PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS
Hon. E. T. Kbnney, Minister. G. P. Melrose, Deputy Minister of Lands
Report of the Deputy Minister of Lands
containing the Reports of the
Lands Branch, Surveys and Mapping Service,
and Water Rights Branch
the Dyking and Drainage Commissioner,
Southern Okanagan Lands Project, University Endowment Lands, and the Coal,
Petroleum, and Natural Gas Controller
Year ended December 31st
VICTORIA, B.C. :
Printed by Don MoDiabmid, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
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>■ Victoria, B.C., January 30th, 1950.
To His Honour C. A. Banks,
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 Branch,
Surveys and Mapping Service, and Water Rights Branch, with other divisions, of the
Department of Lands and Forests for the year ended December 31st, 1949.
E. T. KENNEY,
Minister of Lands and Forests.
Victoria, B.C., January 30th, 1950.
The Honourable E. T. Kenney,
Minister of Lands and Forests, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit my Annual Report, including the reports of the
Lands Branch, Surveys and Mapping Service, and Water Rights Branch of the Department of Lands and Forests for the twelve months ended December 31st, 1949, with
which are also incorporated the Annual Reports of the Inspector of Dykes and Commissioner of Dyking, Southern Okanagan Lands Project, the University Endowment Lands,
and the Coal, Petroleum, and Natural Gas Controller.
GEO. P. MELROSE,
Deputy Minister of Lands. CONTENTS.
1. Report of the Deputy Minister of Lands 9
2. Lands Branch—
(a) Lands Division 21
(b) Land Utilization Research and Survey Division : 36
(c) Land Inspection Division 43
(d) Land Settlement Board 55
3. Surveys and Mapping Service 59
(a) Air Survey Division 62
(b) Geographic Division 85
(c) Legal Surveys Division 96
(d) Topographic Division i 107
(1) Bridge River Area 111
(2) Kispiox Valley 116
(3) Sayward District - 124
(4) Say ward-Salmon River Area 130
(5) Prince George Area 134
(6) Kitimat Area .• 140
(7) Squamish Valley ■ 146
(e) British Columbia-Yukon Boundary Survey 1 151
4. Water Rights Branch 159
5. Coal, Petroleum, and Natural Gas Control 175
6. Dyking and Drainage 185
7. Southern Okanagan Lands Project 195
8. University Endowment Lands 203
9. General Administration 211 REPORT OF THE DEPUTY MINISTER
Geo. P. Melrose.
The tempo of our age, that of rapid development of natural resources, has appeared
in earnest in British Columbia during and since the 1939-45 war. In industry, agriculture, hydro-power production, transportation facilities, population growth, and practically all other factors that create work and produce wealth, the pace of progress in
putting plans into operation has been accelerated. Activities, both private and public,
which contribute to resource development, have never been so widespread, so numerous
or on such large scale, in the history of the Province, as they are at the present time.
The year 1949 will likely record for British Columbia the events which have the greatest
significance for her destiny in the second half of this century.
The lands service organization in the Department of Lands and Forests, through
its fundamental functions and broad duties and responsibilities, is tied closely to plans
for development of the Province and prepares many of the blue-prints that mark its
growth. About 95 per cent, of the surface of British Columbia is in the name of the
Crown, with this Department the organization responsible for its administration.
Four main branches—Administration, Surveys and Mapping Service, Water Rights
Branch, and Coal, Petroleum, and Natural Gas Control—through their complements
of agencies and divisions, attend to the many phases of land development.
When land, which includes water, is put to use by man, the history of the land,
its status, and other pertinent data must be recorded for purposes of government.
This record is kept orderly through the use of maps and legal descriptions, properly
filed and indexed. This demands knowledge of the surface of the land, obtained in
British Columbia by the Surveys and Mapping Service.
In 1949 this Service had the busiest year in its history. The Legal Surveys Division conducted operations, under the direction of British Columbia land surveyors,
along the Alaska Highway, the Cariboo Highway near Mile 70, at Vanderhoof, Telkwa,
Port Edward, Pender Harbour, and Tete Jaune. The diversity of survey is indicative
of the many interests being served: survey for the Forest Service of the Park Way
on the south side of Cameron Lake; township subdivision, involving twenty-four
sections, in the Peace River area; camp-site surveys at Cluculz and Trapping Lakes;
home-site leases near Pender Harbour; triangulation survey in the vicinity of Howe
Sound. In these surveys and in renewing nearly 100 survey monuments, surveyors in
private practice were used to considerable extent.
The Topographic Division surveyed 4,740 square miles of territory, at Sayward,
Johnstone Strait and Discovery Passage, Bridge River, Kispiox Valley to Bear Lake,
Prince George, and Kitimat mouth. The maps, with contour interval of 100 feet and
on a scale of 1 mile to 1 inch, are in process of compilation. In applicable areas, the
parties made use of boat and helicopter.
The Geographic Division was never busier. Seven maps were printed, including
a new one of British Columbia, showing roads and on a scale of 40 miles to 1 inch.
Eight maps of the National Topographic Series, at 1 mile to 1 inch, were prepared,
and seven maps are in course of compilation. Some 31,000 maps were distributed, a
sizeable assignment in itself. In addition, numerous special tasks were performed,
including the continuation of the work of compiling the Gazetteer and the designing
of some 1,200 enumeration areas for the 1951 Census.
Vertical air-photo coverage of the land surface of the Province has been phenomenal during the past two years. The joint programme of the Royal Canadian Air Force
and our Air Survey Division has been accelerated, with the result that to-day 90 per U 10
department of lands and forests.
cent, of the area has been flown, a sudden increase from the roughly 30 per cent, of
two years ago. Increased number of personnel, additional scientific equipment, and the
acquisition of two aircraft have all contributed to the rapid expedition of the programme. It must not be forgotten, however, and it is a pleasure to acknowledge that
the major cause of the splendid showing is the greatly stepped-up operations of the
Royal Canadian Air Force. Our record is remarkable in that the office of Air Survey
Engineer was created less than four years ago and that an efficient organization has
been built up since that time, with outstanding achievements to its credit.
Air photos are basic to knowledge of surface features, which in turn permits
resources inventories, provides data for the preparation of maps, and supplies indispensable information for planning the development of the resources of the Province.
With air photos of quality, air mapping is possible. Interim-map production for the
British Columbia Forest Service, with a target of 9,000 square miles per year set
in 1948, was for all practical purposes reached in 1949, with 8,200 square miles
completed and 4,000 square miles in process of compilation. Present demands require
twice this production. The question must be resolved in terms of additional staff,
space, and equipment.
The British Columbia-Yukon-Northwest Territories Boundary Commission continued its survey of the north boundary of the Province, extending the established
line another 46 miles. This survey proceeds at the rate of about 40 miles per year,
and to date more than 200 miles have been surveyed.
It is worthy of note that the survey operations and the regular office routine for
1949 were accomplished by 138 staff members and 164 temporary employees. For
transportation, two aircraft on photography, a helicopter, the " B.C. Surveyor " motor-
launch, twenty-one cars and trucks, and forty-six pack-horses were used.
The increased activities in surveys and mapping stem from the heightened interest
in British Columbia. From near and far, people have come in unprecedented numbers
to make their homes here. Business concerns, from giant industrial concerns to one-
man enterprises, move steadily into the Province. Their requirements are many, and
the chief one is for land upon which to locate, for acreage varying from the town
lot and the farm to the vast blocks needed to support a pulp industry or supply the
water to satisfy the needs for a hydro-power project.
These land requirements are dealt with by the Lands Branch, the administrative
section of the lands service organization.
Substantial advances in total business transacted are again characteristic of the
Lands Branch operations. Particular emphasis may be given to the increases in
acreage deeded, the applications for permits under the " Petroleum and Natural Gas
Act," the applications to purchase lands for settlement in the Peace River District,
and in issuance of leases along the Alaska Highway for tourist-lodge and automobile-
service purposes. The details can be read in the report of the Superintendent of Lands.
The Land Inspectors, who report on applications, were flooded with work in all
sections of the Province, from the Lower Mainland to the Peace River District, from
the Kootenays to Prince Rupert. Despite all efforts to keep up with requests, and
despite the addition of three new Inspectors to the staff, the Chief Inspector of Lands
was forced to report a heavy backlog of uncompleted examinations. Applications to
purchase and lease land in 1949 poured in as overwhelmingly as did the flood-waters
of the Fraser River into the adjacent farm lands in 1948.
The Land Utilization Research and Survey Division, through expanded operations
in the 1949 field season, ran its total of surveyed lands in potential settlement areas
to 1,370,000 acres. Nearly 500,000 acres were examined and classified during 1949.
The chief function of this Division is to classify and map, for settlement purposes,
the remaining Crown land in British Columbia, as well as parcels that have reverted. report of the deputy minister of lands. u 11
Economic farm units are determined among these lands and recommendations made as
to their disposal. Since much of the survey, for economic reasons, is conducted in areas
partially settled and more or less thoroughly picked over, it is understandable that
selected units, though of worth, are not often the best agricultural chance in the respective districts. Certain factors, such as soil, topography, or cost of clearing, may have
limited the desirability of these parcels up to this stage of agricultural development
in British Columbia.
The Land Settlement Board, the University Endowment Lands, and the Southern
Okanagan Lands Projects are further divisions of the lands organization, closely
associated in their operations with the Lands Branch.
The Land Settlement Board is charged with the administration of the so-called
" Doukhobor Lands " and finds this responsibility an interesting one, albeit controversial and somewhat provocative at times. Value of collections from these lands in 1949
shows an improvement over recent years.
Revenue received for the year under the " University Endowment Lands Act "
indicates a renewed interest in this area for residential purposes, comparable to the
activity prevailing at the close of the war. These University Lands, which are not a
part of the City of Vancouver, as commonly is supposed, but owned by the Crown,
are being developed steadily with the purpose of contributing to the support of the
University of British Columbia.
The administration of the Southern Okanagan Lands Project, with headquarters
in the Village of Oliver, continues to bring into use the acreages of irrigable lands
that come under its direction. Development work, which will be superseded in the
near future by management and maintenance operations, has proceeded satisfactorily
" Where there is land there is water " is a saying that has particular application
in British Columbia, and the Water Rights Branch of this Department attends to the
many problems that arise through the interrelations that exist between these two
inseparables. The prevalence of water in large part determines what shall be done
with the soil, and what crop—agricultural, forest, or wild life—shall be raised upon it.
Further, the quantity, character, location, and accessibility of water govern man's
occupation of an area, determining his supplies for domestic and industrial purposes.
The volume of work done by the Water Rights Branch again shows marked
increase, as it has each year since the close of the war. The degree of activity is
consistent with the large increase of population in the Province and the establishment
of many industries.
Revenue and expenditure are well above the ten-year average, as might be expected
in view of the number of licences issued and in the number of changes of works, of
ownership, and of appurtenancy.
Of significance to the welfare of the Province are the licences that were reviewed
in connection with industrial and irrigation projects. The inferences and possibilities,
in terms of employment, exploitation of resources, and production of wealth, that are
associated with water use are indeed striking when it is considered that negotiations
for water licences were carried on with four important groups. The Water Rights
Branch studied and made certain decisions on licence applications from, the Columbia
Cellulose Company, Limited, at Port Edwards, the Nanaimo Sulphate Pulp Company
at Cedar on Vancouver Island, the Aluminum Company of Canada with respect to its
tentative plans for hydro-power development in Central and West British Columbia,
and the Veterans' Land Act agency with respect to irrigation development at Cawston,
In addition, water requirements and availability of supplies were surveyed in
connection with further irrigation proposals for the Southern Interior. These projects
dealt with more than 3,000 acres of land, including that of the 585 acres at Cawston. Technical services were at a premium throughout 1949 owing to special assignments such as noted above, the demands of newer activities such as that of snow
survey, the increased requests of the public for extra and more precise information,
the studies of sedimentation in connection with the recently formed Dominion-Provincial Board Fraser River Basin, the number of inspections of dams and dam-sites made
imperative by the 1948 floods, and to the important hydraulic studies of the International Columbia River Engineering Board, on which the Deputy Minister of Lands
represents the interests of British Columbia.
The water-resources surveys, dealing with power, irrigation, waterworks, and
flood-control, can be read at length in the report of the Comptroller.
The Coal, Petroleum, and Natural Gas Control is now three and a half years old,
has a permanent staff of six, and is in the act of becoming a division of the lands service
At the end of 1949 sixty-eight parcels of land, covering nearly 2,500,000 acres,
were under lease to oil companies. Seven groups have drilled deep tests, three more
are now drilling, and another is nearly ready. This is a good showing, considering
that the " Petroleum and Natural Gas Act " was not in effect until 1947, and that
Alberta has been the focus for petroleum activity, with the bordering Provinces more
or less ignored.
Coal operations continue in the Pine River field along the Hart Highway, and it
is hoped to complete the field drilling in 1950. The previous estimate of 190,000,000
tons of coal, available to a railway which would run through the Pine River valley,
still stands. This coal, upon tests conducted at various points over the continent, has
a high rating, ranging from semi-anthracite, through volatile and medium volatile,
to high-volatile bituminous coal. Expressed simply, this means that the Pine River
product is one of the hottest coals in North America.
The reports of the various branches and divisions follow the next item, which is
a short account of the help furnished by the Government to those areas, exclusive of
the Fraser Valley, which were damaged by the floods of 1948.
THE 1948 FLOODS.
The history of the disastrous flood days of 1948 in British Columbia has been
recorded in newspaper files, in public-library references, and in official reports.
In the Report of the Deputy Minister of Lands for 1948, the activities of the
agencies particularly active in the emergency are recounted. The Water Rights Comptroller explains how, through interpretation of the data obtained from winter and
spring snow surveys, his agency was able to forecast, first in an April 1st bulletin as
a preliminary warning and subsequently as an urgent one on May 1st, the strong
possibilities of floods. The Water Rights Branch was the only known organization
to forecast the menace of flood-hazard. This fact reveals the value of snow sampling
as an essential technique in gauging the annual water run-off.
The report of the Dyking Commissioner for 1948 gave a full account of the progress
of the floods throughout the Fraser Valley. A statement by the Deputy Minister
outlined the legislative and administrative efforts to cope with the disaster in all areas
of the Province that suffered.
Dramatic experiences have aftermaths, whether we speak of war, floods, or other
devastations. The damages done have to be repaired, and adjustments, involving both
people and possessions, have to be made. The 1948 floods in British Columbia proved
no exception, and the days of reckoning have yet to be counted finally.
The Fraser Valley Dyking Board was set up to repair and rebuild dykes. The
Dominion met 75 per cent, of the costs. A second board, the Fraser Valley Rehabilitation Authority, was created for rehabilitation work. The Fraser Valley, from Lytton REPORT OF THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS. U 13
to the sea, came under the jurisdiction of these two bodies. Administrative operations
of these authorities are not in the sphere of this Department and so are not included
in this Report.
The Minister of Lands and Forests assumed responsibility for flood-relief administration throughout all remaining sections of the Province. The Government of British
Columbia bore the entire costs of this administration during both the emergency and
the period of readjustment. On March 31st, 1950, the dead-line for completion of all
claims, the books will be closed and the final financial cost known. At this time,
however, with the rehabilitation completed and most of the claims settled in full, a
tentative report, which will not differ materially from the final one, can be submitted.
Flood Costs in British Columbia (exclusive of the Fraser Valley).
Procedure in regard to Flood Claims.
Field inspections of flood damage were made by the local Assessor in company
with the District Agriculturist. The recommendations of these officials were reviewed
by the Government Agent, who embodied them in a report to the Deputy Minister of
Lands. Upon approval of this report, vouchers were submitted to Victoria for reimbursement.
The rehabilitation of civic works in municipalities, dyking districts, or other
public bodies was supervised by the local Water Rights engineer, who also checked
the accounts. Public Works engineers assisted in a great many instances.
Number and Settlement of Flood Claims.
About 1,000 flood claims are on file in Victoria, 910 of which are covered by reports.
The remainder were turned over to other agencies, such as the Red Cross or the
Welfare Branch of the Department of Health and Welfare. Some claims were found
to be for matters outside of the jurisdiction of the " Flood Relief Act." In this last
category were many requests for straightening of streams, bank-protection, and insurance against future floods.
Summary of Damages and Costs.
Creston.—Over 15,000 acres of land in the dyked area of the Kootenay Flats
adjacent to Creston were inundated, with extensive damage to crops. Reconstruction
of certain portions of the dykes has been necessary due to flood damage, and consideration has been given to the following dyking districts in the amounts shown. In addition,
the districts themselves have reconstructed and strengthened the dykes wherever
Creston Dyking District—
Reclamation Dyking District—
Nicks Island Dyking District—
$66,411.65 U 14
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
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A total of $429,412.63 has been expended, and it is estimated a further $25,000
will be required before the work is fully completed.
Kimberley.—The damage at Kimberley was caused by the heavy discharge of Mark
Creek, which flows through the centre of the city. Roads, bridges, sewerage and water
systems were washed out. Considerable work has been done upon the stream channel
in clearing, shaping, back-filling, and in the construction of a concrete retaining-wall.
The Government has now completed its commitment to the city, having paid a total of
$111,400.03, as follows:—
Flood-fighting 1 $11,400.03
Roads and lanes 15,095.59
Electrical works 2,344.27
Sewerage '. 14,883.75
Northern Construction & J. W. Stewart, Ltd 17,326.35
Trail.—Much private and business property was flooded when the Columbia River
topped its banks both in Trail and East Trail. An emergency dyke was constructed
by the city with the co-operation of the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company,
on which it was stated over 200,000 sandbags were used. The amount paid by the
Government to the city for its direct out-of-pocket costs of fighting the flood was
$33,878.72. The Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company absorbed its own costs.
To re-establish the city on a pre-flood condition, an estimated total of $163,000 will
finally be required. This will cover the cost of a permanent flood-control dyke on the
east side of the river, and such work as the raising of the concrete retaining-wall,
repair of pavements, relaying and insulating the water-main, and half the cost of
restoring the riverside parks.
Spallumcheen-Armstrong.—General flood damage was caused along the course of
Fortune and Deep Creeks in the Municipality of Spallumcheen. The stream-bed in
many places was higher than the surrounding land, and the dykes were unable to hold
back the water.
A total of $39,498.96 was contributed by the Government toward the restoration of
the channels of these streams. Fortune Creek was completed first, as here there existed
a real threat to the City of Armstrong. The work was not quite finished when the 1949
high water came down, but, although the maximum stage of the creek was about the
same as in 1948, the flood was passed successfully and without property damage.
The channel of Deep Creek has been widened to give relief against further flooding.
Penticton.—The damage in this area was of a minor nature in comparison to the
foregoing municipalities. Flood-fighting costs amounted to $6,708.86. The excavation
of the channel of Ellis Creek and the restoration of the bridge and the city water-main
will cost $10,650.24.
Other Municipalities.—Other municipalities were helped with flood relief in smaller
amounts than the preceding. These were Kaslo, North Kamloops, Kelowna, Fernie,
Grand Forks, Summerland, and Enderby.
General Summary of Expenditures.
Dyking districts $429,412.63
Irrigation districts 8,727.17
Southern Okanagan Lands Project 7,969.76
Individual claims r 250,517.41
Total $1,015,991.00 REPORT OF THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF LANDS.
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LANDS BRANCH 1 LANDS BRANCH. TJ 21
E. E. Burns, Assistant Superintendent of Lands.
The Lands Branch is divided into four divisions, namely, Lands, Land Settlement
Board, Land Utilization Research and Survey, and Lands Inspection Service.
The returns of the year's operations as set out in the statistical tables submitted
herewith compare favourably with the year 1948 and in most cases show an increase
over the ten-year average, a substantial increase being shown in respect to acreage
The two outstanding activities of the year were the increase in applications for
permits under the " Petroleum and Natural Gas Act" and applications to purchase
lands for settlement in the Peace River District, chiefly by residents of Saskatchewan.
Twenty auction sales were held during the year, comprising town lots, acreage
lots, and summer-home sites. At Okanagan Falls twelve town lots were sold, to a value
of $5,125, and fourteen acreage lots at Ryder Lake, near Chilliwack, at the price of
Following completion of surveys by the Department, a large number of leases were
issued along the Alaska Highway for the purpose of tourist lodges, gasoline-stations,
etc. These will be of assistance to the public traversing the highway. It is anticipated
that during 1950 sites along the Hope-Princeton Highway will be made available for
In accordance with the general policy, sites including water-front areas comprising
suitable beaches were reserved for the recreation and enjoyment of the public.
This year marked the winding-up of all accounts under the provisions of the
" Better Housing Act."
Total revenue collections for the year exceeded 1948. The revenue derived from
the sale of maps, etc., was in excess of 1948 by approximately $12,000. This is due
chiefly to the increased demand for photostats, blue-prints, and air photos. Revenue
received under the " University Endowment Lands Act " exceeded 1948 by approximately $28,000. Collections under the " Petroleum and Natural Gas Act " are in excess
of 1948 by $101,235.63.
As shown by the report of the land surveyor of the Branch, an extensive programme
of survey work was carried out in various parts of the Province. Inspections of certain
areas were also made.
The report of the Secretary, Land Settlement Board, shows an increase in the value
of collections compared to 1948 in the amount of $860.20. The proceeds from the sale
and rental of Doukhobor lands show an increase of $199.86.
The Land Utilization Research and Survey Division records continued increased
activity during the year. Field surveys operated in the Quesnel, Peace River, Terrace,
Vanderhoof, Fort Fraser, and Squamish areas. Examinations were made of two
projected irrigation developments at Balfour on Kootenay Lake and the Grandview
Flats near Armstrong. Certain changes in staff were made, resulting in Dr. D. B.
Turner, former Assistant Director, being appointed Director of Conservation, General
The reports of the Chief Land Inspector and District Inspectors of the Land
Inspection Division show the extent and varied nature of the inspections carried out
during the year and the backlog of work to be completed during 1950. With the
addition of three new Inspectors to the staff, Inspectors are now stationed at Williams
Lake and Quesnel in addition to Smithers, Prince George, Pouce Coupe, Kamloops, U 22 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Nelson, and New Westminster. In this connection the Forest Service continues with
expert advice and assistance until such time as all the land-inspection work can be
taken over by the Land Inspection Division.
Philip M. Monckton, B.C.L.S.
Six inspections were carried out of various parcels of land. These were all on
Vancouver Island, with the exception of one at Powell River.
Five surveys of sites for the Forest Service were made at Sechelt, Port Alberni,
Port Moody, Westbank, and Kitwanga.
Other miscellaneous land-surveying duties attended to were scattered over a great
part of the Province.
In the first three months of the year, most of the work was on Vancouver Island
and the Lower Mainland, comprising retracements of old boundaries of Marine Drive,
Point Grey; an old survey at Sahtlam; an old oyster lease at Ladysmith; and additional
work at Emory Creek, near Yale.
The first major undertaking of the year was started at Saltair, 55 miles from
Victoria, on the Island Highway. In this case the new location of the highway runs
about a mile to the west of Saltair and gives access to country that was out of reach
formerly. This job consisted of the breaking-up of District Lot 72, Oyster, into smaller
lots, the final layout showing twenty-two lots of about 10 acres each, with frontage on
the new highway. These should make desirable small fruit farms.
A small subdivision at Extension, which had been partly done in 1948, was
completed in June, and with the surveys at Port Alberni and Sahtlam (above mentioned), the time was fully filled until July 10th, when our party left Victoria for the
An examination was made of the new road which the Department of Public Works
was building through a part of Lot 439, at Ryder Lake, near Chilliwack, which was
subdivided in 1948. The Forest Service site at Port Moody was started, but could not
be finished until the Department of Public Works decided on the location of the new
highway—the Dewdney Trunk Road. It was finally completed in November.
At Seymour Arm, the most northerly arm of Shuswap Lake, nearly two weeks
were spent retracing an old survey made in 1914. As a result of the survey, a report
and a suggestion for completion of the subdivision in the area were submitted. Seymour
Arm heads in an alluvial flat, and there are several hundred acres of land, which vary
from pure sand, through various grades of loam, to clay. Despite the fact that this
area has reverted to its old state, it still remains quite an attractive possibility—fertile
soil, good climate, fairly accessible (37 miles from the railway, by water, with a
bi-weekly boat service).
At Westbank in the Okanagan Valley a preliminary survey was made of a very fine
area of ground which could be opened up by irrigation into an orchard area, and water
supplied by the Westbank Irrigation District at not very high cost.
August 5th saw us heading northwards, via the Cariboo Road, and on August 9th
work was started on the graveyard at New Hazelton, which it was necessary to
discontinue owing to insufficient information. After doing a small survey at Kitwanga
for the Forest Service, we moved camp to Lakelse Lake. Three weeks were spent here
in relocating the lot posts of three summer-home site subdivisions which were made in
1922. Some logging of cedar poles had taken place over the area, and quite a few of the
old survey posts had disappeared. However, enough were found to repost the whole
survey, and more permanent corners were set, namely, iron bars and concrete monuments. These lots vary in quality, the best ones being in Lot 6794, on the south side
of the outlet of the lake. Some have very fine beaches and the worse ones are muddy
for some distance out. All have a very fine quality of timber growth upon them. LANDS BRANCH. TJ 23
On September 14th we returned to New Hazelton, completing the survey of the
graveyard-site, and also reposting with iron bars some twenty-seven of the blocks of
the old townsite. This work occupied twelve days, after which a job at Smithers was
completed, namely, the resubdivision of Lot 4266. This had originally been laid out
in town lots, but that plan had been cancelled, and the area is now converted into
At Houston, 45 miles east of Smithers, there was confusion as to the location of
lot corners, and forty blocks were reposted. This work provided less difficulties than
had been anticipated, as several old posts were found, and by October 12th this was
The next job undertaken was rather an extensive subdivision near Powell River,
where some three-quarters of a mile of water-frontage was divided into lots with an
average width of 100 feet each. Here difficulties were encountered with old incorrect
An investigation was later made as to the possibilities of further subdivision near
Ryder Lake, south of Chilliwack, and also an examination at Cheam Lake, 12 miles
east of Chilliwack.
From the above report, it will be seen that 1949 was a very busy field season,
resulting in numerous field-notes and plans to be completed.
Table 1.—Summary of Recorded Collections for the Year ended
,-.-.,. December 31st, 1949.
Land Act "—
Land sales $375,254.88
Sundry revenue I 322,683.92
Survey fees, sales of maps, etc 32,394.32
" Soldiers* Land Act "—
Southern Okanagan Lands Project $106,890.44
Houses, South Vancouver 330.00
" Better Housing Act "—Sundry municipalities , 1,804.21
" University Endowment Lands Administration Act " 174,676.40
Refunds and votes 31,934.86
Total Collections $1,045,969.03
Table 2.—Summary of Total Collections for Ten-year Period
1941 . 612,810.01
1946 1 992,201.70
1948 - 975,772.41
Ten-year average, $866,165.28
* The gross collections of over $1,000,000, which exceeded 1948, was due to more but smaller individual collections and was not occasioned by especially large sales as in the year 1947. U 24
department of lands and forests.
