeks
and east of Bird Flat Creek.    Timber-line is slightly over 5,000 feet.
VEGETATION.
The country supports an abundance of wild grasses and a sufficiency of good
horse-feed was available at most of our camps. Along the trail between the head of
Malloch Creek and the Sustut River there are large areas of good summer pasture.
Feed was very scarce in the Skeena and Slowmaldo Creek valleys, where the other
vegetation is so dense that there is no chance for grass to grow. These valleys support a very rank growth of devil's-club and wild rhubarb, with patches of stinging
nettles and some poison weed. There are some small areas of swamp-grass, but we
found it difficult to locate sufficient feed for more than a one-night camp. Wild strawberries, gooseberries, raspberries, low- and high-bush blueberries, huckleberries, and
cranberries were noticed in various portions of the area. Huckleberries and blueberries were particularly plentiful in the old burns along the mountain-slopes above
Malloch Creek and also on the slopes east of Bird Flat Creek.
GAME AND FUR-BEARING ANIMALS.
Moose and caribou are quite numerous and herds up to twenty or thirty of the
latter were seen. Grizzly and black bear were encountered on several occasions. No
sheep were noticed, but plenty o'f goats were observed grazing on the high mountain
pastures. During last season no sheep were seen east of the Spatsizi River. Beaver
are the most numerous of the more valuable fur-bearing animals, but lynx, marten,
fox, mink, wolverine, and muskrat are also trapped. Groundhogs are plentiful and
wolves roam over the region. Last season black chipmunks were noticed in the mountains in the vicinity of Malloch Creek. This season a coal-black wolf and a black
squirrel were noticed in approximately the same area. Among the game birds found
are willow and blue grouse, the former being quite plentiful. Ptarmigan are numerous
in the mountains. Some Canada geese and swans were also noticed. Rainbow trout
are found in some of the creeks and large salmon find their way up the Skeena River
to Kluayaz Lake and to the Sustut River.
CLIMATE.
It would be difficult to make a fair report on the average climatic conditions of
the region after spending one season in it.    There are no permanent residents from TRIANGULATION SURVEY, CASSIAR DISTRICT. C 37
whom weather data can be obtained and all the information that the Indians could
give me was that " it was plenty wet." The appearance of the vegetation and timber
in the Upper Skeena and Slowmaldo valleys would certainly indicate a. heavy annual
precipitation. There were over sixty days when the skies were overcast, low-hanging
clouds obscured the mountains and rain fell during some part of the day. The trails
remained soft and wet until the end of the season. The past summer was exceptionally
wet and cannot be taken as an average upon which to base an estimate of the annual
precipitation. The snowfall is very heavy in the Upper Skeena Valley according to the
information obtained from Indians. Light frosts at night are fairly frequent during
the summer at elevations over 3,500 feet.
GENERAL.
There are no permanent residents but the Bear Lake and Caribou Hide Indians
hunt and trap portions of the region. At the present time the only source of revenue
is from the fur. It seems probable that in the not too far distant future the Skeena
might be logged for its spruce timber. The river seems to be suitable for a log drive
and the erection of a pulp-mill somewhere on the lower Skeena is a probability of the
future. Coal was found in the region over thirty years ago and a considerable amount
of work done at that time on development, including the construction of many miles
of pack-trail, but, for some reason, interest died out and work was discontinued.
Possibilities of general farming do not seem bright as the average elevation is too
high. The latitude is approximately the same as that of the northern half of the
Provincial Peace River Block. There are many thousands of acres of good high pasture which would afford excellent summer feed for stock, but the possibility of wintering cattle successfully remains open to doubt. Sufficient hay could be cut on the wild
meadows to winter a limited number of stock. Domesticated reindeer might make the
country productive.
Hydroplanes have landed on Thutade, Kitchener, and Bear Lakes, and Tatlatui
Lake and Trygve Lake should be suitable for the same purpose.
During the season at least 50 miles of old trail were brushed out and sufficient
windfalls removed to make pack-horse travel possible. The old trails down Slowmaldo
Creek as far as Station Slowmaldo and the Bark Creek trail were in particularly bad
shape, and although the worst windfalls were cut out these trails are still hardly
passable with horses. About 12 miles of trail were cut out between the mouth of
Malloch Creek and Hoy Lake and 8 miles along Bird Flat Creek, also 5 or 6 miles south
of Thutade Lake. The trail from Kluayaz Lake following Langlois, Telfer, and Trail
Creeks and crossing the divide west of Groundhog Mountain was made passable for
pack-horses to the Slowmaldo-Trail Creek Divide. When moving camp it was customary to have two or three men ahead of the pack-train with axes and machetes, reblazing
and brushing out the old trails so that there would be as little delay as possible. From
a scenic point of view the country would be hard to surpass. The mountains are
extremely rugged with many large glaciers and the high open valleys and mountain
passes between Upper Bird Flat Creek and Thutade Lake provide natural feeding-
grounds for caribou and moose.
VICTORIA,   B.C. :
Printed by Chables F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1944.
1,105-344-8267
I   

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