CHART 1—SOURCES OF 1949 COLLECTIONS. LANDS branch.
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01 U 26 department of lands and forests.
Twelve miles south of Terrace. A view from
Lot 6795, a Government subdivision, potentially a
splendid site for summer homes.
Skeena River Valley.
Looking down-stream from South Hazelton.
Undeveloped river terraces and benches, excellent
timothy and clover area, with a future in the production of beef cattle and perhaps dairying, should
About 9 miles south of Kelowna. View shows
a new British Columbia Forest Service Assistant
Ranger station, located on part of Lot 2042, Osoyoos
Division of Yale District. It is proposed to subdivide the balance of the lot into suitable farm units
during the coming season. This area, comprising
approximately 290 acres, is reported to be ideal for
fruit-growing if irrigated. .
U 28 department of lands and forests.
Table 4.—Country Land Sales, 1949.*
Surveyed—First class 7,710.04
Second class 54,970.15
Third class 18,725.30
Repurchases (section 135, "Land Act") 124,522.40
* Acreage involved in all 1949 sales shows a substantial increase of approximately 130,000 acres over 1948.
Table 5.—Land-sales Collections, 1949.*
Collections under " Land Act " (Principal and Interest). Total Collections.
Pre-empted lands 426.38
Town lots 73,539.57
Special regulations 1,049.06
Surface rights of mineral claims 2,685.23
Indian reserve cut-off 334.00
* Total land-sales collections are slightly less than 1948. While country land-sales collections decreased, collections on sales of town lots increased nearly 50 per cent, over 1948.
Table 6.—Summary of Land Sales for Ten-year Period 1940-49, inclusive.
1941 . 153,663.91
1944 . 215,409.40
1945 = 294,034.56
1946 - 368,088.19
Ten-year average, $306,739.53.
* Collections for the year are well above the average for the past ten years. During 1947 collections included
certain special large sales, and the sum of $358,215 was received on repayment of money advanced out of Consolidated Revenue in previous years. This explains the large sum noted for 1947. LANDS BRANCH.
CHART 2.—SOURCES OF 1949 LAND-SALES COLLECTIONS. u 30 department of lands and forests.
Table 7.—Sundry Revenue for the Year ended December 31st, 1949.*
Collections under " Land Act " Total Collections.
Leases, land-use permits, etc., and fees $181,448.46
Crown-grant feesf 18,325.00
Occupational rentals 855.40
Reverted mineral claims 5,439.18
Collections under " Coal and Petroleum Act"—
Leases and fees $3,822.90
Collections under " Coal Act, 1944 " — Licences, leases,
and fees 2,226.50
Collections under " Petroleum and Natural Gas Act,
Leases, permits, and fees $101,148.63
Sundry : 87.00
* Revenue relating to leases, etc., under the " Land Act " and the " Coal Act " shows an increase over 1948.
The largest increase, of approximately $30,000, is in respect to operations under the " Petroleum and Natural Gas
f See Table 14.
Table 8.—Leases issued, 1949.*
Hay and grazing 119 80,959.53
Agriculture 6 611.70
Quarrying—limestone, sand and gravel, etc 9 466.46
Fur-farming 1 19.40
Home-sites 29 408.62
Booming and log storage 62 2,537.19
Oyster, clam, and shell-fish 24 890.40
Cannery 13 264.67
Foreshore—miscellaneous 26 101.34
Miscellaneous 73 592.09
Totals 362 86,851.40
Land-use permits 9 61.00
Licences of occupation, easements, etc 8 1.98
* The number of leases issued increased during 1949. Leases for hay and grazing purposes comprise the largest
number and acreage. lands branch. tj 31
Table 9.—Summary of Home-site Leases Collections for
Ten-year Period 1940-49, inclusive.
1947 . 2,932.25
Ten-year average, $2,155.85.
* The number of home-site leases issued and collections compares favourably with 1948.
Table 10.—Summary of Sundry Revenue Collections for
Ten-year Period 1940-49, inclusive.
1945 . 199,042.61
1947 —-- 262,760.93
Ten-year average, $212,309.70.
* Sundry revenue collections are above 1948 and are considerably above the ten-year average. U 32
department of lands and forests.
Table 11.—Pre-emption Records, 1949.
Land Recording Districts.
Issuance of pre-emption records declined in 1949, but less records were cancelled.
There is little change in the number of certificates of improvements issued.
Crown grants issued show a decrease, compared to 1948, resulting in a decline
of collections and a slight decrease covering the ten-year period. The acreage deeded,
however, is far in excess of 1948. (jSee Tables 12, 13, 14, and 15.)
The number of Crown grants issued during 1947 was the greatest on record.
During that year and 1946 the majority of land sales were cash, or, where sold on
terms, agreement holders were able to complete their payments early and obtain title.
Table 12—Crown Grants issued, 1949.
" Pre-emptors' Free Grants Act, 1939 "_
" Veterans' Land Settlement Act "
Purchases (other than town lots) 659
Reverted mineral claims
Supplementary timber grants
" Dyking Assessment Act "
" Public Schools Act " .
Home-site leases .
University Endowment Lands
1,602 lands branch. tj 33
Table 13.—Crown Grants issued for Past Ten Years.
1946 : 2,203
Ten-year average, 1,660.
Table 14.—Total Area deeded by Crown Grant, 1949.
" Pre-emptors' Free Grants Act, 1939 " 955.80
Dominion homesteads 1,027.78
" Veterans' Land Settlement Act " 3,959.14
Mineral claims (other than reverted) 2,112.80
Reverted mineral claims 3,641.69
Purchases of surveyed Crown lands (other than town lots) 180,397.07
Supplementary timber grants 14,720.86
Table 15.—Crown-grant Collections, 1949.
Land-grant Fees $14,300.00
Mineral-grant Fees 4,025.00
$18,325.00 U 34
DEPARTMENT OP LANDS AND FORESTS.
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Permits issued under " Petroleum
and Natural Gas Act, 1947"—
Licences issued under "Petroleum
and Natural Gas Act, 1947 "—
Leases renewed under " Coal and
Petroleum Act," 1936—
Reservations for use and enjoyment of public and other pur-
< lands branch. u 35
Appendix 2.—Certificates of Purchase issued, 1949.
Land Recording District. Number of Sales.
Fort Fraser 34
Fort George 121
Golden : 40
Nelson 1 45
New Westminster 47
Peace River 102
Prince Rupert 34
Smithers - 37
Vancouver '. 98
Appendix 3.—Miscellaneous Collections, 1949.
Collections under " House, South Vancouver "— „ Total
Collection under " Better Housing Act "—
■ Votes 27,390.34
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
LAND UTILIZATION RESEARCH AND SURVEY DIVISION.
Donald Sutherland, B.S.A., Director.
The field survey programme was carried out by three parties, which were located
in the main settlement areas of the Northern and Central Interior. It was felt advisable to postpone the Rocky Mountain Trench survey for a season, pending completion
of a soil survey in progress there.
The Peace River party was again directed by John Chapman, of the Geography
Department, University of British Columbia. Neil T. Drewry, of this Division, was
in charge of a party operating in the area south of Prince George, between Woodpecker
and Quesnel. George Dargie supervised a group which classified land in the Terrace
district, and moved in the latter part of the season to commence mapping land in the
Fort Fraser-Vanderhoof area. R. Baker, along with J. Baker, undertook a study of
land in the Squamish district. Finally, two small projects were completed, one at
Balfour and the other at Grandview Flats, near Armstrong, which are being considered
for irrigation development by the Water Rights Branch.
Altogether, some 500,000 acres were classified and mapped in the field. In addition,
considerable time was spent in rechecking land parcels completed the previous season
to ensure uniformity of land-classification standards.
Survey statistics in all areas, excepting the Peace River, indicate that the major
part of privately held farm lands await complete development, which is one explanation
for the low average farm income in these areas.
Twenty-four graduate and undergraduate students from the University of British
Columbia were employed during the field season. The three main parties were supplied
with jeep transport, complete camp equipment, and the services of a cook. Tribute
is extended to the excellent co-operation received from all who participated in the field
The task of completing final map-sheets and reports has been greatly facilitated
through the acquisition in September of new office space.
Changes of staff were limited to securing two Land Inspectors, J. Gilmore and
C. V. Faulknor, both agricultural graduates from the University of British Columbia,
and an additional draughtsman, D. McBride. Dr. D. B. Turner, formerly Assistant
Director, left to become Director of Conservation.
Preliminary Estimates of Settlement Potential for Undeveloped Crown and
Reverted Land Parcels, Areas surveyed 1947-49.
Vanderhoof-Fort Fraser: This survey is in the initial stage. The area is extensive and offers excellent settlement
Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland: Settlement is related closely to further subdivision and more intensive
use of privately held land. The remaining Crown and reverted land parcels adapted to agricultural development
consist of limited and scattered acreages which are unsuited in general to commercial farming but are adapted to
rural residential and small-holding development.
Southern Interior and Kootenay Area: Settlement prospects are largely dependent on further irrigation development of privately held lands. lands branch. u 37
Surveyed lands in the main settlement areas have been open for selection for
many years. The land parcels most favoured by location, transportation facilities,
and cost of clearing, drainage, or irrigation are privately held. Much of this land
remains to be developed. The remaining unalienated land parcels were classified from
the standpoint of present settlement opportunities. An extensive acreage of such land
was classed as temporarily unsuited to settlement owing to isolation, inferior soil or
topography, or high development costs. Such land could be made productive agriculturally whenever the demand justified bringing it into use.
Land Utilization survey personnel, in three field seasons, have classified and mapped
a total of 1,600,000 acres. The rate of progress in the field has far exceeded the
capacity of the draughting staff to translate the field-notes into final map form for
distribution. Field map-sheets for the areas are on file pending final draughting
and are available for consultation. A file of individual report-sheets, covering the
examination of hundreds of Crown and reverted land parcels in the areas completed,
is available also.
(1) Townships completed in the Peace River area are the surveyed townships
south of the Peace River. In addition to the 21 half-section units, about
300 quarter-sections have been classified as carrying 50 per cent, of more
arable acreage and deemed suitable for inclusion with neighbouring
(2) Land parcels are classified further into farm units suited to commercial
farm development, and into units classed as marginal owing to some
limiting factor such as location, difficulty of access, or high costs of
clearing. The marginal units could be developed as warranted by the
demand for additional farm land.
(3) Additional good land is available to the west of Terrace at Remo, but
carries a heavy forest-cover. It is better retained for forest-growth
until the demand for additional land in that area warrants the cost of
clearing for agricultural settlement.
(4) Use of these units is dependent on completion of the extensive drainage
programme in progress and on provision for roads.
N. T. Drewry, B.S.A.
Work proceeding on the extension of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway from
Quesnel to Prince George draws attention to the development of the natural resources
tributary to this section. The survey undertaken at Quesnel during the past season
was directed toward an appraisal of the agricultural potentialities of this district and
toward completing the land-utilization surveys of the Central Interior which began
at Prince George in 1947 and were continued there in 1948.
The sections devoted to agriculture in the Pacific Great Eastern Railway Resources
Investigation of 1930 were admirable for their time, but the information furnished
in the report of this investigation now requires refinement before recommending a
programme for the settlement of this potentially productive region. The record of
purchase and abandonment of farm land emphasizes the need for a far-seeing land
policy which is aimed at preventing rather than curing the ills that have befallen
settlers in the past.
With several soil types, each with its agronomic limitations, and a climate which
places rather stringent limitations on crop selection, very careful study is required
for the selection of farm units for development. U 38 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Numerous other factors must be taken into consideration in outlining farm, units
for settlement. The factors of location and accessibility are of primary importance to
the success of the new farm venture. Nothing is more discouraging or demoralizing
than isolation. The cost or difficulty of removing the native forest-cover has probably
been the deciding factor between success and failure of pioneer endeavours more frequently than any other single one. Forested land is non-productive agriculturally, and
the expansion of the farm operation is limited by the rate at which new acres can be
cleared. An assured supply of domestic water from a well, spring, stream, or surface
storage is absolutely essential. Dams and pond storage have been used successfully
near Prince George, and, where a small drainage area is available, this method could
be used to advantage in the Quesnel-Woodpecker area where satisfactory wells cannot
Examination of developed holdings in the area reveals that farms are generally too
small to provide any hope for prosperity for their operators, and that the subsistence or
part-time farm is the rule. This is partly due to the difficulty of clearing additional
land. Time spent in clearing and breaking land brings no immediate return to the
farmer, who must first provide for the needs of himself and his family.
Less than 10 per cent, of the land in private ownership is under cultivation. While
the remainder of the private land under forest-cover provides limited grazing and some
income from forest products, additional clearing is the one development which would
add most to the prosperity of the present farm population. In other districts, clearing
is being facilitated by the land-clearing programme of the Department of Agriculture,
and through their efforts some extension of the improved acreage at Quesnel might
The factor of isolation and inaccessibility can be improved only through additional
settlement and improved transportation. The completion of the Pacific Great Eastern
Railway may be expected to give some relief to the latter. Present settlement is
extremely scattered from Quesnel to Woodpecker, with minor concentrations immediately north of Quesnel, west of the Fraser River around Bouchie Lake, and in the
valley of Meadow Creek at Strathnaver.
The salient points which come to light as a result of the survey are that, of
approximately 184,000 acres of land surveyed on both sides of the Fraser River, 54,000
acres, or about one-third, are in private ownership. Of the 54,000 acres of private
land, only 4,820 acres are in cultivation, permanent grass, or legume crops; of the
130,000 acres of Crown and reverted lands, about 15,000 are arable, 20,000 limited
arable, and 94,000 non-arable. Fifty-eight farm units of about 160 acres each have
been selected tentatively, but many of these are not suitable for immediate settlement
because of heavy clearing, stands of merchantable timber, inaccessible location, or
doubtful water-supplies. Suitable units situated where they can be served by existing
communities should be sold and settled as units as the demand for them arises.
The type of farming to which the units are suited is one of live-stock raising
combined with the production of legume-seeds and forage-crops for sale. This type of
agriculture, or the reverse with emphasis on the legume-seeds and forage-crops in
localities where inadequate water-supplies preclude live-stock raising, is well established
in the Prince George area. A few select locations with lighter soils might well prove
successful for the growing of potatoes or root-crops, as is done extensively south of
Quesnel. North of Quesnel, agriculture may be expected to have many of the characteristics of farming at Prince George, and on the lighter soils some of the characteristics of the more-diversified agriculture south of Quesnel. On the fringe of the agricultural land west of Quesnel, where forest-cover is lighter and range is more plentiful,
a ranch type of agriculture has developed. Quesnel is seen to be located in a region of
agricultural transitions which favours a slightly more-diversified agriculture for the
area, though the adaptability of individual farms is generally quite limited. LANDS BRANCH.
Peace River Survey.
J. Chapman, B.A. (Oxon.).
The field party this year surveyed some 196,000 acres described in the appended
table. In addition, the classification of approximately 50,000 acres surveyed in 1948
was revised, and two reconnaissance surveys were carried out, one to the west of the
Pine River and the other to the north of the Peace River.
The party of eleven persons was camped at Groundbirch, 28 miles to the west of
Dawson Creek, and the main survey was carried on between the Kiskatinaw and Pine
Rivers, covering Ranges 18, 19, and 20 of Townships 77, 78, and 79. The three ranges
of Township 77 are composed of land generally too rough for agriculture, with values
for restricted grazing and particularly forest use. Where the topography is more
nearly level, as in the northern portion of Township 77, Ranges 19 and 20, the soil is
generally unsuited to arable farming.
Crown land topographically suited for agriculture in Township 78, Ranges 19 and
20, is limited to restricted types of farming, since the soil is very sandy in some areas.
Township 79, west of the Kiskatinaw River, is composed, in the main, of the valleys of
Sunset, Favels, and Jastewart Creeks. The former valley is already well settled, while
the latter two are generally unsuited to arable farming because of rugged topography
or poor drainage.
As the appended table shows, although no large areas of Crown land suited to
agriculture exist in the surveyed area, there are numerous individual quarter-sections
suitable for inclusion with already-operating farm units.
The reconnaissance survey of the area lying between Moberly Lake and River to
the east and the Pine River to the west revealed that there are scattered tracts suitable
for arable farming along the valleys of Centurion and Graveyard Creeks, and larger
areas adapted to grazing. Although accessibility is generally poor, further advantages
of this potentially agricultural land include low clearing costs and the availability of
water. However, it is felt that in view of the present distance from rail-head, the
restricted acreage of potentially arable land, the widely scattered areas of poor drainage, and frequently the sandy nature of the soil, the area as a whole can expect only
a limited development of mixed farming in the near future.
The tract of land lying to the north of the Peace River between the Provincial
Border and the Beatton River presents the largest area of potentially agricultural land
covered by this survey. Although topography, soil, and drainage introduce limitations
in different areas, it is felt that a more intensive survey might reveal significant acreages of potentially agricultural land suitable for operation by incoming settlers. The
extent of settlement in this general area during the last two years suggests that already
the better land is rapidly coming into use.
Summary of Statistics
, Peace River Survey, 1949.
Township and Range.
Township 77, Range 18
Township 77, Range 19
Township 77, Range 20...:.
Township 78, Range 18
Township 78, Range 19
Township 78, Range 20
Township 79, Range 18
Township 79, Range 19
Township 79, Range 20
90 u 40 department of lands and forests.
C. V. Faulknor, B.S.A.
Located at the junction of the Skeena and Kitsumgallum-Lskelse Valleys, the
Terrace area is known to contain a considerable acreage of potentially fertile clay soils.
It is the largest land area suited to agricultural development adjacent to the rapidly
expanding ocean port of Prince Rupert. Lying within the moist Coastal climatic belt,
the area is heavily timbered with hemlock, spruce, cedar, balsam, and cottonwood. The
lumber industry employs the greater part of the population of the district.
The climate is mild, with a warm growing season extending from April to October.
This enables a fairly wide range of crops to be grown, including hardy tree-fruits,
small fruits, vegetables, and some cereal-crops. By location the Terrace area should
provide Prince Rupert with seasonal requirements of the staple fruits and vegetables
plus at least part of the whole-milk supply. However, agriculture has been slow to
develop in this region. Low prices for farm products, heavy clearing costs, lack of
all-weather roads throughout the district, and failure of local producers to form an
integrated marketing organization have all played their part in this regard. The farm-
labour situation, too, has been complicated by competition from the forest industries,
which offer better pay and shorter working-hours.
However, recent events have renewed interest in the agricultural possibilities of
the Terrace district. The extensive development of the Columbia Cellulose Company
in near-by Prince Rupert and the beginnings of a movement to bring the north-central
part of the Province into the Alaska supply ring have given a promise of expanding
markets within the near future. This potential demand for more land made it essential
that a survey of available land resources of this area be made this year.
Hemmed in by rugged mountains of the Coast Range batholith, the Terrace region
is restricted in the number of acres suitable for crop production. Stereoscopic study
of aerial photographs at the base camp revealed much land that could be discarded as
unsuitable without having to be traversed. Further eliminations were possible through
the use of the soil-survey map, which indicated large sand and gravel deposits in many
sections of the valley-bottom. Data on the topography, stoniness, drainage, erosion,
and cover of the remainder was obtained by field traverses of the areas offering settlement possibilities.
In the whole area surveyed, including the Kitsumgallum-Lakelse Valley and the
Skeena Valley east to Chimdemash and west to Remo, approximately 57,500 acres were
classified and mapped. Of these, 38,200 acres consisted of Crown or reverted land, and
the remainder was privately held.
Total area surveyed 57,500
Crown or reverted land 38,200
Privately owned land 19,300
Private land developed 2,700
Of the 38,200 acres of available Crown land, 5,090 acres were considered arable
and 1,100 acres limited arable. The balance is unsuitable for cultivation.
Information gathered on present farming practices indicated that 40 acres would
comprise an economic farm unit for the Terrace area. Pending further investigation,
the number of such units now available for new settlement is estimated to be about
forty-two. An additional forty-five units exist in a single block in the Remo area, but
much of this contains stands of merchantable timber that would preclude its development at the present time. A further twenty units of potentially arable land scattered
through the Remo, Kitsumgallum, and Chimdemash area are held under timber licence
and, therefore, will not be available for agricultural use for some time. LANDS BRANCH. U 41
The better lands in this region are those most heavily timbered. Land-clearing is
a very expensive item if conducted on an individual basis, but the use of Provincial
land-clearing machinery has done much to overcome this problem. The average cost
per acre of land cleared by Government units in the Terrace district this season was
found to be as follows: Acres noted, 183; total cost, $7,561.25; average cost per acre,
$41.32. However, this figure cannot be taken as a true average for virgin land in this
area because most of the clearing was done on lightly covered land adjacent to Terrace
Village. In spite of these problems the district has a definite agricultural future if
allowed to develop on a sound land-use basis.
Following completion of field-studies at Terrace, the party moved in July to
Vanderhoof, and for the balance of the season classified and mapped land in the Fort
Fraser-Vanderhoof area. The Nechako plateau is believed to contain the largest continuous acreage of land adapted to agricultural development in the Province, other than
the Peace River Block. The lightly forested nature of much of the area simplified the
task of classifying and mapping the land parcels, but because of the extent of the area
only a portion was completed.
The numerous large, well-equipped farms, with substantial buildings, in the
vicinity of Vanderhoof would indicate that a type of agricultural production has been
developed that is adapted to the particular soil and climatic conditions found there, and
also that occupants of a proportion of the farms secure from the land a return that is
above a subsistence level. The Village of Vanderhoof has shown steady progress in
terms of population and village improvements in keeping with the expanding agricultural area surrounding it. Another season will be required to complete mapping and
classification of land in this area. One could safely predict that this district holds great
promise for additional farm settlement along commercial mixed-farming lines.
N. T. Drewry, B.S.A.
Examinations of two projected irrigation developments at Balfour on Kootenay
Lake and at Grandview Flats near Armstrong were undertaken during the past season
at the request of the Comptroller of Water Rights. The inspections were conducted
near the end of the field season by members of the Quesnel party. The purpose of the
examinations was to map the land features to show the areas suited to irrigation as an
aid in determining the feasibility of the projects and in estimating the cost per acre of
the proposed developments.
Grandview is a dry, unwatered bench-land north of Okanagan Lake which has been
under cultivation without irrigation for many years. Viewing the benefits which water
has brought to other parts of the Okanagan Valley, its residents petitioned the Government to investigate the possibilities of irrigating the Flats. Preliminary studies have
been carried out by the Water Rights Branch, and last year a land-utilization survey
was conducted by this Division. Our maps show the irrigable acreage to be somewhat
lower than the earlier estimates by the Water Rights Branch. The reasons for non-
irrigability were chiefly unsuitable soil and topography. There remains, however, about
2,000 acres of fertile land well suited to irrigation. With the favourable climate and
location it possesses, it should make a desirable addition to the already-prospering
The Balfour project comprises 570 acres adjoining Kootenay Lake and the West
Arm. Residents of the Balfour district petitioned the Government to investigate the
possibility of a unified irrigation and domestic water system to replace the numerous
individual schemes now operating in parts of the district. The land fronting on the U 42 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
West Arm of Kootenay Lake is suited to residential development or small holdings, and
most of it is already utilized for these purposes. The remainder consists of a formerly
treed terrace, some of which is under cultivation and some of which was previously
cultivated but is now abandoned. Orchard plantings have not generally been successful
without irrigation, and quite a large proportion of the abandoned land has been in tree-
fruits. Pasture and hay crops do well with irrigation, and the acreage in fruit would
undoubtedly again increase if water were made available. The area suited to cultivation within the proposed district totals 374 acres. Some of the remaining 200 acres is
suitable for subdivision and home-sites, or is already used for this purpose. Domestic-
water users would be expected to pay a large part of the cost and maintenance of the
system, and as a combined irrigation and domestic water project, the scheme might
prove feasible for rural residences and small holdings.
The limited area and generally inferior soils suggest that this area is not adapted
to the development of agricultural holdings on a commercial scale, but would lend itself
to rural residential and small-holding development.
R. A. Baker, B.S.A.
A survey was conducted of land tributary to Squamish as part of a broad study
intended to result in an over-all development plan for the area. The strategic location
of Squamish on tide-water and as a terminus for the Pacific Great Eastern Railway,
along with improvements in progress and projected to provide direct rail and road
communication with Vancouver; foreshadow extensive developments in this region.
The road distance between Squamish and Vancouver on completion of the highway will
be about 40 miles.
A total of 16,500 acres of land was examined, and included the more-level portions
of the valleys drained by the Squamish, Mamquam, and Stawamus Rivers.
The findings of the survey do not suggest any extensive settlement possibilities for
commercial agriculture. Costs of clearing and, in some instances, drainage will be
high, and in the lower portion of the valley major works will be required for river
straightening and dyking to ensure some measure of security against recurrent flooding.
It was felt that the present limited agricultural development should follow the
intensive and diverse types of agriculture as found in the Fraser Valley. Small fruits,
vegetables, and dairy products could be produced, and a ready market found for such
produce in the valley and at Britannia and Woodflbre. Following completion of the
road to Vancouver, with the opportunity provided by it of reducing the costs of importing feeds, there should be an opportunity for the commercial production of poultry and
It is believed that because of the proximity of the area to Vancouver that completion of the highway will be followed by increased settlement in the district. The very
high cost of clearing and the limited area of arable soils preclude any extensive development of commercial farms. Settlement will likely be rural residential on small acreages.
Further development of the district will follow not so much from agricultural settlement but from more intensive commercial development following completion of projected improvements in port and terminal railway facilities and installations.
PROGRAMME FOR 1950.
It is the intention to concentrate in the coming year upon consolidating field-studies
completed in the past three seasons. It is not anticipated that any new projects will be
taken on, other than for special requests for data made by the Department of Lands and
Forests. The output is geared to the rate at which final map-sheets can be prepared.
The field parties are able to cover more ground in a season than it is possible for the LANDS BRANCH. TJ 43
small draughting staff to transfer onto final map-sheets. It would be preferable to
devote next season mainly to checking up and revising previous field work, which will
enable the draughting staff to complete the large number of map-sheets in progress.
LAND INSPECTION DIVISION.
H. E. Whyte, B.Sc, D.L.S., B.C.L.S., Chief Land Inspector.
Three Land Inspectors were added to the staff of this Division on June 1st, namely,
D. Borthwick, J. A. Esler, and W. R. Redel.
Mr. Borthwick, previously District Agriculturist at New Westminster, was retained
at that city to make the regular routine examinations and reports while Mr. Huff, Land
Inspector, was investigating and reporting on the use of foreshore in the North Arm
of the Fraser River.
Mr. Esler was placed at Williams Lake and Mr. Redel at Quesnel. These placements were made to assist the Land Inspectors at Kamloops and Prince George respectively, who were both in charge of large areas and had, on their records, a large backlog
of requests for inspections.
These three new Inspectors have adapted themselves to the work very quickly and
are proving to be most satisfactory, as is the case with the other six previously
Although this Division now comprises nine Land Inspectors besides myself, it will
still be impossible to undertake all the examinations of various kinds required throughout the Province; therefore, it will be necessary to continue working in conjunction
with the Forest Service, as has been done up to now. There has been no difficulty in
arranging this co-operation.
It will be noted that on reading the reports of the Land Inspectors, which follow,
their inspections cover a wide range of types and their duties are not confined entirely
to land classification.
All the Inspectors are alive to the fact that reserves for the use of the public for
camp-sites and recreation should be established on highways and lakes before all the
choice locations become alienated. Such reserves have been selected on the Alaska and
Hart Highways and on a good many lakes. The public, including our United States
visitors, have been particularly interested in obtaining home or lodge sites in the
There is still quite a large backlog of requests for inspections; for example, there
are about 120 in the Peace River area and 300 in the Kamloops area. The addition of
the three Land Inspectors helped considerably in the reduction of the outstanding work,
and their help should be more noticeable next year, due to the experience they have now
had and to the fact that they will be employed for the full year instead of the half year.
The backlog of required inspections is the result of the interest in and the development of this Province which has increased very materially during and since World
War II. The practice of moving troops in that war from Eastern Canada and the
Prairies to various parts of British Columbia enabled them to see the area west of the
Rockies, about which they previously had but a hazy knowledge. A good many liked
the country and its opportunities and have come back to stay.
An influx of Prairie farmers to the Peace River District has and is taking place.
They are leaving unprofitable farms for an area which, I understand, does not know
crop failures. A crop of 30 bushels of wheat per acre is considered low.
Extensive and excellent use is being made of air photos, and the Air Survey Division has been exceedingly helpful in supplying prints as promptly as possible. U 44 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
The following table shows the inspections made by me during the year, most of
which were on the southerly portion of Vancouver Island:—
Foreshore leases 25
Industrial leases 4
Map reserve 1
Subdivision , - 3
Reserve for public 1
It will be noted that most of my inspections concerned foreshore leases. The
interest and work in connection with this type of lease has increased materially.
A considerable amount of Crown foreshore at the present time is being used illegally,
both commercially and privately. Care is being taken to see that beaches are being
retained for the use of the public.
Foreshore leases are issued for various purposes, such as booming, shell-fish cultivation, removal of sand and gravel, erection of wharves, private use, and foreshore
The following table shows the number and type of inspections made by the whole
of the Land Inspection Division during 1949.
Land Inspections, 1949.
Pre-emptions (including annual inspections) 258
Purchases -. 493
Leases : 199
Reverted lands 32
Reserves and parks 30
Government quarter-interest lots 8
Free grants, Veterans' Land Act 14
Building removals 3
Institutional sites 3
Land Settlement Board 5
Land-use permits 2
Plans cancellation 2
Various (requested by Superintendent of Lands)._. 39
(Note.—In addition, approximately 690 inspections were made by the Forest
Service.) LANDS BRANCH. U 45
F. M. CUNNINGHAM, B.S.A., LAND INSPECTOR, NELSON.
The following is a summary of inspections made:—
Pre-emption inspections 39
Assessments and land evaluations 20
Auto camp 4
Power-house site 1
Reservoir tunnel 1
Road construction (CM. & S. Co.) 1
Inspections requested by Superintendent of Lands 21
Inspections requested by Government Agents 5
The number of pre-emptions requiring inspections this year was forty, as compared
to forty-five for last year. I managed to do all the pre-emption inspections but one
The number of applications received during the year in the Nelson Forest District
totalled 141. The backlog at that time totalled 42, making a total of 183 inspections to
be done. Of these, I did 95 and the Rangers did 60, leaving still 28 to be done. The
number of applications requiring inspections is down considerably from last year, the
number received being 216 for last year, as compared to 141 for this year, or a drop
of approximately 30 per cent. This is undoubtedly due to the complete or nearly
complete settlement of veterans.
The largest proportion of land sales centred, as last year, in the Cranbrook district.
Approximately 60 per cent, of the applications in this latter district were for home-
sites. The land sales in the remainder of the districts remained about constant, except
for the Edgewood district, which increased slightly, this probably being due to the
Whatshan power project.
I visited all portions of my district this year, but found time for only one visit
in some cases. I encountered the utmost degree of co-operation at all times from any
and all Government officials with whom I came in contact. The Forest Service seems
quite satisfied with the way in which the examinations are being done, but I feel
quite certain that they will be glad to be relieved of land-classification work and preemption work altogether if and when this is possible.
The sale of lots in the subdivision surrounding Wasa (Hanson) Lake has proved
most discouraging to date. This area was subdivided last year and put up for auction
this spring, with what I considered very low upset prices. The highest upset price set
on any lot was $135, this lot having over 200 feet frontage. The average lot has U 46
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
approximately 75 feet frontage, with an upset price ranging from $60 to $75. The
bids were received largely from Kimberley residents, who complained at the seemingly
high upset price. It must be remembered, however, that they have probably bought
choice residential lots through the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of
Canada, Limited, for as low as $50 and therefore cannot understand paying up to $100
for mere summer-home sites. I feel, however, that the remainder of the lots will sell
quite readily in the spring.
I received a visit from Mr. Robinson, Parks Division, Department of Mines and
Resources, Ottawa, during the summer and accompanied him on a tour through to
Creston, back up the Kootenay Lake to Kaslo, and then down to Nelson. He was very
interested in inaugurating an immigration scheme to bring what might be termed
" mountainside " farmers into this portion of the country. These immigrants would
come from such mountainous regions as Northern Italy, Switzerland, and the Baltic
States. Undoubtedly such a scheme is worthy of a great deal of consideration, but
special care should be given in considering the economic factors involved, especially for
this part of British Columbia.
It would appear that any boom we may have felt in the past few years in land
sales is now rapidly dying down. In all probability land sales will seek an even level
and remain at this level for the next few years at least. Although land sales have
decreased by as much as 30 per cent, in the past year in my district, there is no
reason to suppose that they will drop much below the present point. The factors
involved in national and international economy are such that the seemingly mad rush
of two and three years ago is now slowing down to what may be called a normal pace.
It is only natural to suppose, therefore, that the sale of land, Crown land or otherwise,
will be directly affected.
L. D. FRASER, B.Sc, LAND INSPECTOR, KAMLOOPS.
During the past year J. A. Esler was appointed Land Inspector and stationed
temporarily in the Williams Lake area, where the bulk of land applications is centred.
My activities were concentrated primarily in the Clinton-Kamloops areas, although the
whole of the district, except Revelstoke, was visited.
The writer made 87 of the 454 inspections, as follows :-
10 ' LANDS BRANCH. TJ 47
Veterans' Land Act 2
Quarter-interest Section 76 (3) 1
J. A. Esler, Land Inspector . 70
Total for Kamloops Forest District 157
The remainder of the 454 inspections—namely, 287—were made by the Forest
During a twelve-month period from November 1st, 1948, to October 31st, 1949, the
number of pre-emptions recorded in the district remained fairly constant and dropped
only seven from the corresponding previous year. Requests for land, on the other hand,
dropped 16 per cent, from last year in the same twelve-month season, and, in spite of
this, the backlog of land-examination requests increased from 228 to 237. The total
pre-emption inspections and land-examination reports due at the end of October 31st
was 337, as compared to 352 at the end of October, 1948. In other words, the number
of inspections throughout the district just about equalled the requests for land, excluding the backlog.
In addition to the above work, other than the routine of directing prospective
settlers to suitable areas for the purpose required, the Inspector investigated several
sites on Bonaparte and Shuswap Lakes for the use and enjoyment of the public. An
examination of the Seymour Arm area near Sicamous was made, and it was felt that the
tillable area was too small and transportation via water too unreliable for any large-
A long dry season made the field work rather enjoyable. Only 4.6 inches of precipitation was recorded at Kamloops from March 15th to October 31st, which was about
2 inches below the average. Temperatures ranged from —18° F. on January 20th to
100° F. on July 14th.
The writer wishes to express his sincere thanks for the full co-operation and
assistance received from officials of all the Government departments concerned in
making the work successful and pleasant.
D. E. GOODWIN, B.S.A., LAND INSPECTOR, POUCE COUPE.
Inspection work in the Peace River District has been handled equally by D. L.
Cornock, Pre-emption Inspector, and myself. In some cases it was found to our advantage to work together, but in general we worked separate areas'.
Field work commenced in mid-April, at which time the Alaska Highway inspections
were completed. Mr. Hyslop, Land Inspector at Prince George, assisted me on this trip.
Again, as in 1948, pre-emption inspections have been held in abeyance due to the
large number of land-classification requests. The only pre-emption inspections made
were those where the pre-emptor applied for the Crown grant. TJ 48 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
In addition to the field work, a complete status of the district has been kept up to
date. During the winter months this status was rechecked from the records in the land
office at Pouce Coupe. Several minor mistakes in both the status maps and the land
records were corrected in this manner.
During the year aerial photographs of the Peace River District were purchased
jointly by the British Columbia Forest Service and the Inspection Division. This
arrangement has worked out to the mutual benefit of the parties concerned.
The number of inspection requests has been greater this year than in either of the
two previous years. There are 125 inspections pending, yet the number of inspections
completed this year—namely, 194—has been greater than in either 1947 or 1948.
The area to the north and west of Clayhurst has had the greatest number of new
applications. This has been followed by the Rose Prairie district.
New settlement has been the large factor in the alienation of Crown land, northeast of Rose Prairie, on the east side of the Beatton River; in one large block there are
forty-six sections of unsurveyed Crown land under application to purchase. As is the
case with a large percentage of the Clayhurst applications, these applicants are from
Saskatchewan. One man and his family from North Morocco have settled on Crown
land in this district.
The following is a summary of the number and type of inspections made during
Applications to purchase—
Veterans' Land Act free grants 5
Application to lease—
Residential purposes 5
Applications to pre-empt 19
Pre-emption inspections 7
Improvement evaluations 7
Park reserve 1
In addition to the above, Ranger Barbour and myself chose four picnic and camp
sites, as well as a site for a Ranger station, on the Hart Highway.
In conclusion, I wish to state I have had full co-operation from all Government
departments, which was greatly appreciated.
H. L. HUFF, B.S.A., LAND INSPECTOR, NEW WESTMINSTER.
The heavy snows prevalent throughout the lower Coastal area during the months
of January and February seriously affected and limited the field-work programme.
With the announcement of the Government's plan for developing the Pacific Great
Eastern Railway and the construction of a highway between Vancouver and Squamish,
this office put forth the suggestion that the Crown lands in the Squamish Valley should
be investigated. A development plan for these lands was also advocated. In this connection, two weeks were spent in preparing a set of detailed status maps of the lands in LANDS BRANCH. TJ 49
the Squamish Valley. A. F. Smith, Land Inspector at Smithers, gave valuable assistance
in this task. In addition to the statused maps, a brief report was submitted outlining
possible development trends for certain of the Crown areas in the valley.
The present results of the ideas initiated at this office concerning the Squamish
Valley area are as follows:—
(1) Placing a reserve over all Crown lands in the valley and along the easterly
coast-line from Squamish to the north boundary of the Municipality of
(2) Land-utilization survey of the Crown lands in the Squamish Valley.
(3) Formation of the Squamish Valley Development Committee.
D. Borthwick, B.S.A., Land Inspector, started with this office the first of June.
Since the first week of July, the bulk of the inspection work has been done by Mr.
The period from July 1st to November 25th was taken up with an industrial survey
on the foreshore of the North Arm of the Fraser River. This survey involved the
preparation of two sets of maps of the foreshore of the North Arm on a scale of 200
feet to the inch, showing all foreshore leases, reserves, applications to lease, booms-in-
transit areas, and also the areas of foreshore being used by industrialists without
Departmental authorization. Recommendations for each area were also given.
Preliminary data for this survey were collected last winter. During the field work
of the survey the entire foreshore of both banks of the river and all islands therein
between New Westminster and the mouth of the river were examined. Also, with only
one or two exceptions, every industrialist on the North Arm was interviewed.
The written report of the survey covered, among others, the following: Administration, lease rates, reserves, mill requirements, public booming, applications to lease,
accretions, and booms-in-transit areas.
The following is a tabulation of the inspections made during the year:—
Annual pre-emption inspections 7
Inspection of areas for suitability to pre-empt , 1
Inspections of reverted lands (tax-sale lands) 6
Inspections concerning foreshore leases for booming or industrial
Inspections of foreshore areas used without foreshore leases 8
Inspections of upland for leasing for industrial purposes 2
Applications to purchase—
Agricultural purposes 5
Home-site purposes : 7
Industrial or commercial purposes 6
Inspections to ascertain land values 6
Inspections to determine the suitability of areas for subdividing 9
Inspections made relative to sections 73 to 76 of the " Land Act" 6
Total inspections L 78
C. T. W. HYSLOP, B.S.A., LAND INSPECTOR, PRINCE GEORGE.
During the early part of 1949 considerable time was spent in improving the filing
system for land records in the Land Commissioner's office. Several hundred Crown-
grant and lease tracings were transferred to a more readily accessible filing system, in
conjunction with the Department's policy of improving the service to the public. This
change-over included the rereferencing of these new files in the old lot-books and creating a new system of indexing timber-lease tracings.
A report was then drawn up for the annual meeting in Victoria. This involved
considerable discussion with the Deputy Land Commissioner and Forest Service officials U 50 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
in an endeavour to increase the efficiency of all transactions relating to Government
lands in this district. One of the results of this report was that a card-index system
was obtained, which has aided materially in the maintaining of the new status maps
and lot-books which have recently been put into use in the Prince George Agency.
During the early spring a trip was made up the Alaska Highway as far as Lower
Post with D. E. Goodwin, Land Inspector at Pouce Coupe. Assistance was given in
making a considerable number of inspections of leases and purchases of Crown land,
and it gave the writer valuable experience in regard to surveys and Crown lands in the
Peace River District.
Three days were spent helping F. Nelson, Supervisor of Rangers at Strathnaver,
where the Land Utilization Survey crew under Neil Drewry was given a briefing on
cruising and timber types.
In June, Walter Redel, B.S.A., a recent graduate of the University of British
Columbia and newly appointed Land Inspector joined the writer at Prince George,
where some time was spent on routine instruction prior to taking up his appointment
In July an office was established in Quesnel through the co-operation of the Government Agent there, and immediate endeavour was made to clean up the lengthy backlog
of land applications. In addition, our objective was to bring up to date the inspections
and reports on every pre-emption in the Quesnel district. This was made possible
partly through the use of a preorganization plan on which all applications and inspections were plotted on reference maps, which enabled us to avoid duplication in travelling
by grouping the inspections and at the same time gave us an up-to-date situation report
at all times.
In the early autumn, through the co-operation of the District Forester and Ranger
staff, a trip was made by Forest Service jeep to the Nazko country, west of Quesnel,
where several outstanding inspections were completed.
Three trips were made to the McBride-Tete Jaune area, and though not all the
inspections were completed, the outstanding ones were done. However, with the
appointment of the new Inspector to the Quesnel district, it will be possible next year
to spend much more time in both this district and the Vanderhoof and Fort St. James
A lecture outlining the services of the Lands Branch was given at the spring
meeting of the Co-ordinating Committee of Agricultural Services in Northern British
Columbia. It is interesting to note that this lecture had almost immediate results,
as we had several requests for statuses and other information regarding Crown lands
following talks given to Farmers' Institutes by one of the District Agriculturists who
had attended the meeting.
The following is a summary of the number and type of inspections made during
Applications to lease—
Agricultural and grazing 11
Quarrying clay 3
Quarrying gravel 2
Applications to purchase 69
Applications for free grant (Veterans Land Act) 5
Applications to pre-empt 7
Annual pre-emption inspections 57 LANDS BRANCH. TJ 51
Land-use permits 1
Subdivision-survey inspections 4
Park-sites and reserves 7
Plans cancellation 2
Inspections requested by Superintendent of Lands 7
Land Settlement Board lands . 3
In the latter part of June a reconnaissance was made of reserves and camp-sites
for public use along the Hart Highway route. Many of these sites had been previously
selected by Ranger W. N. Campbell of the Forest Service, and with his assistance
more sites were chosen and the selection completed.
In addition, extensive statuses of Vanderhoof, McBride-Tete Jaune, Pacific Great
Eastern Railway, and several other areas were made, and a revaluation of the Crown-
owned lots in the subdivisions of Lots 937 and 938, Cariboo, was submitted.
A. F. SMITH, B.S.A., LAND INSPECTOR, SMITHERS.
In the spring of the year the writer completed the statusing of all the maps of the
district east of Terrace. It is hoped that by next spring all of these maps will be
revised and the Terrace area included.
A trip to Prince Rupert was made in June, in the company of Mr. Whyte, Chief
Inspector of Lands. At this time an arrangement was made with Mr. Gormely, the
District Forester, whereby the writer took over all inspection work east of Kwinitsa,
the Forest Service handling the Coast applications. At the same time the pre-emption
files of the above area were turned over to this office. This arrangement has worked
very well to date. It has improved the records and information available in this office
whilst relieving the Forest Service of considerable field work.
The writer accompanied a delegation of three representing the British Columbia
Branch of the Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization through the district earlier
this year. The areas covered were Hazelton, the Kispiox Valley, and Terrace. The
delegation was particularly impressed with the Terrace area, and, as a result of their
report, three families have now purchased land there for farming and more are expected
to do so next spring,
Throughout the year excellent co-operation was received from the personnel of the
various Government departments in the district.
The land examination and inspections carried out during the year may be listed
Applications to purchase 45
Application to repurchase (section 135, "Land Act") ._ 1
Applications to lease—
Hay and grazing 10
Application for free grant under Veterans' Land Act 2
Applications for pre-emption records 5
Annual pre-emption inspections 22
Proposed subdivision plan cancellations 2
Land and property valuations 13
Reserves, use of the public ;_ 6
Total 108 U 52 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
The demand for Crown land during the past year has come from residents of the
district on the whole and not from new settlers. Except for the Terrace area, where
newcomers are purchasing small acreages for home-site and part-time farms, there has
been no great demand from new arrivals. A certain amount of land is changing hands
privately, but, here again, in many instances the buyer is a resident and not a new
D. BORTHWICK, B.S.A., LAND INSPECTOR, NEW WESTMINSTER.
Since my appointment as Land Inspector on June 1st, 1949, I have been sharing
the work in the New Westminster area with H. L. Huff, Inspector of Lands. During
the month of June I spent most of my time in the field with Mr. Huff in order to
familiarize myself with the duties and procedures of a Land Inspector. Since that
time I have completed the following inspections:—
Annual pre-emption inspections 9
Reverted-lands inspections 26
Inspections concerning foreshore leases 5
Application for quarry lease 1
Applications for land purchase : 8
Applications concerning institutional sites 3
Selection of Crown quarter-interest in town lots (Section 73) 1
Miscellaneous inspections 5
Total inspections = 58
In the course of making these inspections it was necessary to spend ten days on
the Seechelt Peninsula, ten days in the Jervis Inlet area, and twenty-one days in the
Merville district on Vancouver Island. This later inspection on Vancouver Island
concerned an application to purchase from the Land Settlement Board some 3,000
acres for forestry purposes.
Many other shorter trips were made covering an area from Hope to Bowen Island.
J. A. ESLER, B.S.A., LAND INSPECTOR, WILLIAMS LAKE.
After joining the Inspection Division of the Lands Branch at the beginning of
June, a week was spent in the Lands Branch offices in Victoria. The remainder of
the month was spent with L. D. Fraser, Land Inspector at Kamloops, gaining familiarity with field and office work. Land examinations were begun in July at Williams
Lake in the Cariboo. A rainy period from the middle of July until the end of August
made travel on the back roads quite difficult. This wet spell was followed by one of
the finest falls for twenty years in the Cariboo; this speeded examination work.
Due to the large number of outstanding inspections in the Williams Lake area,
field work was confined mainly to Ranger District 13 (Williams Lake) of the Kamloops
Forest District; a few inspections were made in Ranger District 12 (Clinton) and
Ranger District 14 (Alexis Creek), west of the Fraser.
The following table gives a classification of the examinations done:—
Veterans' Land Act grant 3
Indian reserve 1
Total 59 LANDS BRANCH. U 53
Hay and grazing . 3
Grand total 99
Of these ninety-nine examinations, seventy, comprising 7,365 acres, were made by
me and the balance by the Forest Service.
Applications to purchase for home-site purposes made up the largest number. The
many fine sites for summer residences on the lakes, particularly Quesnel and Canim,
have proved to be quite an attraction to American and Canadian tourists who come to
the Cariboo for fishing and hunting during the summer and fall. A four-day trip was
taken by Forest Service launch with forestry personnel to the end of the North Arm of
Quesnel Lake to make a number of these examinations.
The majority of applications for pre-emption are in the Bridge Lake-Forest Grove
area south and west of Canim Lake. This appears to be the most suitable area for
mixed-farming practices. In a ranching country such as the Cariboo countless problems
are encountered in fitting pre-emptions and lands purchased for mixed farming into the
picture. A reconnaissance being carried out by the Grazing Division of the Forest
Service is of assistance in the handling of grazing problems. Most of the land being
purchased for farming is for additional acreage to farms now operating.
Hay and grazing and home-site leases total about one-quarter of the total examinations requested. No large leases came up for renewal in this district during the past
summer. The majority of applications for home-site leases were made by ranch-hands
or workers in the logging and milling industries.
Annual pre-emption inspections have decreased from sixty-six in 1948 to sixty in
1949. Forty-nine of these were inspected by December 1st, 1949.
Several examinations for public reserves for recreational purposes were made
in co-operation with the Forest Ranger. One report was made for the Provincial
Lack of status maps is a handicap in providing information for prospective
settlers in the area, but it is planned to do some statusing in the winter months when
field work is impossible.
Air photographs have proven valuable in many instances in doing inspection work.
With the building of the new highway through the Cariboo, an influx of tourists
may be expected, which will increase the interest in sites for summer homes oh the
lakes. In the ranching areas the tendency is for the existing ranches to increase in
size rather than to increase in number. The Forest Grove-Bridge Lake area southwest of Canim Lake holds the greatest interest for pre-emptors.
The utmost co-operation has been received from the Forest Rangers and officials
from other Government departments.
W. R. REDEL, B.A.Sc, LAND INSPECTOR, QUESNEL.
I commenced my duties with the Department of Lands and Forests on June 1st,
1949. After some preliminary instruction in Victoria and one field trip with Mr. Huff,
the Land Inspector at New Westminster, I proceeded north to Prince George. I spent
the remainder of June at Prince George in the company of Mr. Hyslop, the Land U 54
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Inspector for this area. Under his guidance I became familiar with general office
routine and field-inspection procedure.
Mr. Hyslop and myself then moved down to Quesnel, and together during the month
of July we completed fifty-five inspections, of which twenty-seven were annual preemption inspections. During this period we made one trip into the Nazko country.
Mr. Hyslop returned to Prince George at the end of July, and I carried on with the field
work by myself.
All pre-emptions in this district have now been inspected and reports submitted
thereon. Some of these pre-emptions were particularly inaccessible and had not been
inspected since they were acquired. In addition, a number of outstanding applications
to purchase land, some dating back as far as 1947, were inspected and reported. To
date all land applications in this district, with the exception of those in the Bowron
Lake Game Reserve area, have been dealt with.
While Mr. Trew, the Park Inspector, was in this district, we visited several
potential park reserves, including a visit to the Bowron Lake Game Reserve. Mr. Trew
and myself plan to cover the chain of lakes in this reserve early next year, and the outstanding applications for camp-sites in this area will be inspected at that time.
Limited assistance was given to prospective settlers in this area, as I was not yet
sufficiently familiar with the district to suggest the location of possible farming units.
However, with the experience I have gained this past year and with the aid of a status
map which I hope to prepare this winter, I shall be in a more favourable position to
advise and assist any interested parties.
Owing to the large number of outstanding applications in this area which required
immediate attention, little or no time has been found to organize the office commensurate
with the diversified nature of the work. It is hoped that during the coming winter
time will be found to correctly mount, file, and reference maps, air photos, and correspondence.
The volume of work accomplished in this district has been due in no small measure
to the excellent co-operation and assistance of the Government Agent, Forest Ranger,
and their respective staffs. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere
appreciation for the help I have received from these two sources.
The following table shows the number and type of land examinations completed in
this district during the year:—
Applications to lease—
Applications for pre-emption records
151 LANDS BRANCH. TJ 55
LAND SETTLEMENT BOARD.
Clara Stephenson, Secretary.
The Land Settlement Board, which was formed in the year 1917, operates under
the provisions of the " Land Settlement and Development Act." The promotion of
increased agricultural production being its main purpose, it was empowered to advance
money by way of loans secured by mortgage. It also took over the functions of the
Agricultural Credit Commission, which had advanced loans to farmers by way of
mortgage. This phase of its operations was continued until the formation of the
Canadian Farm- Loan Board in 1929.
It was also empowered to purchase, develop, and colonize lands considered suitable
for settlement and to declare settlement areas, within which development was stimulated by the regulation of the price of unimproved lands and by the imposition of a
penalty tax in case of non-development. These settlement areas were established in
Central British Columbia—in the Francois Lake district, Bulkley Valley, Nechako Valley, and Upper Fraser River valley—where large tracts of land were held by nonresident owners who had taken up this land as a speculation, which was retarding the
natural settlement and development of these districts. Only tracts which were found
to be suitable for agricultural or pastoral purposes were included in these areas.
Development areas were established at Merville, in the Comox District, Vancouver
Island; at Camp Lister, in the Kootenay District; at Fernie, in the East Kootenay
District; and at Kelowna, in the Okanagan District. The object in purchasing these
lands was to subdivide them into suitable farm units and to develop such units into
what practically amounted to ready-made farms.
In 1934 the Board acquired a large tract of land at Cawston.
The Board has also under its jurisdiction the administration of the former
Doukhobor lands, which were acquired by the Government under authority of the
" Doukhobor Lands Acquisition Act " of 1939. These lands, which are largely occupied
by Doukhobors on a rental basis, are reserved from sale at the present time.
In addition to the above lands, the Board holds over 11,000 acres representing
properties on which it held mortgages, and to which it obtained title through tax-sale
proceedings. Several of these properties were disposed of this year.
The Board's balance-sheets will appear in the Public Accounts of the Province,
as in the past. The following is a brief summary of the Board's activities and collections for 1949:—
During the year the sales made by the Board amounted to $17,026.15. Thirty-
seven purchasers completed payment and received title deeds, and fifteen borrowers
paid up in full and received release of mortgage.
Land sales ;. 63,517.67
Dyking loan refunds, etc. 19,706.28
Total proceeds received from the sale and rental of Doukhobor lands to December
31st, 1949, amounted to $106,289. SURVEYS AND MAPPING
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 59
SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE.
N. C. Stewart, B.A.Sc, D.L.S., B.C.L.S., P.Eng., Director
"A first requirement in any attempt to plan for the wise use of a country's
resources or to solve the land and water problems of an area is the availability of
accurate information, recorded in convenient form, concerning the topography, drainage system, land use, soil and mineral resources, as well as one or more methods of
accurately describing the location of places or areas in the region to be served.
" Experience has shown that these requirements can best be met through the
availability of the following types of material:—
(1) Topographic maps.
(2) Air photographs.
(3) Soil maps.
(4) Geological maps.
(5) Plane co-ordinate systems.
" These five basic types of information, the control surveys which must precede
them, and the specialized maps derived from them are essential to efficient operation,
as well as to the development of industries and the effective operation of public utilities.
"All drainage projects, flood-control projects, water-supply and power-developments, mining operations, land-classification studies, locations for industries, railways,
canals, highways, sewers, disposal plants, transmission-lines, parks and recreational
centres, and many other industrial and civic developments are dependent upon adequate
maps and air photographs. The total value of such maps and photographs to Government agencies, both Federal and Provincial, and private individuals defies estimation,
but this value is certainly many times their cost."
Taking effect on April 1st, 1949, the name of the Surveys Branch was changed to
Surveys and Mapping Service, a name that more adequately meets present conditions.
A new alignment of the staff was also made, with a Director and Assistant Director
administering the four divisions—Legal Surveys, Air Survey, Topographic Surveys,
and Geographic Divisions.
From the Interdepartmental Committee on Air Surveys and Mapping came additional requests for maps and photographs. As the fulfilment of previous commitments
absorbed most of the services of our staff, only a portion of these requests could be
undertaken. Included in this new work was the low-altitude photography of the Lower
Fraser and Squamish areas, the topographic mapping of the Squamish area, and the
completion of composite maps of several districts. Composite maps provide an index of
all land subdivision in the map-area, and so are very valuable to the Land Registry
Offices, Assessors, real-estate agents, and many others. Our efforts in the compiling of
composite maps this year, in comparison with the amount of this work to be done, have
indeed been very meagre. An attempt is being made to divert more draughtsmen to this
work in order to increase the output.
G. S. Andrews, Assistant Director and Chief of the Air Survey Division, reports
that approximately 37,000 square miles were covered by high-altitude air photographs
by his Division, and 2,600 lineal miles of trimetrogon photos were taken. This is a
record for this Division. At the same time the R.C.A.F., using nine large aircraft,
photographed approximately 126,000 square miles of the Province. This year's combined Provincial and Federal effort resulted in the unprecedented coverage of 163,000
square miles and, in consequence, will alter our mapping plans for the future. The
initial air photography of the Province will no doubt be completed in 1950, but aerial
surveys will continue for many years ahead because the earlier photos are not of a high TJ 60 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
order, and so should be taken again with our modern equipment. More detailed maps,
on larger scales, will be required in many parts, and for these, low-altitude photos must
be taken. A start was made this year in this kind of mapping, low-altitude photos being
taken at Squamish, in the Lower Fraser Valley, and along the Upper Fraser for the
Water Rights Branch. The Squamish map, at a scale of 1,320 feet to an inch, with
contours at 20-foot interval, is now being compiled.
The mapping section of the Air Survey Division has produced interim maps for the
Forest Service, covering approximately 8,245 square miles. Seventy-two thousand
mapping air photos have been printed in the laboratory during the year, an increase of
17,000 over last year.
This Service wishes to express its thanks for being given the authority to purchase
a Multiple plotting unit, an instrument that will greatly facilitate the plotting from air
It is also pleasing to report the acquisition of two Anson aircraft, fully equipped
for photography. A hangar was rented at Patricia Bay for their storage and maintenance. In this hangar ample room is provided for the storage of cars and trucks and
the surveyors' field equipment. Also, our machine-shop was moved to more suitable
quarters in the hangar, thus providing much-needed office space at headquarters.
The Legal Surveys Division, under F. O. Morris, had a very busy year, both in the
office and in the field. Due to increased activity in all lines of endeavour in the Province, land surveyors in private practice were fully employed. A great many of their
surveys are of Crown lands, the returns of which are checked and filed by this Division.
To keep up with this increased work, four qualified British Columbia land surveyors
have been added to this Division. These surveyors not only help in the office, but they
also do urgent field surveys. In addition, several surveyors in private practice were
temporarily engaged by this Service in the survey of Crown lands, as listed in Mr.
Morris's report, which follows.
The very large increase in the output of the Blue-printing Section (see Table A)
is an indication of the increased volume of work accomplished in all departments of the
It will be noted in the report of W. G. H. Firth, chief of the Geographic Division,
that some 31,000 maps were distributed by this Division during the year. This again
is an indication of the expansion going on in the Province. It is also concrete evidence
that maps and air photographs are necessary tools for planning and development,
especially in this Province, with its rugged terrain. Our mapping should be accelerated
for a few years so as to get ahead of demands and to chart areas of which little is
known at present, if for no other purpose than as an aid to air navigation which,
although becoming less hazardous as time goes on, would be greatly benefited if
supplied with accurate and complete maps.
In addition to map writing and printing, Mr. Firth's Division undertook many
urgent tasks for other departments and Federal agencies, the largest of these being
the preparation of the descriptions and maps of enumeration areas for the 1951 census,
at the request of the Dominion Bureau of Statistics.
In the report of W. H. Hutchinson, mathematical computor of the Geographic
Division, lists of triangulation data are given, as well as descriptions of methods of
adjusting triangulation notes. On file in this section are 14,485 index cards, giving
adjusted positions for that many points.
A new departure in the policy of the Geographic Division took place with the
temporary employment of a trained geographer. Donald W. Kirk was engaged as a
special investigator to correlate the benefits and losses which will accrue on the
completion of a control dam proposed to be erected on the Kootenay River near Libby,
Montana, by which the water would be backed up into British Columbia and flood
certain areas. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 61
As our map output is constantly increasing, the matter of getting them printed
is becoming more difficult. As suggested by Mr. Firth in this and previous Reports,
it would be a great convenience if a lithographic printing-press were installed in
the Bureau of Printing and Stationery.
The report of A. G. Slocomb, B.C.L.S., chief of the Topographic Division, indicates
that not only was there a noticeable increase in the number of map-sheets compiled,
but also that the ground control obtained by the field surveys more than doubled the
previous year's output, the figures being 2,200 square miles in 1948 and 4,765 square
miles in 1949. These increases are due partly to the fact that the training given to
the younger men of the staff during the past three years is now producing results and,
secondly, to the use of the helicopter as a means of transportation.
Along the coast the motor-launch " B.C. Surveyor " has added to the efficiency
of the Coastal surveys.
The objective set for us three years ago of training twelve field parties for
topographic work has, in effect, already been accomplished, although this result has
been reached by new methods rather than by the training of man-power in older
Our next immediate problem is to increase the output of the compiling and
draughting sections of the Topographic Division, so as to utilize all of the control
obtained during the field season, and I agree with Mr. Slocomb that this may be
accomplished to a considerable extent by the acquisition of the latest plotting devices.
In connection with our policy of securing data on the country through which a
road will some day be built immediately east of the Coast Range, linking our present
highway in the vicinity of Hazelton with the Yukon and Alaska Highway, and also
serving the towns in the Alaska Panhandle, the Topographic Division controlled, and
is now mapping, a large area covering Hazelton and the Kispiox Valley as far as Swan
(Brown Bear) Lake. It is proposed to continue this survey until this vast country
flanking the Coast Range is fully known.
A meeting of the British Columbia-Yukon-Northwest Territories Boundary Commission, consisting of B. W. Waugh, Surveyor-General of Dominion Lands, and the
writer, Surveyor-General of British Columbia, was held in Victoria on August 15th.
The necessity of having that portion of the boundary already surveyed confirmed as
the true boundary between the Yukon and British Columbia, and the proper method
to be used in legally confirming it, was considered.
The Commission proceeded by aeroplane to Fort St. John and by automobile up the
Alaska Highway, arriving at the boundary-line near Contact Creek on August 19th.
The cut line was then examined at the six crossings made by it with the Alaska Highway. The width of line, the blazing, and the monumenting were noted and approved.
The meeting of the Commissioners concluded at Whitehorse on August 22nd, when
it was agreed that:—
(1) The work on the ground was satisfactory.
(2) The method of confirming the boundary should be further investigated.
(3) The portion of the boundary surveyed westerly from Teslin Lake some
forty years ago should be examined and, where necessary, re-established.
A. J. Campbell, D.L.S., B.C.L.S., under instructions from the British Columbia-
Yukon-Northwest Territories Boundary Commission, completed the survey of approximately 46 miles of the boundary easterly from, the east end of the line established in
1946 near Contact Creek to the vicinity of the Smith River air-strip. It is planned to
continue this work year by year, until the remaining 222 miles to the north-east corner
of the Province are completed. (In addition to this, there are some 65 miles to mark out
from the west end of the line to the north-west corner of the Province.) The method
of defining the north boundary of the Province, which is the 60th parallel of north
latitude, by taking precise astronomic latitude observations at intervals of 12 to 40
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
miles, and joining these with cut lines consisting of chords 486 chains in length, will
probably be continued. As the country immediately east of the present end of the line
is somewhat mountainous, a triangulation can be established, tying in the points set by
astronomic observation and thus avoid the cutting of trial lines.
Owing to the recent new developments in the north-east section of the Province and
to the oil discoveries in Alberta, the completion of the boundary between Alberta and
British Columbia is now a necessity, and steps are being made to revive the Boundary
Commission, consisting of representatives of the two Provinces and the Federal Government. In this connection the writer was appointed Commissioner for British Columbia
on the Alberta-British Columbia Boundary Commission by Order in Council dated
November 5th, 1949. There are yet approximately 177 miles to be surveyed.
As Director of this Service I would like to express my appreciation for the moral
support and financial backing that, during the past three years, enabled the building-
up of a Survey and Mapping Service equal to any like service in the Dominion. The
fruits of our efforts are already beginning to show in increased output, and this increase
will be greatly accelerated in the immediate future, with the work being accomplished
at a lesser cost, as the spadework has now been done in the training of the required
personnel, in the purchase of much of the necessary equipment, and in suitable space
having been allotted for the proper housing of men and equipment. I am sure this
support and backing will be justified.
I would also like to express my appreciation for the co-operation and advice
received from the Assistant Director, the chiefs of the various Divisions, and the older
members of the staff in the reorganization of this Service. Credit is due to the young
men and women who have recently joined us for their efforts in improving their
efficiency in their allotted tasks by diligent work and extra-curricular study.
AIR SURVEY DIVISION.
G. S. Andrews, M.B.E., B.Sc.F., P.Eng., B.C.R.F., F.R.G.S., Chief Engineer.
The sands of time have measured out practically four full years of post-war Provincial air-survey activity. What has been accomplished since March, 1946, when our
outlook was being reoriented from war to peace, when this work in British Columbia
was resurrected and transferred from the Forest Service to the Surveys Branch by
the appointment of a staff of one, the Air Survey Engineer, with less than 100 square
feet of office space, with no allotment of money, no equipment, and no staff? The only
air-survey assets at that time were the intangible ones of pre-war experience in British
Columbia, six years of war application and technical development, and some staunch
friends who had the welfare of this Province at heart, and who appreciated the value
of air survey in British Columbia's economic development.
Significant, successive steps have marked the evolution of the present Air Survey
Division, with its staff of almost fifty technical personnel, organized into six functional
subdivisions, 9,000 square feet of specialized floor-space in Victoria, considerable inventory of photogrammetric equipment, three motor-vehicles, two photographic aircraft,
a share of the Government-leased hangar at Patricia Bay Airport, and an imposing
aggregate of work accomplished. These steps will bear a quick review, especially as
a little retrospect may be excusable just prior to the new year.
(1) Organization of the Interdepartmental Committee on Air Survey and
Mapping by the Deputy Minister of Lands.
(2) Appointment of the Air Survey Engineer on the staff of the Surveyor-
General. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 63
(3) Purchase of Eagle V air cameras from War Assets Corporation by
co-operative financial assistance from the Department of Mines, Surveys
Branch, Water Rights Branch, and Forest Service.
(4) Deployment of one photo aircraft on charter, financed by the Forest
(5) Improvisation of a unique " floating suspension " camera mount.
(6) Air-photo library placed under direction of Air Survey Engineer.
(7) Initiation of our own special Processing Section.
(1) Adaptation of concentrated arc (Western Union) to projection printing
of air negatives.
(2) Deployment of two photographic aircraft on charter.
(3) Initiation of tricamera photography programme.
(4) Recognition of air surveys as a full division of the Surveys Branch,
Department of Lands and Forests.
(1) Amalgamation of Forest Base Maps Section with the Air Survey Division
and launching of the interim air-mapping programme.
(2) Appointment of Assistant Chief Engineer (Air Survey).
(3) Allocation of 5,000 square feet of floor-space in new offices at 553 Superior
(4) Setting-up of an instrument-shop for maintenance, repair, and construction of special instruments.
(5) Adoption of the slotted-templet technique for air mapping.
(6) Appointment of an air-photo analyst.
(1) Purchase, modification, and operation of two Anson V photographic aircraft.
(2) Lease of hangar by British Columbia Government at Patricia Bay Airport.
(3) Provision of additional 4,000 square feet of office space in new annex to
premises at 553 Superior Street.
(4) Purchase of a six-projector Multiplex unit for precision air mapping.
Considerable satisfaction may be taken in this record. It was not accomplished
by sitting back in relaxation, nor was it accomplished by any one individual. Much
inspiration and support has come down through the chain of command from our
Director, from the Deputy Minister, and from the Honourable Minister himself. Much
has been contributed by "succour from below," as Victor Hugo might say—from the
rank and file—by their hard work, their increasing competence, and their many good
ideas engendered by keen enthusiasm and loyalty in the work. Valuable moral support
has also been forthcoming from other branches and departments within the Government
and from various outside organizations.
The main subdivisions of Air Survey activities—Air Operations, Processing, Airphoto Library, and Map Compilation—are reported factually for the current year by
separate briefs hereto appended and as prepared by senior members of the staff
My appointment as Assistant Director of the Surveys and Mapping Service last
April, while retaining concurrently the title and responsibilities of Chief Engineer (Air
Survey), has necessarily widened my outlook and concern with the affairs of the Service
as a whole, at the expense to some extent, necessarily, of my attention to the Air Survey
Division, which, I am happy to report, has measured up well under this test. As already
indicated, the physical structure of the Division has pretty well shaped into mature
form, but there is still some hardening and refining to undergo. TJ 64 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Air photographs are, in truth, only a means to an end—that end being the recording
of full, detailed, and accurate information of the country's manifold surface features
to be concocted into maps, resources inventories, development plans, etc. But no matter
how advanced the mapping techniques, how expensive and impressive the photogram-
metric equipment used, to do good air mapping superlative air-survey photographs are
a primary prerequisite. All office refinements break down if the basic air photos are not
of a high quality.
Good air-survey photography implies more than a stack of brilliant, crisp, and
pleasing photographs. It implies a systematic series of such photos taken along the full
length of specified flight lines (navigation), at the correct intervals along the flight
(forward overlap), at the correct orientation (without tilt and crab), at the specified
altitude (scale), at the correct season (free from excessive snow and shadows), at the
right time of day (good illumination), in suitable photographic weather (no cloud
interference). The air cameras must be in perfect adjustment, precisely calibrated,
and completely insulated from engine vibration. Shutter speed and aperture must be
right in relation to illumination and photogenic character of the ground. The haze
filter must be appropriate to conditions. Everything in the aircraft must be scrupulously clean. So much for the air-borne requirements.
On the ground the film must be protected from deterioration. Processing techniques in the darkroom must be competent in all details, based on complete information
from the air crew about each roll exposed. Film must be thoroughly fixed, washed, and,
to prevent distortion, carefully dried. All of the foregoing is nullified if there are
defects in making the positive photos from the air negatives. Perfect negatives can
be very badly printed, and it is the prints, not the negatives, which go out into the
world as negotiable air-survey currency. Finally, annotation, cataloguing, and indexing
of the photos must be thorough, comprehensive, and complete, and must follow closely
on the heels of production so that all concerned may have immediate access, without
confusion, to this valuable material.
It is hardly necessary to comment that no individual can claim credit for a good
air-survey photograph. Like a symphonic masterpiece, it is the product of concerted
effort by a considerable team of artist-technicians working under inspired direction.
And who shall pass judgment on the quality of an air-survey photograph? The layman,
John Doe, is quite happy to have a bright snappy picture, providing it shows his home,
farm, factory, or mine. The critics de rigueur, whom our air crew and ground staff
strive to satisfy, are the map-makers, the photogrammetrists. These are the people
who extract all the virtues from the photos, both qualitative and quantitative. It so
happens that we have these fastidious epicures within the confines of our own Division
and Service. A good proportion of the air crew themselves turn photogrammetrist
in the off season, and thus scrutinize their own handiwork with a hard eye. It is
significant that these people now prefer to work on projects covered by our own pictures
rather than on those photographed by other agencies.
At the very outset of this post-war era, the fundamental importance of the picture-
taking side of our work was enunciated, and it has been emphasized repeatedly since.
It is considered that, with the final step of acquiring and operating our own aircraft,
with experienced air crew and darkroom staff, with speedy follow-up in the office
checking and indexing, we have the air-photo situation well in hand. We may now
expect a routine, sustained production of excellent air-survey photographs, in large or
small quantities, wherever and whenever required, to a wide range of specifications, at
extremely low unit cost.
Appreciation of this phase of our work, expressed from many outside sources, is
gratifying and stimulates sustained and greater effort. During preliminary negotia-
/■ SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 65
tions for the purchase of a Multiplex plotting unit, a stereo sequence of our original air
negatives, from stock, was sent to the Bausch and Lomb Optical Company at Rochester,
N.Y., for the purpose of testing in one of the instruments set up in their laboratories.
Upon my arrival at Rochester, subsequently, to discuss technical matters in this connection, I was greeted with genuine surprise on the part of the company's specialists at the
excellence of our photographs, and the unusual " hardness " of the stereo model projected from them in the Multiplex. They expressed keen curiosity about our method
of eliminating vibration from the air cameras, which they considered uniquely successful. This was a significant tribute from an optical firm whose clientele includes the
major air-survey mapping organizations throughout the world, and who had no reason
to use flattery to make a sale of one unit to a small outfit like ours, when their capacity
was booked up months ahead with orders from million-dollar customers.
Negotiations for the lease of No. 1 hangar at Patricia Bay Airport from the
Department of Transport by the Provincial Government were concluded in the autumn,
just in time to shelter our two photographic aircraft in a permanent home at the end
of the operational season. The Department of Public Works is also using the facilities
of the hangar for their Anson CF-BCA, on a co-operative basis. Excellent accommodation for storing of aircraft, spare parts and supplies, and for maintenance are
provided in the hangar. Space in excess of aircraft requirements is being used to
advantage for storing of field survey equipment and vehicles of the Survey and
Mapping Service, as well as of other branches of our Department. The instrument-
shop originally installed in the Victoria offices last year has now been moved to much
better quarters in the hangar at Patricia Bay. The copious amount of space now at
our disposal in the hangar for such uses as could be weaned away from the Victoria
office has appreciably relieved the poignant pressure here in the main offices. There
is a limit, however, to the overflow which can be diverted in this manner due to the
distance—18 miles by highway. At least half a day is the price for even a ten-minute
consultation between personnel at either end, and there is the extra time involved for
staff allocated to work there who are domiciled in Victoria.
Approximately 4,000 square feet of space in the 1949 annex to our offices on
Superior Street has been allotted to the Air Survey Division, at the price, however, of
relinquishing more space than it can afford in the 1948 building. The special slotted-
templet floor of nearly 2,000 square feet, free from pillars, is already in active use, but
various installations not yet completed on the ground-floor area have delayed setting
up the Multiplex equipment and moving the Processing Laboratory. The latter,
however, will soon have, at long last, splendid permanent accommodation in the annex,
where there is sufficient space to install sorely needed equipment, as well as improved
washing, drying, and sorting facilities. The processing staff has been badly handicapped in the present quarters, which they have tolerated cheerfully, with an amazing
production record to their credit.
Air Photographs in the Forest Districts.
Good progress has now been made by the Forest Service in setting up air-photo
libraries at each district office (Kamloops, Nelson, Prince George, Prince Rupert, and
Vancouver), and smaller libraries in each of the ranger districts. For this purpose
reprints from B.C. air negatives were supplied in the amounts of 5,000 in 1948 and
24,000 this year. The programme calls for two copies of each significant air photo in
each forest district. The Provincial Air-photo Library in Victoria has assisted in this
programme by compilation of order lists to eliminate redundant and obsolete prints
and by supplying index maps. All the district offices are now equipped with stereoscopes U 66
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Anson V aircraft for
transport and air survey owned by British
Special floor area,
2,000 square feet, accommodating slotted-
templet " lay-downs." SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. U 67.
and the rangers are being supplied as opportune. Senior members of this Division
have conducted short courses in the fundamentals of photogrammetry and interpretation
at district ranger meetings and at the Green Timbers Ranger School. Follow-up by
individual coaching of rangers at their own stations, after they have had the photos
long enough to get over the shy period, would be desirable. A simple manual of instructions has been prepared progressively by Mr. Hall and the first chapters issued.
Additional chapters will be prepared and distributed from time to time. The existence
of these local air-photo libraries throughout the Province, each in charge of knowledgeable personnel, equipped with stereoscopes, indexes, etc., will be a great boon not only
to the Forest Service, but also to other Government officials and to the public. It is
fortunate that we have in the Forest Service a ubiquitous organization, with its fine
tradition of co-operation, by which to disseminate this air-photo service over the
Province at large.
In preceding paragraphs I have emphasized that good air mapping simply cannot
be done unless the photographs are par excellence, and I have claimed that we now have
the picture-producing part of the problem substantially in hand, subject always' to
further refinements, for which we are ever seeking. Now I propose to turn about face
and say that even with perfect air photos, which fulfil all the exacting criteria, good
maps cannot be produced unless the photogrammetry is sound, the ground control
adequate, and the facilities of sufficient office space, improved equipment, and well-
trained personnel, in sufficient numbers, are all co-ordinated under able direction and
control. The reason is simple. An air photo, intrinsically, is not a map; it is not even
a fragment of a map. It is merely an amazingly complete image of a bit of ground
projected conically on to a flat photograph through a point in space (called the
" perspective centre ") on the photo axis a few inches above it. Until correlated
geometrically with other extrinsic knowledge, the exact location of the air station from
which the photo was taken and the orientation of the photo with reference to the ground
are unknown, and until these elements are derived, the features revealed so beautifully
and so completely in the picture cannot be pinned down in their true delineation on the
map, nor can their elevations relative to the datum be derived.
I make bold to say that we are not yet by any means satisfied with our mapping
output, but we are at last arriving at a point where something can be done about it.
The air-photography side, which has consumed a large proportion of our available
energy, should now be largely self-propelled, so that extra power may be put into the
With few exceptions, our staff has been recruited and trained entirely since the
war, and we have been forced to recognize that training and production are not synonymous. We are beginning to reach the point, only now, where the training will begin to
pay off. Further, there has been a definite limit to the rate at which new personnel
could be absorbed. The intake has been progressive, so that even now a significant proportion of the staff are barely started with their training. Restraint has been exercised, therefore, in our requests for additional staff. The concept that map production
increases in direct proportion to the number of bodies on the staff is true, but only
when qualified by the condition that all the bodies are adequately trained, competent,
housed, equipped, co-ordinated, and remunerated.
The problem of office accommodation has been acute and has definitely handicapped
the mapping output. This factor will be materially improved in the next two months,
when the process of getting settled in the new annex should be completed. We are very
proud of the large room especially built for slotted-templet lay-downs, a floor-space of
nearly 2,000 square feet with trussed roof free from pillars, for laying down large
areas of country in one mapping project. This is the first instance we know of (in TJ 68 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Canada) where special construction of a government building for this purpose has
actually been won and done.
Equipment is another main coefficient of the map-production equation. History
was made when money was provided for the purchase of a Multiplex unit of six projectors from the Bausch & Lomb Optical Company, who hold undisputed leadership in
the production of this equipment. Special optical provision had to be made to adapt
this equipment for use with our photography taken with the British S^-inch Ross lens.
Delivery of the equipment is not yet fully completed, but is expected to be at about the
same time the room in the new annex is ready for setting up, a matter of five or six
weeks. The Multiplex will contribute to rounding out the photogrammetric potential
of our mapping organization, especially for extending precise photo control, and for
contouring of large-scale projects, but it will not, overnight,1 revolutionize either our
main mapping system nor will it appreciably amplify our production. In fact, it may
well be at least a year before any noticeable benefit is derived from it due to the highly
specialized personnel required to operate it. The policy will be to bring the Multiplex
into our production line only for the functions which it will do best and to prevent it
becoming a bottleneck for operations which can be equally well done by other less
expensive and less inflexible means.
The nature of the mapping task in British Columbia and the rich knowledge which
the senior members of our mapping services have accumulated by years of specialization in our peculiar terrain are such that we find it impracticable and uneconomic to
import cut and dried mapping techniques from outside sources with the idea of applying them, unmodified, here. I may go further and say that our own British Columbia
map-makers have established an enviable reputation for contriving original and ingenious techniques which are eminently adaptable to the peculiarities of our Provincial
domain. Of course, there is nothing new under the sun; basic principles and devices
from outside our local boundaries, in both space and time, have been imported, but all
have had to be modified, like custom-built jobs, especially for British Columbia. Air
survey mapping is no exception, and it takes time to work out these methods for mass
production. The investment of some effort in this manner, during the last four years,
and some further exertions on technique development now in progress, will soon begin
to show a profit.
Eighteen months ago we agreed on a target of 9,000 square miles per year of
interim-map production. In 1949 we delivered 8,200 square miles of completed maps,
but have, in addition, an inventory of partially completed stock of about 4,000 square
miles along the various stages of our production line, which can appear on the assets
side of our statement even if not at list price, so to speak. We know, however, that
our yearly output of interim mapping should be at least 20,000 square miles, and that
more than good planimetry should be on the maps. They should carry 500-foot
When the shaking-down process has stabilized our mapping, as we expect it to do
in the coming year, we shall be in a strong position to answer any demand for a specified increase in our map output by stating definitely what the price of such increase
will be in additional staff, space, and equipment. Further, when emergency projects,
vicarious to the normal interim-mapping programme are interjected for high-priority
attention, we shall be able to say definitely what the cost will be in terms of reduction
in the interim-map output.
Commercial and Government Air Survey.
Apropos of the fact that two companies have entered the commercial air-survey
field in British Columbia since the war, consideration of a few facts which might help
to clarify the line of contact between government and commercial spheres of air-survey
activity may be in order. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 69
Government air survey is primarily a phase of mapping, and mapping as an
accepted government service goes back, in British tradition at least, to William the
Conqueror's Domesday Book, which was an inventory of the country's resources, a
purpose for which maps were soon found to be incomparably handy not only for
delineating the general situation, but for planning how best to exploit it. William
and his successors did pretty well on this method. In keeping with this early trend,
the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain, in our own day, is a classic instance of a public
mapping service, without parallel either for the scope or intensity of its work of
mapping the realm. The basic map scale of the British Ordnance Survey is 25 inches
to the mile (%500 or 211 feet to the inch, approximately). At this scale the ultimate
in detail is shown—every door-step and flag-stone, to say nothing of individual buildings (including those annotated with "P.H."*). Contouring is appropriately detailed
where warranted. The Anglo-Saxon tradition of government mapping as a public
service has also followed to this North American Continent, on both sides of the 49th
parallel, except that due to the enormity of the task and the urgency for geographic
knowledge of our erstwhile Great Unknown, we started out first with small-scale
mapping showing the salient features, but are progressively increasing the scale for
fuller detail over selected areas of greater economic activity. I do not think that the
champions of commercial enterprise would seriously argue that mapping of any kind,
in the public interest, is not a well-established and legitimate government service,
fully compatable with our British democratic traditions.
A historical examination of air survey itself need not lead us back to 1066, but
only through the last three decades to the First World War. A number of abortive
commercial air-survey enterprises were attempted during the twenties by enthusiastic
veterans of the Royal Flying Corps, but only in rare instances in the Empire or in the
United States did these commercial efforts take root sufficiently to survive the drought
and locust years which followed. However, those veterans who returned to government
services were more successful, particularly in Canada and in British Columbia, where
the ground for (terrestrial) photo mapping had been broken and in crop under Dr.
Deville's inspiration since 1895. From Deville's mountain-top camera-stations it was
quite natural to ascend a few thousand feet higher in the air with the survey cameras
by taking wing in the old Fairchild 71 aircraft. This government pioneering of air
survey was mainly done by services such as the Royal Air Force and the Royal Engineers
in Great Britain; in Canada the Royal Canadian Air Force, the old Topographic
Survey, the Royal Canadian Engineers, the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests,
and the Survey and Forest Branches of the British Columbia Department of Lands;
and in the United States, the U.S. Army Engineers, the U.S. Army Air Force, the U.S.
Forest Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.
When a citizen is thirsty, he may go to the faucet in his home, run off a few quarts
of water to draw a tumbler of pure cool liquid from the publicly owned and developed
water-supply. He pays for this transaction a fraction of 1 cent. If he be of different
mood or mind, he may extract from his refrigerator a bottle of ale, coke, or even
aerated water, supplied by commercial enterprise, at a price which our citizen was
evidently agreeable to paying, but many times that of the piped liquid. The comparison
might be applied to government and commercial air survey. Public-service air survey
embraces a universal public need—mapping, resources stock-taking, planning, development, and administration on a country-wide basis; whereas the commercial appeal is
to special individual tastes for special occasions. Following this line of thought, it is
reasonable that the by-products as well as the main product of government air survey
can and should be made cheaply available to all. In another field there has been no
tenable protest from the railway express companies against the service or rates of
parcel post—a government service not as old as government mapping. Government
; Public house. U 70
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
authorities concerned with air survey and mapping welcome these commercial developments, which will stimulate wider interest in air survey, and which will also serve to
relieve pressure on the government service for individual private mapping needs, thus
allowing greater concentration on a well-formulated mapping programme in the
interests of the Province as a whole. And, indeed, we are sure that no commercial
interests would suggest that government mapping be circumscribed in its scope or
hamstrung technically for the benefit of any private group.
Federal and Provincial Air Photography in British Columbia.
The last two years have seen the total proportion of the Province area, covered
by vertical air photography, suddenly increased from roughly 30 to 90 per cent. This
aggregate is due, in minor part, to our own Provincial programme, geared more or less
to a steady 10 per cent, of the Province area per year. The major cause of the jump
is an inordinate stepping-up of Federal photo flying in this Province. In 1948 alone
the Royal Canadian Air Force covered 63,000 square miles, an area almost equal to
their previous cumulative aggregate for the two decades since the inception of operations about 1926. This year the Air Force doubled its 1948 figure by doing 126,000
square miles in British Columbia.
In view of the situation described, our future programme of flying for air-survey
photography should incorporate the following operations, varying in proportion each
year, as immediate needs indicate:—
(1) Continuation and intensification of the tricamera programme.
(2) High-altitude vertical photography of areas still unphotographed.
(3) Revision high-altitude vertical photography over areas where existing
photography is technically or economically out of date.
(4) Continuation of large-scale vertical photography from lower altitudes
over areas of high economic importance throughout the Province. (Initiated this year in Lower Fraser Valley, Squamish, Saanich, etc.)
(5) High-altitude vertical photography of areas now served by existing but
defective cover, originally done by ourselves or by the Royal Canadian Air
Force, in order of priority, which anticipates requirements of the mapping
(6) Initiation of a programme of extremely large-scale photography for
detailed engineering plans of important projects, and for specialized airphoto stock-taking, with stereoscopic air photography taken from a helicopter.
Our equipment is well found for an effective programme, embracing all but the
last item, which merits early attention, in view of our increasing experience in the
use of helicopters for transport of field surveyors.
AIR-SURVEY FLYING OPERATIONS.
A. D. Wight, Acting Supervisor, Air Operations.
Flying efforts this season followed the same basic pattern as set forth during the
post-war years. The major change and highlight of this year's operation was the
acquisition of two Anson V photographic aircraft by the Surveys and Mapping Service
for use by the Air Survey Division. Anson V CF-EZI, equipped for tricamera and
routine vertical photography, was purchased from Aero Surveys, Limited, Vancouver.
This aircraft had been chartered for the past two photographic seasons and a short
time early this spring. Anson V CF-EZN, equipped for routine vertical and dual
vertical photography, was obtained from Sigurdson Construction Company, Winnipeg,
and had camera installations and airframe modifications carried out by MacDonald's
Aircraft, Limited, Winnipeg. A high-pressure oxygen system was installed by Aero
Surveys, Limited, Vancouver. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 71
This season both aircraft detachments concentrated on standard high-altitude
vertical photography of new country, tricamera photography being obtained only on
small specialized operations urgently required.
Comparing the average costs per square mile of photography with the years 1946
($1.40 per square mile), 1947 ($1.36 per square mile), and 1948 ($1.52 per square
mile), this year's average of $1.18 per square mile is an all-time low. This reduction
is due to the large gross of basic cover, to a marked reduction in aircraft flying costs
resulting from Government ownership and operation of the aircraft, and to accumulated experience of the air-crew personnel.
Fraser Valley Photography.
The first operation of the year was carried out on a combined request from the
Dominion-Provincial Board Fraser River Basin and the Federal Department of Public
Works for up-to-date large-scale vertical photography of the Lower Fraser Valley
from Hope to the Sand Heads. This operation took place between March 22nd and
May 9th, 1949, to record annual low water on the Fraser River and low tide over the
Sand Heads and tidal waters in the river-mouths. The entire area, comprising 1,575
square miles, was flown at 5,300 feet above sea-level to produce an average scale of
400 feet to 1 inch on a 20 by 20-inch enlargement and 889 feet to the inch on a standard
9 by 9-inch photograph.
Two tricamera flights consisting of approximately 790 lineal miles were made in
conjunction with the Water Rights Branch snow-sampling survey in the Okanagan
District. The first flight was carried out on April 7th while based at Abbotsford and
the other on May 6th from Patricia Bay, at an average cost of $3.02 per lineal mile.
Basic Vertical Cover.
Detailed areas and cost analysis may be seen in the appendices. High-altitude
vertical cover of previously unphotographed country covered an area of approximately
27,800 square miles. The main area, consisting of 18,130 square miles, was contained
in the limits of 51° to 53° north, and west from 118° to 125°, supplemented by an area
of 3,480 square miles in the vicinity of Kootenay Lake, White River, and 6,200 square
miles in the vicinity of Smithers. A further area of approximately 1,720 square miles
of previously photographed country was reflown from standard height. This reflying
covered outdated photography on Vancouver Island and an area east of Kitimat River
on the Mainland, increasing the total area photographed (exclusive of gap flying) to
29,520 square miles at an average unit cost of $1.18 per square mile.
Basic Tricamera Photography.
The network of tricamera traverses this year took second place to vertical photography. A total of 890 lineal miles of high-altitude tricamera photography was accomplished in widely scattered parts of the Province, ranging from the Kootenay and White
Rivers in the extreme south-east corner of the Province to the south end of Atlin Lake
and Taku River in the north-west. A strong network of tricamera photography was
built up for controlling vertical photography from Howe Sound to Bute Inlet, extending
inland to Chilko Lake.
The ever-increasing demand for large-scale photography for intensified mapping
this year took a larger portion of our season's efforts than ever before. An area of
approximately 190 square miles of vertical photography, covering the Saanich Peninsula and the Squamish River valley, was photographed from 5,000 feet above sea-level. TJ 72 department of lands and forests.
The average unit cost, including the Lower Fraser Valley for this low-altitude photography, was $5.71 per square mile. .
Other low-altitude vertical operations covered the following:—
(a) Extension of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway from Quesnel to Prince
(b) The Fraser River in the vicinity of West Road River for the Water
(c) Aleza Lake Forestry Experimental Station.
(d) The following towns: Fernie, Cranbrook, Kimberley, and Atlin.
Extensive use was made of the tricamera installation for the following low-altitude
(a) West Road and Quesnel Rivers, Quesnel Lake and watershed from 3,000
feet above river-level, a total of 442 lineal miles.
(b) Pacific Great Eastern Railway extension, north from Prince George to
the Parsnip River and Tacheeda Lake.
(c) Timber blow-down area for the District Forester at Prince George.
(d) Orford and Southgate Rivers to Franklin Arm on Chilko Lake for a
possible water diversion,
(e) White River watershed for the Forest Service, photographed from 12,000
feet above sea-level.
(/) South end of Atlin Lake to Sloco Lake for water diversion and power
(g) Yellow Point to Ladysmith from 3,000 feet above sea-level.
(h) Approximately 180 miles of British Columbia's most northerly section of
the Alaska Highway was covered from 12,000 feet above sea-level.
Two experimental flights were made to photograph salmon in their spawning-
grounds—one at the north end of Chilko Lake and the other on the Stellako River.
Both flights were at an altitude to give a net height of 1,000 feet above the rivers.
These attempts were hampered by long shadows and high winds over the waters.
A large field remains for experiments such as this, and while they appear to be very
costly, further development and study should reveal justifying results.
General Comment on 1949 Flying Operations.
This year the weather improved very little over the adverse weather conditions
encountered last year. All other phases over which we have control showed a marked
The camera and accessory equipment, after three years' service, underwent a major
overhaul last winter. Extensive use was made of the instrument-shop to rectify manufacturer's defects. As a result, this equipment, in its fourth year of operation, performed even better than when new.
Although the bulk of flying was done over large areas of poorly mapped country,
the navigation was excellent. The majority of gaps existing in previous year's flying
were filled, and, due to close liaison between the field parties and Victoria, very few
gaps were left in this season's flying. The experiment carried out last year of increasing the flying altitude of the aircraft up to 20,000 feet above sea-level over high mountainous country is now standard practice.
During the period from March to October, a total of seven months, approximately
thirty days were utilized on photography. This total is derived from forty-two partial
days' flying per aircraft, and is the longest period ever put in on operations during one
season by the Provincial Government. surveys and mapping SERVICE. TJ 73
Air-photographic Operation by the Federal Government, 1949.
The Federal Government, through the services of the Royal Canadian Air Force,
covered approximately 126,000 square miles of British Columbia with high-altitude
vertical cover. It is believed that as many as nine high-performance aircraft were
used. This huge total covers an area from 55° to 59° and 123° to 133° west, with
smaller blocks on the west coast from Knight Inlet to Douglas Channel and an area
surrounding the Big Bend of the Columbia River.
PHOTOGRAPHIC PROCESSING LABORATORY.
T. H. Bell, Chief Processing Technician.
The sustained and ever-increasing demand for large quantities of standard 9- by
9-inch air-survey photographic prints, contact prints, big enlargements, and other
photographic processing was met by enthusiastic response in the photographic laborar
tory at 553 Superior Street, to show in a full year of operation the production output
record below. This output is believed to be something of an achievement in such
limited quarters and man-power.
.V i i
Standard 9- by 9-inch (X1.8) prints
Enlargements, varying in size from 10- by 10-inch to 30- by 30-inch (X3
to X6 diameters)
Requisitions pending at year's end
* Rolls 5V2 inches by 60 feet, averaging 115 negatives each.
t For Topographic Surveys Division.
% Not recorded.
As the potentialities of air photography are realized, the demand for air photography and air-photographic prints increases. For example, an inventory of the kelp
(seaweed) harvest along our coast was made by air photography in 1948. In 1949 an
attempt was made to make an " inventory " of salmon on the spawning-grounds at
Chilko and Francois Lakes. Such projects are experimental; successful results depend
upon the variables of light and wind on the surface of the water, the focal length of
the air-camera lens, the safety factor governing the altitude of the aircraft, the type
of film, the colour of the filter, and the ingenuity of air crew.
As the use of air photographs become stabilized in any particular sphere, so does
the requirement increase for improvement in the critical accuracy of each picture. The
Photographic Laboratory is kept at high efficiency by close attention to the increasing
demands for photographs and the increasingly critical demand for accuracy.
In the effort to be ahead of any requirement as to the demand for quality and
quantity of air-film negatives and prints, experimentation is continuous in the Photographic Laboratory. An improvement over the buckling and curling of prints was
effected by a combination of (a) a change in the print-drying method and (&) co-operation of the photographic-paper manufacturer. In (a) it was necessary to occupy
additional space of the already limited area in the draughting-room for " natural "
print-drying racks. In (b) the manufacturer now cuts the paper with attention to the
length and width of the stock and packages the paper with identification marks. The
twofold advantage of this packaging keeps print shrinkage and curl in a constant
direction rather than any of a number of possible directions. TJ 74 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
As a result of the 1948 air-film processing tests, DK76 film development was
adopted. By further extremely careful experiments in the time-temperature-agitation
combination, air-film processing darkroom technique was improved in 1949, and the
new techniques adopted as standard practice.
The present Air Survey Processing Laboratory at 553 Superior Street—the third
laboratory so occupied—has now become quite limited in space and scope. Continuous
expansion from No. 1 (a room 8 by 8 feet with no sink and water), to No. 2 (two rooms
with sink and water), to No. 3, the present quarters (three small darkrooms and a
workroom, all with sinks and water), is forced by the increasing demand for photographic processing and prints. There is a fourth move to larger quarters contemplated.
In addition, to meet the demand for accuracy, approval has been gained for the
requisitioning of an American war-surplus Saltzman precision air-film enlarger and
rectifier and two large syphon-type print washers. The requisition of a small Saltzman
precision air-film enlarger is under favourable consideration. A precision-built fixed-
focus enlarger for 9- by 9-inch standard prints is in course of manufacture in our own
After three years of great effort in cramped quarters with inadequate equipment,
where upwards of 140,000 9- by 9-inch standard enlargements have been produced,
together with a thousand or so big enlargements (20 by 20 inches and 30 by 30 inches),
many thousands of 5- by 5-inch contact prints made, and nearly 700 air films processed,
the proposed new quarters and equipment appear capable of handling the work for
many years to come—the production of photographic work repaying the cost over and
The proposed new quarters cover an area of about 1,400 square feet, divided as
(a) Printing and enlarging darkroom, size 14 by 20 feet, housing the precision
enlargers and rectifier, and large processing sink 4 by 10 feet.
(b) Adjoining this room is a print-washing room, size 6 by 12 feet, housing
(c) Adjoining, in passageway, the paper-storage room, size 5 by 6 feet.
(d) General workroom, size 16 by 18 feet, with racks for natural drying of
prints, print-flattening machine, tables for checking and sorting prints,
office space, etc.
(e) A room, 6 by 10 feet, for storage of photographic chemicals and for
making up photographic processing solutions.
(/) A film-processing (completely) darkroom, 10 by 14 feet, with large sink,
size 3 by 10 feet. All films, air and photo-mechanical, will be developed
(g) A large room, 14 by 20 feet, containing the photo-mechanical camera.
Air-film drying and annotation will be carried out in this room, and
possibly some mosaic-making also, if sufficient space is available.
(h) A small darkroom, 6 by 9 feet, with two-level sink for processing the
Topographic Section films and plates, making and processing enlargements, and other work as may be necessary.
A. C. Kinnear, B.C.R.F., Air-photo Analyst.
With an increase of personnel in the library this year, the outlook of catching up
on unfinished work is becoming brighter. As the tempo of photographing the Province,
by both Federal and Provincial authorities, has been increased, the staff to handle this
work has been inadequate. Even to-day we do not have index maps for all areas in
British Columbia that were photographed in 1947. We feel now, however, that this SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 75
situation is well in hand and that by next year we should be able to report complete
up-to-date index maps for all photography in the Province.
Air-photo Index Maps.
In order to maintain a close check on current flying operations and to have index
maps available for distribution within a reasonable time after the flying season, a new
procedure was introduced in the work of the library.
The first stage of this procedure was the making of rough 5- by 5-inch prints
immediately after the films had been processed and annotated. These contact prints
are made twice as rapidly as the normal 9- by 9-inch enlargements, require a minimum
of equipment and personnel, and do not interrupt the normal 9- by 9-inch printing.
The small prints were then handed over to a special team in the library to scrutinize
for sufficient forward and lateral overlaps and for satisfactory photographic quality,
at the same time making a rough index map to assist the preparation of a final index
As the examination of these contact prints takes place within a few days after the
photographs have been exposed, the chief of the aircraft detachment in the field can be
advised by telegram of any serious irregularities that have occurred during the photographic flight, so that the photography may be repeated while the aircraft is still
operating from the same base.
The final index map, formerly retarded by delay in obtaining library copies of all
photographs, is started as soon as the checking is completed. As the supply of contact
prints was rapid, the library has already this year completed all the 1949 vertical
photography index maps—a gratifying improvement over former years.
To implement this innovation, an experiment was tried in using previously
untrained personnel in the annotation of film. Three college students, two of whom
were young women on summer vacation, were employed as junior draughtsmen. This
experiment proved worth while and indicated that properly selected personnel with
reasonable supervision can be adapted to this type of work.
Air-photo Library Service.
The service of the Air-photo Library to Government departments and the general
public is still on the increase. A comparison of the reprint and loan traffic between
1948 and 1949 shows that the complete traffic total in 1948 was over 92,000 photographs,
and the total for 1949 was over 204,000 photographs, or double the volume. This total,
broken down to months, shows that a total of 17,000 photographs every month are
sorted, checked, recorded and filed, or mailed to customers. It is intended to move this
phase of the library work to other quarters in the new year to facilitate more efficient
working conditions for all concerned.
Loan Traffic, Library Copies of Air Photographs.
Out on loan, December 31st, 1948 43,336*
Loaned out during 1949 54,800
Returned during 1949 53,320
Totals, December 31st, 1949 98,136 53,320
Net photos out on loan, December 31st, 1949 (to
Totals 98,136 98,136
* Revised figure. U 76
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Loan Traffic, 1949.
Government agencies— issued.
Air Survey Division 13,968
Forest Economics 3,972
Federal Government agencies 624
Private, industrial, and other—
Mining '. 1,272
Totals . 54,800
Progress of Air Photography in British Columbia (Statistical).
Library Copies, Air Photos of British Columbia.
In hand December 31st, 1948
In hand December 31st, 1949
* Includes 7,900 photos from commercial sources.
% All different photographs (exclusive of duplicates).
Area covered by Vertical Air Photography in British Columbia.
(Figures are approximate.)
By Federal Government, gross (since initial operations in
By Provincial Government, gross (since initial operations in
Total, gross 417,000
Less revision photography included in above total 59,000
Total, net, vertical photography 358,000 SURVEYS and MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 77
Only approximately 22,000 square miles remain to be photographed in British
Columbia. The quoted net total of 358,000 square miles, now photographed, includes
roughly 14,000 square miles of intricate Coastal waters which cannot be eliminated
from the over-all mapping task.
Reprints from British Columbia Air-photo Negatives supplied, 1949.
(Figures are approximate; 9- by 9-inch prints.)
Provincial Government Reprints. Requisitions.
Forest Service, Victoria 551 14
Forest Service districts 24,184 20
Lands Department 8,216 129
Other departments 4,132 116
Library copies 22,062 64
Schools and universities 1,008 25
Federal Government 3,137 13
Engineering 535 4
Forest industries 320 26
Mining 500 38
Miscellaneous 3,824 223
Totals 68,469 672
Special enlargements (20- by 20-inch prints) —
Department of Public Works (Dominion) 1,332 2
5- by 5-inch contact prints—library, field parties, etc. 27,963 83
Totals : 29,495 . 85
Grand totals 97,964 757
The maintenance of a suitable area in the library for visitors to select and study
air photos will require the distribution of the photo filing-cabinets throughout the
offices of the Division. Even at the expense of decentralizing the library photographs
to various " nooks and crannies," we feel that the library should provide facilities for
the many visitors to select and study air photographs. Sixty-two thousand new
photographs, taken in 1949 by both the British Columbia Government and the Royal
Canadian Air Force, will require an additional 40 square feet of storage space, which
will probably be located in the basement of the new Temporary Building No. 3, Parliament Buildings, Victoria.
Again this year the library experienced a most varied clientele. The diversity
of interest in air photos continues to widen. As the news of a complete air-photo
library service for non-technical, as well as technical, people becomes more widely
circulated greater use is being found for air photographs. It was gratifying to receive
a letter from a real-estate company in Northern British Columbia explaining how they
were finding a use for air photos in their business and expressing their appreciation
for this service.
A myth that air photographs were of use only to technically trained engineers is
fast disappearing, and from the traffic through the library this year we see the indication that the British Columbia public in general is learning the value of this air-photo
supply service. U 78
department of lands and forests.
The appreciation of air-photo usefulness by the general public, which accrues
significantly in the normal business of the Air-photo Library, was augmented during
the year by the underlisted addresses to various organizations:—
G. S. Andrews.
Engineering Institute of Canada, Vic-
Feb. 21, 27...
Zelotes Business and Professional Women's Club
Rotary Club, Qualicum
Municipalities and Town Planning
B.C. Forest Service Ranger Scbool
Inspection of the Air Survey Division
Dec. 12, 13...
G. S. Andrews
A. C. Kinnear
Facilities offered by Air Survey for Town
Instruction on Field Use of Air Photo.
Members of the Division have also attended Canadian Society of Forest Engineer
meetings and Canadian Military Intelligence meetings, with a view of personal assistance to problems concerning air survey.
Local militia units have requested co-operation from the Division, and assistance
is being provided in supplying and advising use of air photos for military schemes.
W. Hall, M.C., B.A.Sc, B.C.R.F., Assistant Chief Engineer.
The programme of map compilation as described in the 1948 Annual Report has
been followed through this year with little change in methods.
The aluminium-backed sheets, on which is plotted the base control, have proved
very successful, and to date a total of thirty-seven sheets has been compiled.
Eight men have been continually employed at this work, and a serious effort has
been made to have these base sheets completed far enough ahead of the actual mapping
to ensure that the flow of work is not interrupted.
During the year 1949 the following areas were mapped to supply the Forest
Service summer field survey parties:— Half
Square Miles. Square Miles.
Skeena-Nass Rivers 3,300
Bowron River 2,320 1,420
Seechelt Inlet 1,500
Princeton-Nicola 1,125 2,625
Totals 8,245 4,045
A further 2,250 square miles of control was plotted in the Toba Inlet area preparatory to mapping for next year. This brought the total sheets actually traced on linen
ready for ozalid printing to forty-three in number, representing an area of approximately 15,000 square miles (see index map).
At the present time eight full-time photogrammetrists, supplemented during the
winter months by three members of the flying crew, are fully engaged in the preparation of maps for the Forest Service field survey parties next summer. These, together
with the eight-man crew compiling the basic control, constituted the total mapping
strength of the Division. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 79
Seven major projects are in hand as follows:— Area
Map sheets. Square Miles.
Nass River 4 1,360
Bella Coola River* 4 1,360
Jervis Inlet-Toba Inlet 5 1,700
Toba River* 1 1 340
Nicola-Douglas . 8 2,720
McGregor River 8 2,720
White River* 3 1,020
Totals ;__ 33 11,220
All these projects are being laid down by the slotted-templet method to existing
It would appear that with the present organization a programme of 10,000 square
miles a year can be maintained, but it is unlikely that any increased production can
be expected at the present time without increasing the draughting staff.
It is anticipated that in one or two years, when personnel are better trained and
propagation of control from the tricamera photographs is well ahead of the mapping
programme, an increased output of this type of air mapping can be expected.
Because of lack of space and personnel, the propagation of mapping control by use
of the tricamera photographs has lagged behind the need. Consequently, to meet the
urgent demand for some useful base map on which to summarize forest-cover data, it
has been necessary to compromise to some degree the accuracy in the interim maps of
the Bella Coola, Toba River, and White River areas. This is unfortunate and will
involve changes being made when control does become available.
Inasmuch as the control by tricamera photographs is a new technique, it is impossible to estimate the man-hour effort required to serve the present mapping programme.
However, data are being collected, and it is hoped that in the near future a proper
balance of personnel will be obtained.
At present, work is going forward in establishing tricamera control points in the
area between Jervis and Toba Inlets. This is a local project, instituted solely to
strengthen the plotting of the vertical photos for that particular area. However, with
the availability of the special clear floor area which has just recently been completed
in Temporary Building No. 3, work will be started on the .major project of establishing
a network of control points over the enormous, nearly inaccessible, areas in the
The Coastal area between Bute Inlet, Howe Sound, Bridge River, and Chilko Lake
has been selected as the first for attention in view of its economic importance. Its
rugged topography makes it one of the more formidable regions to map by conventional methods. Incidentally, this rugged terrain, liberally sprinkled with high, easily
recognizable peaks, lends itself to more accurate identification of selected features in
the air views than does a more rolling and wooded type of topography.
Since last year's Report, to which reference should be made for a further discussion, considerable experience has been gained in the slotted-templet method of plotting
photo centres. Some 5,000 templets have been laid down in four separate areas, and
results have been most satisfactory, both in speed and accuracy. TJ 80 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
One area of some 4,000 square miles, bounded by the Nass River and Portland
Inlet on the north, Chatham Sound on the west, the Skeena River on the south, and the
Kitsumgallum Valley on the east, was laid down as a unit, with ground control available
only along the perimeter. While no checks as to the accuracy of the geographic position of the centre of the area are available, it would appear, from two independent
points used as checks near the north-east section, that a probable maximum error of
10 chains in geographical position can be expected for the remote centre regions.
Inasmuch as the centre is 25 miles from the closest ground control, this is felt to be
a tolerable error for this type of map.
One innovation in technique has been made during the year, and that is the use
of used X-ray film for templets in place of cardboard. Two features render this
material far superior to any tried before: (1) It costs one-quarter as much as the next
cheapest material; (2) it is of light weight, has a slippery surface, and is rigid—all
of which combine to allow a much more accurate mechanical distribution of relative
positions of photo centres.
Two special small projects were undertaken by the Division apart from the major
40-chain-to-l-inch mapping programme.
One of these, for the Water Rights Branch, involved an attempt to supplement
ground methods for contouring at a 10-foot interval a stretch of the Fraser River
between Cottonwood Canyon and Hixon.
A Fairchild stereo-comparograph was purchased by the Water Rights Branch for
this purpose, and, while no definite results have been obtained to date, the work is in
The other project involves a 20-chain topographic map of an area around Squamish,
covering some 40 square miles of the valley area favourable to local development.
This map is primarily for the various Government planning and survey agencies.
Intensive field work to obtain height control for contouring on the photos at a 20-foot
interval was completed during the summer, and work on the map is now in progress.
Last year the Legislature approved the purchase of a six-projector Multiplex
unit for use by the Air Survey Division. This particular instrument has proven its
usefulness in all fields of mapping over the past twenty years in standard mapping
agencies throughout the world, and its availability to the Surveys and Mapping Service
will greatly enlarge the present scope of the Service, especially in the field of large-
scale high-precision mapping.
It is not anticipated that the present rate of production of interim maps will be
immediately accelerated by the use of the Multiplex. Rather, it will be used to propagate horizontal control to strengthen the slotted-templet plots in the standard interim
mapping and the standard photo-topographical mapping and to produce large-scale
precise maps of selected areas. As experience is gained and personnel trained, it is
reasonable to expect an increased efficiency over the present methods employed in all
phases of mapping and to expect a higher quality of product, which, in effect, will
result in a higher net production in the long run.
It must be recognized now that Multiplex operators are of a very specialistic
nature. Superlative eyesight is a fundamental requirement. Together with this,
a thorough knowledge of air-photo geometry, draughting skill, an ability to recognize
topography, good muscular co-ordination and an inherent conscientiousness (honesty)
are essential, if the full usefulness of the instrument is to be obtained. These demands
will necessitate a rigorous selection of competent operators.
* The science or art of obtaining reliable measurements by means of photography. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 81
Work on the Andrews stereo-plotter, which is designed to extract planimetry and
contours from single-controlled air-photo overlaps, is proceeding steadily, and it is
hoped to have a pilot model in operation early in 1950. This instrument, of a unique
design based on the Deville semi-transparent mirror principle, will fill the much-felt
need for an inexpensive, easily operated instrument of simple design that will transform the wealth of topographic detail available on the photos to line work at map scale.
In order that space could be obtained for the unexpected increase in requirements
by the Surveys Service, it was decided to move the machine-shop in toto to the hangar
leased for aircraft storage at Patricia Bay Airport, and it is presently located there.
The facilities and working-space are much superior, and, inasmuch as the projects are
of a long-term nature, any inefficiency incurred by being 20 miles from the head office
is mitigated. Further, the facilities will be available for the overhaul and maintenance
of the two aircraft which will take place each winter. U 82
department of lands and forests.
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Appendix 2.—Summary by Projects, 1949 Air-survey Photographic
Basic vertical cover, 17,500 and 20,000 ft./m.s.l.—
1. Interior (Cariboo) : Bridge River,* Chilko, Clearwater, Garibaldi,
Taseko,* Horsefly,* Tatla, Alexis,* Itcha, Mazko, Quesnel, Canim,*
Mount Watt, and Robson
2. South-east mountain region: White River and Kootenay
3. Smithers: Morice, Zymoetz, and Bulkley
Total, new basic vertical cover
Average costs, approximate—
Per square mile
4. Revision photography: E. & N. Railway and Kitimat.
5. Reflying gaps (including cloud obstruction) in 1946, 1947, and 1948
Total vertical reflying
Average costs, approximate—
Per square mile
Grand total, basic vertical cover..
Average costs, approximate—
Per square mile
B. Basic tricamera control, 17,500 and 20,000 ft./m.s.l..
Average costs, approximate—
Per lineal mile
C. Special projects—
(a) Alaska Highway, 12,000 ft./m.s.l..
White River, 12,000 ft./m.s.l..
Timber blow-down area, 17,500 ft./m.s.l
West Road River, 5,000 ft./m.s.l
Quesnel River and Quesnel Lake
Pacific Great Eastern Railway extension
Orford and Southgate Rivers to Franklin Arm..
Snow survey, 17,500 ft./m.s.l
(i) Howe Sound, 5,000 ft./m.s.l
(j) Sloco and Atlin Lakes, 2,000 ft./m.s.l
(fc) Yellow Point, 3,000 ft./m.s.l
Total, special tricamera projects -
Average costs, approximate—
Per lineal mile
(a) Lower Fraser Valley, 5,000 ft./m.s.l
(6) Saanich Peninsula, 5,000 ft./m.s.l
(c) Squamish Valley, 5,000 ft./m.s.l
(ci) Routine townsites, 2,000 ft./ground: Fernie, Kimberley, Cranbrook, and Atlin
(e) Fraser River, vicinity of West Road River
(/) Aleza Lake Experimental Station
(g) Pacific Great Eastern Railway extension
Total, special vertical projects
Average costs, approximate—
Per square mile
* In part only.
5.75 U 84
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Appendix 2.—Summary by Projects, 1949 Air-survey Photographic
C. Special projects—Continued.
3. Experimental, 1,000 ft. above ground—
(a) Salmon-spawning grounds, Chilko Lake...
(6) Salmon-spawning grounds, Stellako River.
Total, experimental projects
Average costs, approximate—
Per square mile
D. Grand totals, photographic operations
E. Total, operational expenditure
t Square miles.
X Lineal miles.
SUMMARY OF AVERAGED COSTS.
(1) Basic vertical cover of new country
(2) Revision photography
(3) Reflying gaps
Average cost basic vertical cover.
(4) Special vertical projects
(1) Standard tricamera control
(2) Special tricamera projects
Per Sq. Mi.
Per Lin. Mi.
Appendix 3.—Distribution of Costs, 1949 Flying Operations.
(Mar. 15 to Apr. 15.)
(June 1 to Sept. 30.)
Flying (aircraft operation)
SURVEY OPERATIONS - 1949
THIS DIAGRAM DOES NOT INCLUDE
SPECIAL FLYING OPERATIONS BETWEEN
MARCH 22ND & JUNE I I TH
CALENDER OF WEATHER IN RELATION TO FLYING ACTIVTIES
AIR SURVEY DIVISION. SURVEYS & MAPPING SERVICE.
DEPT. OF LANDS & FORESTS. VICTORIA. B.C.
FILE 0160043 - 25TH NOV. 1949
18 20 25 30|
9 9 9 999 9 99
99 999 9 99999
9 99 999999 9 9 999 9
DETACHMENT NO. I - AIRCRAFT CF-EZN
10 15 20
999 99 99
99 99 9
, , uj 08:00
< 12:00 —
DETACHMENT NO. 2 - AIRCRAFT CF-EZI
VERTICAL & TRICAMERA PHOTOGRAPHY
9 9 9 999 9
999999999 999999999 9
->} |<— WHITEHORSE >|<-
[5 10 X
9 9 9*
->|<DOG CREEK ->|
TIME ON PHOTOGRAPHY
TIME ON PHOTOGRAPHY
^LhJQH_ CLOUD INTERFERENCE
^JF LOW CLOUD INTERFERENCE
TEST 139° 138° 137° 136° 135° 134° 133° 132° 131° 130° 129° 128°
124 123° 122° 121° 120° 119°
.Rainy \ ,*^
( >L~—1: Y~~~
for 7"X9" and
9" X 9" Prints. Sea-level.
\ **■} \
Remnant of earlier photography, now superseded by more recent cover.
Inset numerals refer to tabulated data.
B.C. Government -
as of December 31st, 1949
DEPARTMENT of LANDS and FORESTS
Honourable E. T. Kenney, Minister
Scale of miles
To accompany Report of Director
Df Surveys and
Department of Lands md Forests
December 3 1st,
Department of Mines and Resources,
apply to Air Survey Division, Surveys
For reprints of Dominion Government photographs apply to National Air Photo Library,
snd Mapping Service, Department of Lands and Forests,
For reprints of B.C. Government photographs, more detail index maps and other information,
129°LongiLudel28° West 127° from 126°Greenwichl25°
Geographic Div. 139
.IN C E
Detail index maps, 4 miles to 1 inch, showing the incidence of all
air photographs with roll and photo numbers are in the course of
preparation and revision. Blue-print copies may be obtained on application, cost of 25 cents each. Order by block number and sheet
number; e.g., 93-N is the designation of the hachured sheet.
AIR PHOTOGRAPHS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Many thousands of air photographs have been taken of various parts of British Columbia
for mapping and special surveys. The photos are mainly "verticals"; i.e., views straight to
the ground below, usually flown along consecutive overlapping strips to cover blocks as outlined
on the air-photo cover map (see reverse). " Oblique " photography is primarily embodied in
the tricamera runs, as indicated, which include a systematic combination of three cameras,
taking a vertical view coupled with simultaneously exposed lateral obliques to give continuous
photo cover to the horizons on either side of the lines of flight. A few incidental obliques
of a scenic nature (not shown on the cover map) are available of towns, peaks, dams, etc.
New areas will be photographed from the air each year and eventually the whole Province will
Reprints of Air Photographs
While the air photographs are taken in the first instance for official surveys, the number of
reprints which can be made from the original negatives is practically unlimited. The negatives
are carefully preserved for this purpose. As these photographs may be of great value to all
who are interested in the country covered, it has been the policy to "supply reprints at the
nominal cost of printing. In this way every reprint which is put to worth-while use constitutes
a multiple return for the money expended on the original air survey.
Two Sources of Air Photographs
Air photography in British Columbia has been done almost entirely by two agencies:
(1) The Dominion Government, Ottawa; (2) The Air Survey Division of British Columbia,
Surveys and Mapping Service, Department of Lands and Forests. The Dominion Government
numbers its film rolls with the prefix letter " A," and also numbers each photo in the roll; for
example, "A 9532:77 " means photo No. 77 of R.C.A.F. roll No. A 9532. The British
Columbia Air Survey Division numbers its film rolls with the prefix " BC "; for example,
" BC 325:62 " means photo No. 62 of roll No. BC 325. The photo and roll numbers appear
in the lower left-hand corner of every photograph.
How to obtain Air-photo Reprints
On the air-photo cover map it can be determined if a particular place in the Province has
been photographed from the air, and whether it was done by the Dominion Government or by
the British Columbia Air Survey Division.
Orders and inquiries for Dominion Government photographs should be addressed directly to:
National Air-photo Library, Department of Mines and Resources, Ottawa, Ont.
Reprints of " BC " photographs and information relative to air photographs and air surveys
of British Columbia may be obtained on application to:
A library of all air photographs taken in B.C. by the Dominion Government and the British
Columbia Air Survey Division is maintained by the Provincial Government in Victoria for both
official and public reference. This library now contains over 200,000 air photographs, complete
indexes and other relevant data. New photos are added to the library as taken.
AIR-PHOTO INDEX MAPS
DEPARTMENT of LANDS and FORESTS
Honourable E. T. Kenney, Minister
Scale of miles
The price of standard 9- by 9-inch double-weight matte prints from the B.C. air negatives
is 40 cents each plus 3-per-cent. Social Security and Municipal Aid sales tax. Remittance
should be made in favour of the Director of Surveys and Mapping, Department of Lands and
Forests, Victoria, B.C. If possible the roll and photo number should be quoted, but if these
are unknown, the exact locality should be described as closely as possible. For special purposes, enlargements up to 30 by 30 inches in size from the B.C. negatives in Victoria may be
obtained at cost.
129"LongiLudel28° West 127° from 126°Greenwichl25°
v-^ 139° 138° 137° 136° 135° 134° 133° 132° 131° 13Q° 129° 128° 127° 126° 125° 124° 123° 122° 121° 120° 119
■ ■' '■ ~ »■ ■ " '■ '■ << ■ \. ■ v i \ f i m» ■ ■ i ■■ ■■ t- ===== , : t ■■ ■■_
AREAS COVERED BY INTERIM MAPS
Maps in course of preparation
DEPARTMENT of LANDS and FORESTS
Honourable E. T, Kenney, Minister
Scale of uoles
To accompany Annual Report of Director of Surveys
Department of Lands and Forests
December 31 st, 1"
129°Longitudel28° West 127° from 126°Greenwichl25°
Geographic Di\ SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. U 85
PERSONNEL OF AIR SURVEY DIVISION DURING 1949.
G. S. Andrews, Chief Engineer.
Name and Position. Section. Name and Position. Section.
B. Albhouse, Senior Stenographer I A. J. Marshall, Tech. Svy. Asst. II V
A. D. Aldridge, Tech. Svy. Asst. II VI C. A. E. Matson, Air Svy. Pilot II
A. M. Barber, Air Svy. Det. Chief II F. R. Morris, Air Svy. Tech II
T. H. Bell, Chief Process. Tech III B. J. Mullins, Tech. Svy. Asst. II V
M. B. Bentley, Tech. Svy. Asst. II V R. D. McDougall, Jr. Draughtsman III
A. R. Best, Instrument-maker VI R. F. Oberg, Jr. Draughtsman IV
P. D. Bragg, Tech. Svy. Asst. II I R. S. Oberg, Jr. Draughtsman IV
E. P. Creech, Chief Draughtsman* V R. A. Paine, Tech. Svy. Asst. I V
H. N. Davis, Draughtsman IV H. Palmer, Tech. Svy. Asst. II V
E. J. Gravenor, Tech. Svy. Asst. II V R- S. Parsons, Tech. Svy. Asst. II V
E. B. Hackett, Asst. Photographer III A. H. Phipps, Draughtsman V
L. D. Hall, Tech. Svy. Asst. I V J- M. Saunders, Typist I
W. Hall, Asst. Chief Engineer I J. W. Shaw, Tech. Svy. Asst. II V
J. A. Hawes, Asst. Photographer V G. S. Smith, Tech. Svy. Asst. Ill V
0. R. Hawkins, Jr. Draughtsman IV R- H. Smith, Tech. Svy. Asst. I V
D. C. Hobson, Asst. Photographer III R- J- Stevenson, Air Svy. Flying Asst. _ II
H. N. Hoyle, Draughtsman V A. G. J. Sutherland, Tech. Svy. Asst. I_ V
A. C. Kinnear, Air-photo Analyst I J. F. Tomczak, Tech. Svy. Asst. II V
R. W. Kroeger, Jr. Draughtsman V G. M. Ward, Aircraft Mechanic I II
R. W. Lambert, Asst. Photographer III D. T. Wells, Jr. Draughtsman V
R. M. Lee, Jr. Draughtsman V A. D. Wight, Air Svy. Det. Chief II
A. C. Lukinuk, Air Svy. Det. Chief II R. W. Woods, Tech. Svy. Asst. I IV
Personnel employed temporarily during 1949 and Services now terminated.
Name and Position. Section. Name and Position. Section.
H. Baedak, Air Svy. Plying Asst II N. A. McDougall, Tech. Svy. Asst. I IV
M. J. Bailey, Jr. Draughtsman III J. G. Moffatt, Photographic Asst III
G. Chang, Tech. Svy. Asst ___ V H. V. Piddington, Jr. Draughtsman IV
G. Davidson, Clerk-Stenographer I J. W. Ranson, Jr. Draughtsman V
M. Emmerton, Jr. Draughtsman IV M. A. Scott, Aircraft Mechanic II
: On loan (Geographic Division).
I—Administration. Ill—Processing. V—Compilation.
II—Operations. IV—Library. VI—Instrument-shop.
W. G. H. Firth, Chief, and Provincial Representative,
Canadian Board on Geographical Names.
New quarters were provided for the Division in the recently constructed temporary
buildings on Superior Street. The move was made in toto on May 9th with very little
The amenities and conveniences, such as improved light, both natural and artificial,
equipment, and better placement of the staff, have contributed to more congenial
Governmental and public demands called for the distribution of over 31,000 maps,
a considerable increase over the past few years, indicating in a pertinent manner a
sustained increasing interest in the resources of the Province and the rapid growth of
its economic life. TJ 86 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Apart from many commissions undertaken for various departments, the main
activities of the Division are summarized hereunder:—
(1) The distribution of over 31,000 maps and related correspondence.
(2) Seven Provincial maps, either new editions or corrected to date, were
published, and the compilations of six map-sheets, oriented on the National
Topographic Series system, are in hand.
(3) Collaboration with the Topographic Division in the final production of
seventeen map-sheets, eight of which have been published and received
(4) Some fifty map-sheets were submitted from Federal agencies for revision
and final check before going to press.
(5) Progress on the compilation for a new Geographical Gazetteer, which
entailed checking the nomenclature on sixty-two map-sheets, both Dominion and Provincial.
(6) By request of the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, delimit, describe, and
draw on a large number of maps some 1,200 enumeration areas throughout the Province for use in the 1951 Census.
In June, 1949, Dr. Donald W. Kirk, geographer, was taken on the temporary staff
of the Geographic Division as a special investigator. He was assigned to conduct and
correlate a series of surveys in the Rocky Mountain Trench in connection with the proposed hydro-power and flood-control dam at Libby, Mont. The aim of the investigation,
which is still in operation, is to determine what losses and benefits will accrue to Canada
if the Libby dam is built. This dam would create a lake or reservoir on the Kootenay
River, and about 30 miles of this body of water would lie north of the International
Boundary in the vicinity of Wardner.
Many resources will be affected if such a project is implemented. Agriculture,
forestry, mining, water-power, water, recreation, wild life, highways, roads, bridges,
railroads, and other factors in the present economy would all be affected.
Many Provincial and certain Dominion agencies, private as well as public, were
requested to make studies of the consequences which the creation of the proposed
reservoir would have on the individual resources. Dr. Kirk is working with these
various agencies in the field and in Victoria. It will be his responsibility to synthesize
the separate investigations and submit a complete report on the probable effects to the
economy of British Columbia. It is hoped that this study will be completed for the
spring of 1950.
ORIENTATION OF PROVINCIAL MAPS.
Comments were made in former Annual Reports regarding the desirability of
orienting Provincial maps in the same manner as that laid down by the Dominion
Government for the mapping of all Canada, wherein each map-sheet known as the
" National Topographic Series " is pre-determined and governed by lines of latitude
and longitude. This important matter was discussed at the inter-Departmental meeting called by the Deputy Minister of Lands last March, and also at the weekly meetings
called by the Director of Surveys and Mapping. The consensus of opinion was that the
the change-over from what may be called the regional character of the Provincial maps
was now desirable, and a directive has been issued to each mapping agency on the
It was conceded to some extent that the present system be maintained to meet
ever-increasing immediate public demands, but the transition and implementation
should be forwarded. With this in mind, the Division concentrated this last year on
replenishing depleted stocks of certain pre-emptors' and other types of maps constantly SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 87
in demand, and are now currently engaged in compiling six map-sheets laid down under
the new system.
GEOGRAPHICAL GAZETTEER OF BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Progress on the compilation of data for a new edition of the Geographical Gazetteer of British Columbia was retarded considerably by other important work which
required immediate attention. Amongst these were the large number of map-sheets,
both Dominion and Provincial, which were examined and finally checked before going
to press—work of an exacting nature which cannot be unduly hurried.
At the beginning of the year four members of the staff were assigned to this work;
by the middle of the year only two were engaged, and for the last three months only
one. Further, at the request of the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, five members of
the Division are currently engaged in describing and drawing on a large number of
map-sheets the boundaries of some 1,200 enumeration areas throughout the Province
for use in the 1951 Census.
It is now recommended that, in order to complete the data, revision, and transcript
for this desirable publication at the earliest date, the temporary services of four college
students be secured early next spring for a period of three months.
Several publications containing much authoritative geographical information concerning the Province were received from Federal agencies during the year. Amongst
these the following may be mentioned:—
Geological Survey, Memoir 247, " Physiography of the Canadian Cordillera
with Special Reference to the Area North of the Fifty-Fifth Parallel," by
H. S. Bostock. In former times the great physiographic features of
Northern British Columbia were only vaguely defined and named. By the
skilful interpretation of a large number of trimetrogon air photographs it
was possible to delimit the boundaries of dominant and related features
throughout a vast area—largely unsurveyed. Many contentious nomenclature matters have now been resolved. The report is well illustrated
and is accompanied by a map.
Geodetic Survey of Canada, Publication Nos. 51 and 52, titled respectively
"Altitudes in Southern British Columbia," by R. H. Montgomery, and
"Altitudes in Northern British Columbia," by L. O. R. Dozois. These
publications contain the latest data on precise levelling. An appendix to
the latter report, compiled by this Division, contains a comprehensive
alphabetical list of some 3,690 names of mountains, lakes, and passes,
together with elevation and geographic positions.
Report No. 3, " Soil Survey of the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys," by
C. C. Kelley and R. H. Spilsbury, with four coloured maps, the bases of
which were supplied by this Division.
(Acknowledgment is made in each of the above reports to the assistance rendered by this Department.)
Department of Transport, Meteorological Division, " The Frost-free Season in
British Columbia," by A. J. Connor. The accompanying map was prepared for reproduction purposes by this Division.
Comment was made in the Report of 1948 on the portended installation of a lithographic press in the Bureau of Printing and Stationery, a convenience which would be
of great assistance to the Division and expedite its work. This matter has been post- . .
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Standard base maps
Finished drawing in the
making. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE.
Printing—maps coming off rotary offset press. ' :
U 90 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
poned, it is understood, until the completion of the new building, in which the machine
will be installed. However, the Bureau was able to prepare four press plates for one
of our maps, and supervised the printing, which was undertaken by a private firm.
The results were excellent in every detail.
Notwithstanding a large volume of extraneous work and ever-increasing demands
for the products and services of the Division reflected throughout this Report and in
the appendices, all commitments have been met.
Owing to greatly increased industrial development and interest in the economic
and social life of the Province during the last few years, the time may now be propitious
to secure the services of a fully qualified and trained geographer as a permanent member of the staff of this Division. There are many matters which will require study
and research, either immediately or in the foreseeable future. Amongst these are an
appraisal of the resources of Northern British Columbia, and climatic studies and
investigations of regional development of this great area. The decentralization of
industry and the creation of possible subsidiary industries in heavily populated areas,
particularly of the Lower Fraser Valley, present many problems to the geographer.
Comments were made along these lines in the Division's report for 1946. Discussed also were the desirability of producing a base map of the Province depicting in
broad lines the location and character of its resources, together with a series of 4-mile
quadrangle sheets showing the type of terrain, the various resources, and listing all
available reports and information. Each of these could be treated as an entity for
immediate use and eventually bound in the form of an atlas.
For the consideration of superior officers of the Department and the loyalty of the
staff, some of a personal nature, the writer is duly grateful. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE.
British Columbia (small) showing roads
Peace River _
Provincial Government Topographic Surveys
reproduced and printed in Ottawa under
the National Topographic Series.
40 mi. to 1 in.
3 mi. to 1 in.
3 mi. to 1 in.
3 mi. to 1 in.
4 mi. to 1 in.
3 mi. to 1 in.
2 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
Date of Issue.
In Course of Compilation.
4 mi. to 1 in.
4 mi. to 1 in.
3 mi. to 1 in.
3 mi. to 1 in.
2 mi. to 1 in.
2 mi. to 1 in.
2 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
1 mi. to 1 in.
Provincial Government Topographic Surveys
being reproduced and printed in Ottawa
under the National Topographic Series. tj 92 department of lands and forests.
Canadian Board on Geographical Names—Naming and recording.
Numberof map-sheets orcharts checked.
Geographical Work for other Departments and Public.
Map Stock and Distribution.
Map issues to departments and public .
Maps received into stock
Total value of printed maps issued
15,598 [ 20,973
12,453 | 20,800
$4,815.33 I $6,997.80
28,755 | 28,673
19,942 j 24,228
$10,207.89 | $9,935.33
Total number of photostats made
NOMINAL ROLL, 1949.
W. G. H. Firth, Chief of Division.
M. D. Browne, Junior Draughtsman.
R. S. Butt, Junior Draughtsman.
A. F. G. Gosse, Junior Draughtsman.
T. Hinton, Senior Draughtsman.
H. L. Hooper, Senior Draughtsman.
Miss L. I. Le Grys, Stenographer.
G. D. More, Junior Draughtsman.
Miss E. Rhodes, Clerk-Stenographer.
P. H. Salmond, Draughtsman.
L. G. Smith, Junior Draughtsman.
A. E. Stone, Junior Draughtsman.
W. W. Taylor, Junipr Draughtsman.
W. G. Thorpe, Senior Cartographer.
D. B. Young, Photostat Operator.
E. Browne, Technical Survey Assistant.
Dr. D. W. Kirk, Geographer.
S. Wright, Senior Draughtsman.
Base Maps, Computing Section.
W. H. Hutchinson, Mathematical Computor.
G. W. Barnes, Supervising Senior
E. J. Carter, Technical Survey Assistant.
R. C. Holden, Junior Draughtsman.
H. E. Walker, Junior Draughtsman.
P. E. Watson, Junior Draughtsman.
H. Pattinson, Senior Draughtsman. surveys and mapping service.
List of Lithographed Maps.
Title of Map.
Wall Map of British Columbia. In four sheets. Roads, trails,
British Columbia. In one sheet. Showing Land Recording
Kootenay, Osoyoos, and Similkameen (South-east B.C.)
Northern British Columbia, Special Mineralogical Data
British Columbia. In one sheet. Showing post offices, railways,
main roads, trails, parks, distance charts, etc
Ditto ditto and precipitation
Ditto ditto and Land Recording Districts
Ditto ditto and Mining Divisions
Ditto ditto and Assessment and Collection Districts
Ditto ditto and Electoral Districts, Redistribution 1938.
Ditto ditto and Land Registration Districts
Ditto ditto and Counties
Ditto ditto and Census Divisions
South Western Districts of B.C
Central British Columbia (contoured 1,000-ft. interval)
Southerly Vancouver Island
Northerly Vancouver Island
Bella Coola (preliminary)
Queen Charlotte Islands, Economic Geography (preliminary)
Stuart Lake (contoured)
Peace River (contoured)
Tete Jaune (preliminary)
North Thompson (contoured)
Grenville Channel (preliminary)
Nelson (contoured) ,
Upper Elk River
Kettle Valley (contoured)
East Lillooet (contoured) ,
Nicola Lake (contoured)
Lower Fraser Valley (preliminary)
Howe Sound-Burrard Inlet (contoured), South sheet (special)....
,, „ „ North sheet (special) ....
Stikine River (contoured) ,
Revelstoke-Golden (Big Bend-Columbia River) (contoured)
Mineral Reference Maps—Printed.
S'ocan and Ainsworth
Greenwood and Osoyoos
Barkerville and Lightning Creek
B.C. Road Map
B.C. Mining Divisions
Geographical Gazetteer of British Columbia
15.78 m. to 1 in.
55 m. to 1
7.89 m. to 1
15.78 m. to 1
27 m.to 1
31.56 m. to 1
27 m.to 1
27 m. to 1
27 m. to 1
27 m. to 1
27 m. to 1
27 m. to 1
27 m. to 1
7.89 m. to 1
15.78 m. to 1
4 m. to 1
4 m. to 1
4 m. to 1
4 m. to 1
4 m. to 1
3 m. to 1
3 m. to 1
3 m. to 1
3 m. to 1
4 m. to 1
3 m. to 1
3 m. to 1
3 m. to 1
3 m. to 1
3 m. to 1
3 m. to 1
3 m. to 1
2 m. to 1
2 m. to 1
2 m. to 1
2 m. to 1
2 m. to 1
2 m. tol
2 m. to 1
2 m. to 1
2 m. to 1
2 m. to 1
2 m. to 1
2 m. to 1
2 m. to 1
2 m. to 1
V2 m. to 1 in.
2/2 m. to 1 in.
5 m. to 1 in.
4 m. to 1 in.
1 m. to 1
1 m. to 1
1 m. to 1
1 m. to 1
1 m. to 1
1 m. to 1
1 m, to 1
40 m.to 1
50 m. to 1 in.
XV ^ .
m at j-
• fi O
" O eg
' Map Number " of map
* Out of print. t In course of compilation.
Provincial sales tax, 3 per cent, extra.
Note.—To avoid misunderstanding, applicants for maps are requested to state the
Maps listed above can be mounted to order in the following forms: Plain mounted; cut-to-fold;
bars top and bottom to hang, etc. Prices upon application.
We can supply information concerning maps of British Columbia printed and published at Ottawa by the
Department of Mines and Resources.
Unless otherwise requested, maps will be sent folded.
Inquiries for printed maps—Address :—
Chief Geographer, Department of Lands and Forests, Victoria, B.C. December 31st, 1949. U 94
department of lands and forests.
Index of Lithographed Maps.
M A P S
Pre-emptors Series —
Land Series —
Degree Series -•—•■•
scale of y,, i i 9 5P—m
BASE MAPS, COMPUTING SECTION.
W. H. Hutchinson, Mathematical Computer.
The work of this Section comes under four headings:—
(1) Calculation of positions and elevations of new triangulation stations from
surveyor's angular observations in the field.
(2) Adjustment of triangulation network between fixed control-points, and
adjoining nets with one another.
(3) Collection and indexing of all triangulation data covering the whole Province.
(4) Dissemination of triangulation control data, in response to requests. surveys and mapping service. tj 95
Final returns covering the following triangulation surveys, the field work for
which was undertaken in 1948, were completed:—
Topographic triangulation in the Chilliwack area by G. C. Emerson, B.C.L.S.,
Topographic triangulation in the Terrace area by A. H. Ralfs, B.C.L.S.
Geographic positions, bearings and distances, and elevations were determined for
each station, and the results recorded in the card-index.
Following the close of the 1949 field season, elevations and preliminary co-ordinates
were determined for all stations set by the topographic surveyors in the following
Bridge River area, by W. R. Young, B.C.L.S.
Campbell River area, by F. H. Nash, B.C.L.S.
Hazelton area, by G. C. Emerson, B.C.L.S., D.L.S.
Kitimat area, by E. R. McMinn.
Squamish area, by S. H. de Jong, B.C.L.S.
Sutil Channel and Johnstone Strait area, by A. Swannell.
In all, preliminary co-ordinates for 497 stations and 548 station elevations were
determined, the latter involving the adjustment of 3,848 difference-of-elevation calculations.
Least-square adjustments of the following networks were completed:—
Provincial Main net, Bridge River to Vancouver, using " True " bearings,
involving 70 triangles.
Canadian Hydrographic Survey net, Agamemnon Channel, using " True"
bearings, involving 28 triangles.
Canadian Hydrographic Survey net, Seechelt Inlet, using " True " bearings,
involving 38 triangles.
Provincial Coast Triangulation, Tribune Channel and Fife Sound, using
" Local Grid " bearings, involving 82 triangles.
Provincial Coast Triangulation, Havannah Channel and Call Creek, using
" Local Grid " bearings, involving 61 triangles.
Provincial Coast Triangulation, Douglas Channel, using " Local Grid " bearings, involving 28 triangles.
Provincial Coast Triangulation, Squally Channel, using " Local Grid " bearings, involving 34 triangles.
Provincial Coast Triangulation, Graham Reach, using " Local Grid " bearings,
involving 47 triangles.
Provincial Coast Triangulation, Cordero Channel, using " Local Grid " bearings, involving 64 triangles.
Provincial Coast Triangulation, Chatham Channel, using " Local Grid " bearings, involving 29 triangles.
Canadian Hydrographic Survey net, Howe Sound, using " Local Grid " bearings, involving 90 triangles.
All triangulation data relating to the Province are indexed under an alphabetical
card-index system, also under a quadrant-index system. In the alphabetical system
a card is written for each station, on which is recorded the following details, where
available: Names of surveyors occupying the station, with dates of occupation, and
the numbers of the field books and plans relating to same; description of mark; U 96
department of lands and forests.
description of access; latitude and longitude; elevation; distances and bearings to
adjoining stations; grid rectangular co-ordinates; ties to cadastral survey posts.
More than 14,000 such cards are on file at this date.
Under the quadrant system, a register, with pages for each quadrant of 30-minute
extent, lists all the stations contained in each individual quadrant. In this manner,
inquiries relating to triangulation in the Province can be attended to promptly.
Requests for Triangulation Control.
Requests for triangulation control have been received from all Provincial departments concerned with mapping, and the following Federal departments: Canadian
Hydrographic Survey at Victoria; Canadian Geodetic Survey at Ottawa; Canadian
Geological Survey at Ottawa; Canadian Topographical Survey at Ottawa; Department
of National Defence at Ottawa; and Dominion Public Works at New Westminster.
In addition, there have been requests from British Columbia land surveyors in
private practice and from private corporations and individuals. In all, 146 inquiries
were received and attended to, a notable increase from former years.
Two improvements in the technical methods used have been devised, the first of
which is considered of major importance.
By an alteration in the symbols denoting the " azimuth angles " in the azimuth
equation, it has been found possible to eliminate all the angle equations for the individual triangles, thereby greatly reducing the labour involved. This method applies
to least-square adjustments by the "Angle Method," where the individual triangles
have been closed before adjustment.
The other improvement relates to the adjustment of points fixed by resection
from more than three fixed stations.
The following table gives comparisons with the previous five-year period:—
Triangles adjusted by least-squares
Stations calculated from rectangular co-ordinates
Ties to cadastral surveys
Elevations of stations determined
Index cards, new
Index-cards, old (rewritten)
Index cards, total on file
Requests for control attended to
Standard base map, skeleton sheets compiled
LEGAL SURVEYS DIVISION.
F. O. Morris, Chief of Legal Surveys Division.
During the year this Division has carried on its duties, which are of a very diversified nature and which range all the way from the supplying of tracings of all newly
gazetted surveys to the Government Agents to the checking and plotting of all surveys
of Crown land, and from correspondence dealing with the request for an ozalid print to
the issuing of technical instructions for the survey and subdivision of all Crown-land
The correspondence handled by this Division continues at the same bigh level as
the last few years, as shown by the receipt of 9,315 letters and the sending out of 6,348,
together with the great amount of correspondence which can be handled by form letters. surveys and mapping service. TJ 97
All applications to purchase or lease Crown land, or to lease foreshore, are allowed
subject to instructions being issued to the surveyor employed by the applicant. The
issuing of these instructions by this Division entails numerous and exhaustive searches
of previous survey records, so as to be able to present to the surveyor all survey information of adjoining or near-by surveys.
It is necessary that returns, in the form of field-notes with plans, for any legal
survey of Crown lands be deposited in this Division. During the year, returns for such
surveys were received from fifty-five British Columbia land surveyors and consist of
(1) Surveys made at the instigation and expense of private individuals or
companies covering applications to purchase, leases of Crown land and
foreshore. These are indicative of the large amount of development being
carried on throughout the Province.
(2) Surveys made at the expense of and under Departmental instructions.
They cover surveys of Crown lands along the Alaska Highway which are
to be leased to applicants as service-stations and stopping-places along
that route, also certain sections of Crown land in the Peace River District
which have been found of the quality necessary for their development into
farm holdings and which are close enough to the present means of access
to make this development both desirable and economically possible.
(3) Surveys of fifty-four mineral claims.
The total number of field-notes received during the year consists of 343 field-books
and more than 100 plans.
These field-notes are all recorded and indexed and then are checked and plotted by
the draughtsmen, and official plans are prepared. It is these official plans which form
the basis of title to all lands within the Province.
The total number of field-notes now on record in the Legal Surveys Division is
approximately 90,000. These include the surveys made by the Royal Engineers and
date back to the early Colonial days.
The task of clearing and statusing all applications for land or foreshore which
belongs to the Crown is a very onerous and exacting duty. These applications are
passed to this Division from the Lands Branch, and an exhaustive status is made from
the reference maps, official plans, and Land Registry plans. For a combination of these
three sources, the standing of any particular piece of surveyed or unsurveyed Crown
land can be accurately determined.
The sale of all Crown timber which is disposed of through timber sales is made
only after a clearance is obtained from this Division.
This Division co-operates with other departments of the Government through
the preparation and checking of legal descriptions of municipalities, various districts,
and so forth.
A blue- and ozalid-printing plant is maintained, and, as will be seen by Table A, a
very large volume of work is turned out by this section. Not only are prints made for
all divisions of the Surveys and Mapping Service, but a service is rendered to many
other departments of the Government; a great amount of printing is done for the
architect's office (Public Works Department) and the Department of Education. As a
further service this Division has the equipment and material to prepare ozalid paper
and linen tracings, and this has been a boon in a great number of instances. During
the past year the Vancouver Land Registry Office took advantage of this process to have
800 of its registered plans, of which it had no duplicate tracings, sent to this office, and
duplicate linen tracings were prepared.
A further service is rendered to other departments and to the public through the
operation of a photostat machine. With this equipment all plans and documents which U 98
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Legal Surveys Division.
survey, Mile 461.
Surveys made by
P. N. Papove,
traversed by the
Surveys made by
A. H. Ralfs,
The Alaska Highway in the Rockies,
near summit at
Mile 394. Surveys
made by P. N.
'SHHk . SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 99
cannot be copied by the blue-print machine are satisfactorily handled. It is also possible with this machine to prepare enlargements or reductions of plans and documents.
Departmental Reference Maps.—In order to keep a proper graphic record of alienations, and inquiries, reference maps, generally on the scale of 1 inch to 1 mile and covering the whole of the Province, and mineral reference maps, on the scale of 1 inch to
1,500 feet, which cover the mineralized areas of the Province are maintained by this
Division. These maps are drawn on tracing-linen and prints of same are procurable by
the public. As applications to purchase or lease lands are received, notations are made
on the reference maps, and thus at any time an up-to-the-minute status can be given of
any particular piece of Crown land anywhere within the Province.
The work of keeping the reference maps up to date by adding new survey information as it becomes available and of renewing them when they become worn by constant
use and handling in the blue-print machines forms a considerable portion of the work
of the Division. During the year nine reference maps were recompiled. There are now
203 reference maps and 82 mineral reference maps, making a total of 285 maps.
During the year nearly 400 copies of Land Registry Office plans were added to the
records on file in this Division. These plans are carefully listed and are in constant use,
particularly in connection with the clearance and statusing of applications for lands
reverted to the Crown for non-payment of taxes.
Composite maps of Bowen Island and Sicamous, showing all subdivisions, travelled
roads, telephone-lines, etc., were compiled and made available during the year. These
are largely used by the various Government Agencies and the general public. Similar
plans of other localities are now being arranged for.
The legal surveys made at the expense of the Department during the year, and
referred to earlier, are more particularly outlined in the following:—
F. P. Burden, B.C.L.S., made two subdivision surveys, one at Cluculz Lake and the
other at Trapping Lake. These are intended as summer-home sites.
J. A. F. Campbell, B.C.L.S., completed a reposting survey of part of the Village of
Vanderhoof. This was carried out in conjunction with the village authorities.
H. A. Cornwall, B.C.L.S., surveyed two sites in the immediate vicinity of Kamloops,
one for park purposes and one for Forest Service use.
Duncan Cran, B.C.L.S., surveyed some twenty-four sections of Crown land in the
Clayhurst area of the Peace River District. Practically all these sections are now taken
up by lease or purchase under the " Land Act."
John Davidson, B.C.L.S., surveyed nine home-site leases in the vicinity of Mc-
Naughton (Middle) Point, situated south of Pender Harbour.
Fred Nash, B.C.L.S., laid out a planned resubdivision of Port Edward Townsite
into industrial sites and residential lots.
Two parties were in operation on the Alaska Highway during the year, one in
charge of A. H. Ralfs, B.C.L.S., of our staff, and the other in charge of W. N. Papove,
B.C.L.S., a surveyor in private practice. The work done extended between Mile 100 and
Mile 543 and consisted of the survey of some twenty-three lots covering maintenance
camps, gravel-pits, etc., for the North-west Highway System., twenty lots for lease
under the " Land Act," the survey of nearly 100 miles of highway, and the planting
of some 550 permanent survey monuments.
As the Alaska Highway survey is designed to act as control for future surveys
adjacent to it, therefore the instructions issued for their work call for a good order of
survey, in which all distances are checked and directions controlled by frequent astronomic observations. Furthermore, the survey is well marked on the ground by standard
survey posts and mounds, with concrete monuments at frequent intervals.
J. A. Rutherford, B.C.L.S., completed a reposting survey of the greater portion of
the Townsite of Telkwa. TJ 100 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
H. P. Rutter, B.C.L.S., a member of the staff, surveyed a number of small lots lying
within Lots 473 and 478, Cariboo District, near Tete Jaune, for home-site leases, and
also one lot in the vicinity of Valemont for use by the Forest Service.
A primary triangulation survey along a portion of Howe Sound and adjacent waters
was carried out by R. Thistlethwaite, B.C.L.S., some twenty stations being occupied and
established, and some thirty-four lot corners being tied in.
In accordance with Departmental policy of providing control for future cadastral
surveys along and adjacent to the highways of the Province, a survey of some 30 miles
of the Cariboo Highway in the vicinity of 70-Mile House was made in conjunction with
the Department of Public Works. The instructions issued for this survey included the
requirements of a highway right-of-way plan (for deposit in the Land Registry Office),
with added instructions for obtaining information desired by this Service. This work
was carried out by A. W. Wolfe-Milner, B.C.L.S., and J. H. Drewry, B.C.L.S.
Instructions were prepared for a number of miscellaneous surveys undertaken by
P. M. Monckton, B.C.L.S., on the staff of the Superintendent of Lands. These surveys
included two subdivision surveys at Lakelse Lake and resurveys of certain townsite
blocks at New Hazelton and at Houston.
R. E. Chapman, B.C.L.S., a member of the staff, in addition to his office duties of
examining and checking survey returns, including field-notes and plans, carried out a
number of survey inspections on the ground, a subdivision resurvey at West Quesnel,
and a traverse survey of some 30 miles along roads and trails on Bowen Island in connection with a composite map of said island.
W. A. Taylor, B.C.L.S., who joined the staff in June, surveyed a park area for the
Forest Service near Cathedral Grove on the south side of Cameron Lake, and also
carried out a survey of Crown lands on Nelson Island consisting of some nine home-site
lots and three lots resurveyed.
Renewal of Survey Monuments.—During the year surveyors employed on Government and private surveys, and also surveyors attached to this Division, have relocated
and definitely re-established numerous old survey monuments. Under the Regulations
regarding Permanent Survey Monuments—namely, section 7 of the " Land Act," chapter 49, British Columbia Statutes of 1947, authority has been given for the renewal of
ninety-three permanent survey monuments by either standard pipe post or standard
R. W. Thorpe, B.C.L.S., recently joined our staff and is engaged in examining the
large amount of plans and field-notes now being received, and will also be used in our
Survey Fees, Sales of Maps, etc.
Collections under " Land Act." Total Collections.
Survey fees $4,002.99
Lithographed maps 3,498.33
Air photos 2,749.76
Totals $32,394.32 surveys and mapping service.
Survey Fees, Sales of Maps, etc., for Ten-year Period 1940-49, inclusive.
1940 ■ $10,372.97
Ten-year average, $21,182.22.
Attached hereto are Tables A, B, and C. Table A summarizes the main items of
work carried out by the general staff, while Tables B and C give a list of present reference maps.
PERSONNEL OF LEGAL SURVEYS DIVISION, 1949.
F. O. Morris, Chief of Division.
A. J. Baker, Senior Draughtsman.
J. Callan, Acting Technical Survey Assistant.
M. Chandler, Senior Draughtsman.
R. E. Chapman, Land Surveyor.
S. L. Clarke, Senior Draughtsman.
J. Edward, Supervising Draughtsman.
C. Green, Intermediate Clerk—Grade 1.
J. Gulliver, Intermediate Clerk—Grade 1.
C. Hume, Junior Draughtsman.
T. A. Jacklin, Blue-print Operator.
R. A. Jefferson, Blue-printer's Assistant.
P. Leacock, Draughtsman.
J. Macallan, Supervising Draughtsman.
T. Moore, Junior Draughtsman.
C. T. V. Morley, Senior Draughtsman.
L. McBratney, Junior Draughtsman.
D. A. McGee, Junior Draughtsman.
Mrs. P. Newburg, Stenographer.
D. Pearmain, Chief Draughtsman.
D. S. Prezeau, Blue-printer's Assistant.
A. H. Ralfs, Land Surveyor.
Miss S. Roissetter, Stenographer—Grade 1.
H. P. Rutter, Technical Draughtsman.
J. R. Stone, Senior Draughtsman.
D. Stuart, Senior Draughtsman.
W. A. Taylor, Land Surveyor.
R. W. Thorpe, Land Surveyor.
C. R. Vater, Blue-printer's Assistant. U 102
department of lands and forests.
Table A.—Summary of Office Work for the
Years 1948 and 1949,
Number of field-books received
mineral-claim field-books prepared ._
reference maps compiled
applications for purchase cleared
applications for pre-emption cleared
applications for lease cleared
coal licences cleared
water licences cleared .
timber sales cleared
free-use permits cleared
hand-loggers' licences cleared
Crown-grant applications cleared _____
placer-mining leases plotted on maps
letters sent out
Crown-grant and lease tracings made
miscellaneous tracings made
Government Agents' tracings made___
Revenue received from sale of blue-prints
Number of documents consulted and filed in vault
* Total value. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 103
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^iH iHiHiHiHiHtHtHiHiHiHC3tMCN"(M(MCO y-l —i —i -__i__j_i TJ 104 DEPARTMENT OP LANDS AND FORESTS.
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DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
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CD CD 139° 138° 137° 136° 135° 134° 133° 132° 131° 130° 129° 128° 127° 126° 125° 124° 123°
121° 120° 119° 118° 117° 116° 115° 114° 113°
*B.C. Provincial Government Surveys
Photo-topographic with Triangulation Control
1949 Field Work.
tDominion Government Surveys
Department of National Defence
Scale of miles
December 31 st, 1 949
To accqmpany Report of Director of Surveys and Mapping,
Department of Lands and Forests
December 3 1 st, 1949
129°LongiLudel28° West 127° from 126°Greenwichl25°
Geographic Din 139° 138° 137° 136° 135° 134° 133° 132° 131° 13Q° 129° 128° 127° 126° 125° 124° 123° 122° 121° 120° 119° 118° 117° 116° 115° 114° 113°
Geodetic Survey of Canada (Basic Control)
Dominion Geological, Topographical,
and Public Works Surveys
Provincial—Other than Standard
solid line Purple
dotted line Purple
The standard type of Provincial triangulation meets the following requirements:—
Network of quadrilaterals or polygons with all angles read.
All angles read to the nearest second of arc.
Maximum closing error for each triangle, 10 seconds.
All stations marked by brass bolts or iron posts.
Distance and azimuth derived from Geodetic Survey Basic Control wherever available.
Only the main framework of triangulation is shown on this map; numerous additional
stations have been established, many of which are marked by brass bolts, iron posts, or cairns.
Details concerning each station are recorded in a card-index, giving marking, geographical
Cr° position, elevation, distances and directions to adjacent stations, etc.
There were more than fourteen thousand cards on file at the end of 1 949
Triangulation surveys of all the principal coastal waterways have been made, either by
Provincial or Canadian Hydrographic surveys. These are not shown on this map on account of
its small scale.
TRIANGULATION CONTROL SURVEYS
DEPARTMENT of LANDS and FORESTS
Honourable E. T. Kenney, Minister
Scale of miles
December 31st, 1949
To accompany Report of Director of Surveys and Mapping,
Department of Lands and Forests
December 31 st, 1 949
129°Longitudel28° West 127° from 126°Greenwich1250
Geographic Din SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 107
A. G. Slocomb, B.C.L.S., Chief, Topographic Division.
In line with the policy of expansion instigated three years ago, this Division continues to grow, the main deterrent to completion of personnel strength being the lack of
trained senior men. This situation will eventually right itself, as this coming April
four members of our staff write their final examination for a British Columbia land
surveyor's commission. Nine will sit for the preliminary and six more are at present
articled. Weekly classes are being held for the articled pupils, each surveyor coaching
in a special subject. There is no lack of suitable junior material. The Division should
number forty-two by 1950, and it is felt that this number will eventually provide the
technical personnel necessary to fulfil a maximum effort.
It is becoming increasingly imperative that we turn our attention more to the
necessity for modern mechanical plotting equipment. While men with lighter instruments and the modern mode of transportation have increased the amount of field work
possible, our office procedure has changed very little and our equipment none at all in
the same period. Mechanical plotters reduce the number of operations necessary to a
minimum, hence greatly increasing production, besides eliminating a lot of the drudgery
of plotting. During 1949 the change over to the slotted-templet method of obtaining
photo centres was kept in mind during the field season; control was obtained to facilitate this method. With the advent of the Kelsh plotter, the Multiplex and the Andrews
plotter in 1950, and the reaching of personnel strength, this Division should then be a
first-class operating unit capable of producing sufficient maps to meet at least the inter-
Departmental demand and in time obtain the complete coverage of British Columbia.
Six field parties commenced operations this year in May, an early start being
possible in most sections because the weather was good during the spring. The two
exceptions were the Bridge River and Kitimat operations, where deep snow and rainstorms combined to hinder the survey. W. R. Young, B.C.L.S., was in charge of the
Bridge River section; G. C. Emerson, B.C.L.S., D.L.S., the Kispiox Valley; and D. J.
Roy, B.Sc, continued last year's operation in the vicinity of Prince George. In addition, three of the chiefs of party were making their debut—F. H. Nash, B.C.L.S., Say-
ward District; A. P. Swannell, with the motor-launch " B.C. Surveyor," adjoining him
to the east along Johnstone Strait and Discovery Channel; and E. R. McMinn, B.A.,
vicinity Kitimat River, south of the previous season's survey. The personnel for each
party follows the general pattern of: Chief of party, an assistant, an instrument-man
and a junior assistant, four or five helpers, and a cook, the first four being staff members and the balance seasonal help. Additional help this year was obtained from the
Army Survey Establishment, Ottawa. They supplied four sergeants and sixteen men,
with four Dodge power-wagons. The area controlled totalled 4,765 square miles and is
more than double that obtained last year. Thirteen map-sheets and parts of two others
represent the coverage on the National Topographic Series.
The largest contribution to the increase was made in the Kispiox sector, where a
helicopter was used for transportation for approximately seven weeks. Using the helicopter for only part of the season necessitated the use of pack-horses besides. Despite
tjiis, the cost per square mile of the area was one of the lowest of the six. A point of
fnote was that the average cost per square mile this year was slightly lower than the
field cost submitted to the Rowell Commission in 1938, the answer being the increased
area covered due to better transportation, namely, helicopter and the motor-launch
" B.C. Surveyor."
It was definitely proven this year that the helicopter is the ideal method for transporting men and equipment to and from fly camps. The experience gained would tend
to show that special equipment is necessary in an undertaking of this sort, weight being
one of the governing factors when a helicopter is making a mountain landing. In this U 108
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
The old: Fly camp close to timber-line; everything back-packed.
The new: Fly camp 1,000 feet above timber-line established by helicopter.
Note tent-poles and blocks of wood. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE.
regard we now have nine of the new topographic film cameras, which were used in this
year's helicopter operation and worked perfectly. The use of lighter transits would
help, and with this in mind a Kern DKM 1 model has been purchased, and more are
contemplated when they become available. The weight of this instrument and legs
combined is 14 lb., less than half of that of our present equipment.
With a helicopter fly camp only two men are necessary, but they have to be self-
sufficient. Often they land above timber-line, where no fuel or tent-poles are available;
therefore, a Coleman stove and aluminium poles for their tents are necessities. A light
radio capable of bridging 20 miles or more under all but the most severe disturbances
is a must. Keeping the different instrument-men in position to work at all times is
what makes the helicopter so effective. To do this the chief must know the progress of
his various instrument parties, and, in addition, a check should be kept continuously
while the helicopter is in the air, in case of mishap.
The draughting section of this Division has been under strength for many years;
consequently, they have always had a backlog of work. Under the guidance of A. S.
Thomson, chief draughtsman, this section is gradually catching up, with ten completed
manuscripts forwarded to Ottawa for printing this year. The use of metal-backed
sheets has proven successful, and they are now in exclusive use for the final manuscript.
A photo lettering-machine is in the course of construction and, when completed, should
eliminate a lot of the hand-lettering, which requires many years of experience and consumes a lot of time.
A special survey was made in the immediate vicinity of Squamish, under S. H.
de Jong, B.C.L.S., D.L.S. The resulting map will show a contour interval of 20 feet to
the 500-foot level east of Squamish River and to the 300-foot contour west of the river.
The Air Survey Division is doing most of the office work.
A detailed report from each chief of party follows.
PERSONNEL OF TOPOGRAPHIC DIVISION, 1949.
A. G. Slocomb, Chief, Topographic Division.
D. G. Alexander, Technical Survey Assis
G. L. Alston-Stewart, Technical Survey
J. A. Cambrey, Technical Survey Assistant (2).
G. Castle, Junior Draughtsman.
J. A. Church, Junior Draughtsman.
H. T. Cole, Technical Survey Assistant (1).
J. E. Curtis, Technical Survey Assistant (2).
W. Davenport, Launch Captain.
G. Duncan, Technical Survey Assistant (1)
G. C. Emerson, Topographic Surveyor (3).
H. G. Galvin, Draughtsman.
C. H. Gibson, Junior Draughtsman.
V. C. Goudal, Junior Draughtsman.
E. J., Gray, Instrument Mechanic.
C. R. Irving, Junior Draughtsman.
G. J. Jackson, Surveyor.
J. A. Jones, Technical Survey Assistant (1)
R. P. Justice, Technical Survey Assistant (2).
C. R. W. Leak, Senior Draughtsman.
J. W. P. Matthews, Technical Survey
B. Morrison, Technical Survey Assistant (1)
G. E. McLaren, Junior Draughtsman.
F. H. Nash, Topographic Surveyor (2).
F. W. Rich, Senior Draughtsman.
R. R. Ridley, Junior Draughtsman.
H. W. Ridley, Technical Survey Assistant (2).
W. S. Robinson, Technical Survey Assistant
D. J. Roy, Topographic Surveyor (2)
F. C. Smith, Junior Draughtsman.
F. 0. Speed, Technical Survey Assistant (1).
A. F. Swannell, Senior Draughtsman.
A. S. Thomson, Chief Draughtsman.
J. M. C. Wade, Technical Survey Assistant (2).
J. M. Waldie, Typist.
W. R. Young, Topographic Surveyor (3). U 110
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 111
TOPOGRAPHIC SURVEY OF BRIDGE RIVER AREA.
W. R. Young, B.C.L.S.
The following is a report on the field work in the Bridge River area carried out
during 1949 under instructions from the Director of Surveys and Mapping.
These instructions were, specifically, to carry out a topographic survey which
would provide ground control for air photographs, sufficient to produce an accurate
map on a scale of one-half mile to 1 inch, with contours at 100-foot intervals, covering
the west half of Map-sheet 92-J/15, the completion of the east half of Map-sheet
92-J/15 (uncompleted last year), and the east half of Map-sheet 92-J/16, also all of
Map-sheet 92-0/1. These areas are outlined on Fig. 1.
Due to several contributing factors, chiefly the extremely rugged and broken
nature of the country and the weather, which was very bad on the whole, Map-sheet
92-0/1 was not attempted this year. The balance of the area, however, comprising
some 450 square miles, was completed in full.
The party, consisting of six initially, left Victoria on May 25th and organized in
the neighbourhood of Minto mine on May 27th. It was thought that this arrangement
would give us time to complete low work in the valley-bottom before the horses arrived.
On their arrival it was thought the snow would have melted sufficiently to allow work
to be carried out up high and to allow growth of feed. Actually, it was the middle
of June before high work could be attempted properly, and horse-feed was very scarce
for a long time after that.
The weather broke about July'15th, and only odd days were suitable for work
from then until the end of August, when the party moved to the vicinity of Moha on
the Yalakom River. September was a good month, fortunately, for that part of the
country, and the east half of Map-sheet 92-J/16 was just completed before the weather
broke completely .
During the season a distance of 3,244 miles was travelled by truck, including the
trip to and from the area; 1,114 miles was travelled by pack-horse, also including the
trip to and from Williams Lake; and 537 miles travelled on foot.
Fifty-three stations were occupied during the season, and 33 dozen ground views
taken. Eight main triangulation stations were occupied. Four tie stations and eight
posts were tied in, and as five of them were surveys under the " Land Act," they were
replaced by permanent monuments. Seventeen of the camera stations were permanently marked by rock posts.
For convenience the area is divided into the east half, comprising the east half of
Map-sheet 92-J/16, and the west half, comprising the west half of Map-sheet 92-J/15,
together with the uncompleted part of last year's area.
The west half is, on the whole, very rugged and broken, with many peaks between
8,500 and 9,500 feet altitude. Bridge River splits the area and has an elevation of
roughly 2,100 to 2,300 feet. It is joined, all within a few miles, by its main tributaries
—Cadwallader Creek, Hurley River, Fergusson Creek, and Gun Creek. The latter ,is
joined shortly before its confluence with the Bridge by Leckie Creek and Slim Creek.
All these tributaries lie in steep, narrow valleys. The area is thus broken up
into many high ridges, the differences in elevation between the valley-floors and the
mountain-tops being up to 7,000 feet. Minor creeks carry off considerable quantities
of water all year and, for the most part, lie in narrow hanging valleys, fed by the
numerous snowfields and small glaciers at the higher levels.
Gun Lake and Tyaughton Lake, the two largest lakes in the west half, are about
4 and 2 miles long respectively. Though separated from each other by the valley of U 112
department of lands and forests.
Bridge River Area.
Mount McLean, northwest of Lillooet. An alpine
lake in foreground.
." '■■ •<•'„•- '.;' :" ; '•:..* \'[ ■■>
Survey crew crossing
bridge at Pioneer mine
dam, Hurley River.
Sloane Peak, from near
Green Mountain lookout. surveys and mapping service. TJ 113
Gun Creek, they lie on benches approximately 700 to 1,000 feet above the river-valley,
in what, according to an early geological report, is an old level of the river which has
been cut through by Gun Creek.
Truax, Williams, Bobb, and Dickson are the only named peaks in the area that are
over 9,000 feet. There are many more, however, that are either just under or over 9,000
feet, but as yet not named. All of them, with the exception of Mount Dickson, are
part of the Bendor Range, which lies roughly east and west between the Bridge River
and the Valley formed by Upper Cadwallader Creek and McGillivray Creek. Whitecap
Mountain, mentioned in last year's Report, is the highest in the range, being 9,552 feet.
In the east half the mountains are, on the average, very much lower than the
Bendor Mountains, though the country is just as broken. This area comprises, in the
main, the southerly part of the Camelsfoot Range, which lies between the Fraser River
and the Lower Bridge River, and extends part way up the Yalakom River, and south
to near the summit of the Mission Ridge, a high mountain mass separating the Lower
Bridge River from the valley of Seton Lake.
The Camelsfoot Range averages about 6,000 feet, the highest peak in the part
covered this year being just under 7,500 feet. Strangely, most of the peaks are within
100 feet or so of the same height, just under 7,000 feet.
On the slopes falling toward the Fraser River there are some larger creeks, Leon
being probably the largest, but on these slopes the fall to the river is not so steep
and the ridges are much farther back from the river.
The main route into the westerly area is by the main Bridge River Road from
Shalalth, over Mission Mountain, thence up along the river to Minto mine, the first
centre within the area. The main road continues almost through the middle of the
area to Gold Bridge, Brexton, Bralorne, and Pioneer, and on up Cadwallader Creek.
This year it was passable for trucks almost to Piebiter Creek. Branch roads lead off
in various places and proved very useful in carrying on our work.
There are many trails in this area, in varying states of repair. One of the best
and most used is the Gun Creek Trail, which follows on from the end of the Gun
Creek and leads over Warner Pass to the Taseko River country.
In the east half the main route of access is the road from Lillooet, which leads up
the Bridge River to the Yalakom junction and then on up the Yalakom to the Blue
Creek mine. Though this road is in good condition, it is narrow and, having very
little surfacing material, becomes rather treacherous in wet weather. It has no branch
roads of consequence; only one or two short spurs leading to private property.
This area at one time was well covered with excellent pack-trails, but unfortunately they have not been kept open. A great many have become almost obliterated
and are quite impassable for pack-horses.
That the west half is undoubtedly one of the most heavily mineralized areas in
British Columbia is evidenced by the presence of both the Pioneer and Bralorne mines
and many others which, while of lesser importance at present, may at any time develop
into rich mines of the future. The whole area is still being extensively prospected, and
the same applies to that part of the east half west of the Bridge River. East of the river,
however, the country differs in formation considerably, and there has not been anything
like the same interest shown by prospectors. This may be due to the fact that the
hills are, on the average, lower, with a heavier forest-cover, and there is a consequent
increase in the amount of overburden, with fewer outcrops. The area, as a whole, seems
to be generally covered with a fairly heavy layer of volcanic ash or pumice. The writer
■ TJ H4 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
could not attempt to adequately report on the mineral occurrences in the area or the
geological structure, the reader therefore being referred to the Dominion Geological
Survey, Memoir 213, " Geology and Mineral Deposits of the Bridge River Mining
Camp," by C. E. Cairnes. This memoir covers very thoroughly the mining activity in
this area as it existed in the mid 1930's, and an annotated bibliography gives references
from which the early history of the mines and prospecting in both halves may be
As far as merchantable timber is concerned, the valley of the main Bridge River,
at least within both areas mapped this year, is within a few years of being logged out.
It is true that there have been several quite good, though small, stands of mixed Douglas
fir and Western yellow pine on the lower slopes, but cutting has been going on for
a good many years, so that the stands are greatly depleted, with no appreciable amount
of reproduction noticeable.
Some good spruce grows in the valley of the Lower Hurley River, and spruce is
also evident on many of the slopes, with a scattering of balsam of equal size. Some
scattered cedar in the valleys of Bobb and Tommy Creeks was the only cedar that we
noticed in the whole area. Jack pine, or lodgepole pine, is by far the most common
growth throughout, and covers most of the slopes from the valley-floor to very near
timber-line. There it gives way to alpine spruce and balsam, with occasional stunted
Poplar grows on the slopes and on the flats, usually scattered through the other
growth, but sometimes in stands of several acres in extent. Often it replaces fir or
pine after a fire. Some large cottonwoods grow along the river-bottoms, and birch is
occasionally seen near creeks on the slopes. Broad-leaf and red willow abound where
there is sufficient moisture. ,
Undergrowth is not heavy as a rule, but the usual shrubs and bushes are found
in varying densities. Soapberry is almost everywhere, and buckbrush on the higher
slopes; Saskatoon berries are quite thick in places, but blueberries and huckleberries
are not at all plentiful. On the drier slopes a variety of laurel, not identified by name,
forms a very thick cover, sometimes of quite large extent.
The east half differs somewhat in forest-cover, having much more of the dry-belt
type of growth. The same varieties of trees are found, but there is a much higher
percentage of yellow pine than is usual to the West. Some good fir is found on the
lower levels and also scattered among the yellow pine on the slopes up to sometimes
over 5,000 feet. Above 5,000 feet the growth is much the same as anywhere else at
similar altitude, but below that the undergrowth differs greatly in parts. On the
benches above the rivers and on lower slopes it is very sparse, compared with areas
of more surface moisture, and consists of sage-brush, tumbling mustard, and scattered
sumac, with occasional mountain-ash.
Regarding game, I can only speak from the experience of our party as a whole,
and we concluded that it was being depleted at an alarming rate, particularly the deer.
The number of these has decreased amazingly since 1947, while the mountain sheep
and goats have also decreased, though perhaps not to the same degree. We did see
signs of grizzly bears at various times, but none was sighted; they are known, however, to be fairly plentiful in some parts of the Bendor Mountains, particularly in the
vicinity of Keary Lake.
Black and brown bears were the only species of wild game that were without doubt
on the increase; in fact, I have seldom, if ever, been in an area where bears were so
plentiful and so much of a nuisance. We were continually having our meat and bacon SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 115
stolen and the meat-safe destroyed. In fact, their ingenuity in methods of thievery
proved greater than ours in methods of prevention. In spite of the fact that we shot
eight, they continued their visits, and in one camp damaged two tents beyond repair.
Coyotes, wolves, and cougar were reported to be increasing in numbers, though
only coyotes were seen by members of the party, and, of course, not enough of them
to judge their total number in the district. A fair number of Canada geese evidently
nested in the Bridge River valley this summer. We saw groups of five to ten in
various sloughs along the valley during the time we were there. Also, there were
a good number of mallard ducks, and mergansers, and a few canvasbacks and pairs of
loons on nearly all lakes, no matter how small.
Grouse did not seem to be very plentiful in the west-half area, though the shooting
season was open for them there, after being closed for some years. In the east half,
however, they were quite plentiful; blue grouse particularly so in the higher altitudes,
as well as some pintail grouse and a fair number of fool-hens. Willow grouse along
the creeks were also quite plentiful in some parts. There were not as many ptarmigan
this year as there have been at other times.
No fishing was done by any members of the party, but there is good fishing to be
had in many parts of the area. It is known to be good in Spruce Lake, Gun Lake, Little
Gun Lake, Tyaughton Lake, and Tyaughton Creek, and is said to be good at times in
the Hurley River, the Yalakom River, and in some of the small lakes on the north-east
slopes of the Shulaps Mountains. Bobb Lake is also said to be good fishing at times.
Settlement and Industry.
This heading, with regard to the west-half area, has been covered quite fully in
the writer's report for 1948, and perhaps even more fully by the Geological Survey
Memoir No. 213 and the reports of other surveyors in this area. It will, for that reason,
be dealt with rather briefly here.
The Bridge River was discovered first in the year 1858. Soon afterwards it was
prospected for placer gold, with varying success, almost to its headwaters. In 1863
John Cadwallader, of Lillooet, led an expedition to the Upper Bridge River, and his
name was later given to the creek flowing past the present sites of Pioneer and Bralorne.
Then in 1865 a Government-financed expedition under Andrew T. Jamieson reported
promising quartz outcrops at various places in the valley.
In 1897 both the Pioneer and Lome groups were staked, and from that time on
mining activity has almost steadily increased, the period of the early 1930's being one
of intense interest, particularly in new staking and prospecting. In 1934, according
to a geological report, the Pioneer mine produced some 86,000 oz. of gold worth
$2,400,000, the biggest producing mine in British Columbia that year.
In the late 1920's the British Columbia Electric Railway Company commenced
work on a power project that was only partly completed at the time but has been
renewed during the last few years. A large diversion dam has been built just above
the Bridge River canyon, and a tunnel which was built through Mission Mountain at
the time of the first construction is now supplying water to a power-house at Shalalth.
The British Columbia Electric Railway Company is also building a large storage dam
at Lajoie Falls, on the Upper Bridge River, just above the junction of the Hurley River.
This dam is nearly completed in its first phase, and it is proposed to increase its height
at some later date and make the storage reservoir even bigger.
As was mentioned in the Report for 1948, a lumber company is operating a sawmill just off the Tyaughton Lake Road, on the bench above the Bridge River. This
year they were logging on the slopes above Gun Creek, near where Pearson Creek
TJ 116 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
There are two lodges on Tyaughton Lake and one on Gun Lake. Another on
Little Gun Lake was closed this year, and a lodge on Macdonald Lake also was closed
this year. There are several registered guides in the district who take out hunting
parties. Several freighting companies operate in the valley. Power and light is
supplied by the British Columbia Electric Company, and the valley is served by both
the British Columbia Telephone Company and Government Telephone and Telegraph
In the east half there is comparatively little development, though it was the scene
of much placer-mining activity years ago, and ranches have been taken up for a great
many years. There are still several ranches occupied, and the climate is suitable for
growing most fruits. Tomatoes are grown to quite a large extent where irrigation
can be practised.
A large part of the Lower Bridge River valley is covered by Indian reserve, and
some of the Indians have trap-lines, while others are ranchers. One has been operating a small sawmill near Moha, cutting yellow pine and some fir, and doing quite well.
TOPOGRAPHIC SURVEY OF KISPIOX VALLEY.
G. C. Emerson, B.C.L.S., D.L.S.
Under instructions from the Director of Surveys and Mapping the field control
for a topographic map of the Kispiox Valley was completed. The party left Victoria
on May 16th for the area and returned on September 26th.
For transportation we used trucks and a helicopter (see Appendix A). A pack-
train was hired locally and consisted of eight horses. The helicopter was the only
means used to move crews to and from fly camps, with the exception of the Rocher
Deboule Range, which we climbed on foot.
In-all, approximately 1,720 square miles (1,700 miles being five map-sheets) were
controlled and photographed, being the whole of Map-sheets 93-M/5, 93-M/12, and
103-P/9 and parts of Map-sheets 93-M/4, 93-M/13, 103-P/8, 103-P/10, 103-P/15, and
103-P/16. This includes the whole of the Kispiox Valley and adjacent mountains from
Hazelton to Swan Lake (Brown Bear).
One hundred and thirty-two stations were occupied, which includes 116 photographic stations, 10 traverse control stations, and 6 cadastral tie stations. In addition,
50 miles of traverse for photographic control was run. Elevations for these stations
were derived from two geodetic stations and one bench-mark on the Canadian National
The weather during May, June, and July was very poor and left only a few days
when we were able to work. It continued poor until the middle of August, at which
time good conditions were experienced for a period of thirty days. During one
eleven-day period sixty stations were occupied, using the helicopter for transportation.
The helicopter proved very successful, and on one day, with three crews working,
eight stations were completed and twenty-nine mountain landings were made with the
Three main points of historical interest are centred around this area. The first
two are the telegraph-lines, Collin's Overland and Dominion Government, while the
third is the Tsimpsean and Carrier Indians.
In 1860 an ambitious promoter named Collin approached the United States
Government with a scheme to bridge the gap between Europe, Asia, and North America
by a telegraph-line. After several unsuccessful attempts he finally procured funds,
and in 1864 the machinery was set in motion for the construction of this line. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE.
Col. Charles S. Bulkley, of the United States Army, was appointed engineer-in-
chief of this project, which was divided into three sections (Siberia, Alaska, and
Canada). Capt. Edmund Conway was in charge of the Canadian section.
This line was started near Vancouver about 1865 and was put into operation as far
as Fort Stager (Kispiox Village) by the fall of 1866. Advance crews in the same year
had this line partly constructed about 50 miles north of this fort, but it was never put
into operation beyond this point, for, with the Atlantic cable being successfully operated
during that summer, all work ceased early in October. When the crews abandoned this
line, they left all their food and equipment, much to the satisfaction of the pioneers and
Indians that followed after them. From the best evidence available this season, the
most northerly cabin of the construction gang was built about one-quarter of a mile
below the junction of the Se-Wedin (Sweetin) and Kispiox Rivers.
The Dominion Government line was undertaken to pacify the pioneers and Royal
Northwest Mounted Police in the Yukon Territory. This line followed Collin's route
up to Hazelton, at which point the construction was completed by 1899. From Hazelton
to Telegraph Creek the line was difficult to construct, due to heavy underbrush, poor -
TJ 118 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
trails, and little or no horse-feed. Construction was eventually started from both of
these villages, and the Hazelton group commenced operations in 1900 with Simon
Gunanoot (who later became famous when he shot and killed two white men and evaded
the police for fourteen years) as guide and George Biernes as head packer. During
the summer of 1900 the two converging parties met between the sixth and seventh
cabins, and the gangs were dismissed.
For two years this line was kept busy day and night, but gradually business fell
off, until to-day it is completely abandoned. At present it is used for telephones about
25 miles up the Kispiox to the old home ranch of George Biernes.
As the Indians constitute about 80 per cent, of the population of this area and
provide the remaining white population with three-quarters of their annual revenue,
a brief history is justifiable.
With the exception of the people at Hagwilget, these Indians are Gitkans of the
Tsimpsean group, consisting of seven tribes, all of which are either in the area surveyed
or on the immediate outskirts. These tribes (Kitwanga, Gitwinlkul, Kispayaks,
Gitsegyukla, Gitenmaks, Qualdo, and Kisgagas) are well noted for their totem-poles
and possess the only collection that stands fairly well intact in British Columbia to-day.
The Hagwilget Indians, 4 miles east of Hazelton, are Carriers and to-day can only
converse with the Gitkans in English. The most westerly tribe of the Carriers at one
time was at Moricetown. Upon investigation this tribe found a large fallen rock
(English for " rocher deboule," from which the mountain derives its name) blocking
the channel at Hagwilget. These Indians blamed the Gitenmaks (Hazelton) for this
stoppage and seized the canyon, which they still hold.
Early custom of these people for the disposal of their dead was cremation, and
this practice continued until 1834, when a native Carrier interpreter of the Hudson's
Bay Company was buried. To-day each Indian village has a cemetery in which each
grave is covered by an ornate house.
In early days the Indians relied upon the salmon and big game for the majority
of their food. Each year they would trade furs for eulachan grease with the people
of the Nass River. To-day these Indians follow very much the same practices as their
ancestors. During the summer, when the salmon are running, hundreds of fish are
speared, netted, and gaffed in the river canyons and can be seen and smelled drying
on racks by the villages. The village to-day consists of approximately thirty log and
frame houses, for the most part poorly constructed. Some of the buildings at Kisgagas,
which lies on the Babine 47 miles by pack-trail from Hazelton, are made of 12-inch
shiplap lumber and have full-sized windows.
Hazelton, with a population of 800, is the largest white settlement of this area and
is situated at the junction of the Skeena and Bulkley Rivers.
The Skeena River and its tributaries drain the majority of this area. The most
important of these tributaries is the Kispiox, which has its source near Swan (Brown
Bear) Lake and joins the Skeena 4 miles north of Hazelton.
Near the source of the Kispiox the valley is comparatively flat and dotted with
hundreds of lakes varying in size up to 5 miles in length. This flat is interrupted by
finger-like ridges running in a south-easterly direction, which have been formed by
a large glacier flowing in from the north-west. These ridges are very tiresome to
traverse, as they often represent changes of 200 feet in elevation.
The channels of the rivers are very narrow and in numerous cases dotted with
rocks, making navigation treacherous. A fall of 15 feet per mile is normal for these
rivers, and they are very difficult to cross even in extreme low water.
The mountains on either side of the rivers rise sharply to a maximum height of
8,200 feet. The peaks to the west and north of the Kispiox are well rounded with SURVEYS and mapping SERVICE. U 119
sharp tops, while those to the south and east of the Skeena are very jagged and
difficult to climb.
Geology and Mineralogy.
With the exception of Rocher Deboule, the mountains in this area are probably of
the Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous ages, with greywacke, shale, conglomerate,
argillite, tuff, quartzite, hornfels, and coal the basic construction. Below 3,000 feet
the whole area is covered with a heavy drift, making classification impossible. Rocher
Deboule is primarily of the Lower Cretaceous age, being composed of andesitic, dacitic,
rhyolitic, and basaltic flows, tuff and breccias, minor sandstones, shale, and conglomerate.
Rocher Deboule, Red Rose, Black Prince, and Silver Standard were all productive
mines during the last war. Numerous other discoveries have been made, particularly
on Rocher Deboule Mountain, but were not mined because of lack of capital. Although
minerals are present in sufficient quantities, the cost of mining and transportation
to railways is prohibitive. The Rocher Deboule, Red Rose, and Black Prince mines had
shafts well above timber-line and produced copper, silver, gold, and tungsten (see
Memoir 110 and Hazelton Geological Sheet, Department of Mines and Resources,
The majority of the area is covered with a dense stand of spruce, lodgepole pine,
cedar, poplar, and cottonwood. The cottonwood-trees usually grow individually along
the river and are seen up to 6 feet in diameter. The underbrush is extremely heavy
throughout and consists of hazel, willow, and rose-bushes intertwined in equal proportions. At Hazelton these bushes are short, but as one progresses north the height and
density increases until at Swan Lake they reach 9 and 10 feet. From the headwaters
of the Kispiox southerly for 50 miles all the open ground is covered with a thick stand
of fireweed, wild parsnip, and fern. At the Mangeese and Se-Wedin Rivers this reaches
a uniform height of 6 feet. When a horse and rider are moving along through this
vegetation, the horse is invisible. In the trees the devil's-club takes possession and
often forms a solid mass of overlapping leaves 4 feet from the ground.
Bald eagles, willow grouse, blue jays, whistlers, black bear, wolves, and mice are
plentiful, but other animals and birds are scarce. Only about a dozen moose and deer
combined were seen by the whole party this season. From local reports the moose are
more plentiful during the winter months and can be seen in the pastures with the
cattle and horses. A few goats were seen on some of the mountain-tops, and signs of
sheep were apparent on the summit of Rocher Deboule Mountain. Wolves, as stated
earlier, are plentiful, and it is on these predatory animals that the blame for the
scarcity of game is placed. In the winter, packs of from six to twelve wolves can be
seen chasing moose, and many carcasses can be found lying on the snow. This
onslaught often takes place within view of the ranch-houses.
Registered trap-lines, held mostly by Indians, cover the whole of this area.
Marten, mink, beaver, weasel, fisher, and wolverine are the most important animals
The rivers and streams are good spawning-grounds for salmon. In the summer
hundreds of humpback and spring salmon can be seen thrashing their way up-stream.
In the fall of the year these dead fish line the river-edges and sand-bars by the
hundreds. All types of game fish are scarce. U 120
department of lands and forests.
Underbrush, fireweed, and
Pilot and helicopter from " Lor " station.
m -' <CT#V* surveys and mapping service.
20 1 BR 1 40
20 56 39 18
19 56 38 16
28 62 1 44 1 47
Although the table above is an extract from the pamphlet Climate of British
Columbia, published by the Department of Transport at Victoria, it is not indicative
of the weather as a whole, but rather to a limited area around New Hazelton. As a
general rule, the underbrush provides a good indication of precipitation, and as this
reaches 6 feet on the Upper Kispiox a reasonable estimate would be 100 inches. Hail
and snow were experienced every week during the summer, and frost was present almost
every night. On one day at the beginning of August, hail and snow fell continuously
for eight hours.
Ranching, mining, lumbering, truck-gardening, trapping, and fishing are the most
important industries and are listed in the order of importance. Most of the people
of this valley spend the summer on the ranch, the winter trapping, and the spring and
fall cutting wood, hauling poles, and sawing lumber.
About twenty ranches are scattered throughout the area and are confined to the
valley-floor. The ranchers each own from ten to twenty head of cattle and enough
horses to work the land.
At one time mining was a very important industry, but to-day is secondary to
ranching. Mines once operated at Rocher Deboule, Red Rose, Nine Mile, Black Prince,
and Silver Standard, but of these only the latter is still productive.
Lumbering is on a very small scale, being confined to two or three small mills and
two trucking companies hauling out poles. These mills cut mainly rough spruce planks
for export, although some planed lumber is produced for local use. The Skeena River
was used extensively a number of years ago to float out cedar poles, but this practice
was discontinued because too much damage resulted.
Truck-gardening is confined to three or four families because there is a very
limited market. Very fine vegetables are grown and sold to the stores in Hazelton.
Seed-potatoes are also grown by two farmers and sold in various parts of North
Trapping and fishing are the chief means of livelihood of the Indian population.
In the fall, whole Indian families can be seen starting out for their winter trap-lines
and do not return until spring. In the spring these Indians leave their homes and
move to the Pacific Coast to fish during the summer. This area benefits greatly from
this move, as these people often make enough money to keep them all winter and spend
these earnings at Hazelton. In the fall a few American tourists find their way this
far north to hunt and fish. Two or three ranchers have guide licences and a string
of pack-horses to accommodate the tourists.
The Canadian National Railways line passes through New Hazelton, at the southeast corner of the area, with three passenger-trains a week in each direction. Paralleling this line is the Prince George-Prince Rupert Highway, No. 16. A dirt and TJ 122 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
gravelled road extends up the Kispiox Valley for 40 miles, the last 10 miles of which
is only passable with heavy trucks. Three pack-horse trails service the remainder of
the area. From the 32-mile point (first cabin) on the Kispiox Road a good pack-trail
continues north to Telegraph Creek.
At the end of the Kispiox Road (McLaren's ranch) another good trail continues
along the north-east bank of the Kispiox to its source. The third pack-trail is on the
east bank of the Skeena and connects Hazelton and Kisgagas. This trail is very good
at present, as it was in constant use by the Indians of Kisgagas, but since the abandonment of this village a few years ago the trail is little used and will soon be overgrown.
The farms at present in this valley produce very good crops, and farming possibilities appear to improve farther north. On deserted farms up the Kispiox, hay was
found growing 4 feet high. This valley would be more settled if there was a market
for the produce and if the roads were improved. Except for local needs, which are
being filled at present, the nearest market is Prince Rupert, where the recent developments may improve these marketing conditions and help to develop this valley.
Appendix A.—Bell Helicopter Operations, Hazelton Area.
Last year a helicopter was used with such success in this work that it was chartered again this season.
The party proceeded to Hazelton toward the end of May and established our first
main camp. From the experience gained last year, we found that much preparation
was necessary to make this project a success, and as the helicopter was not due to
arrive until July 11th, all our efforts were spent making detailed plans to speed up the
work upon its arrival. These arrangements consisted chiefly of erecting valley signals,
collecting and weighing equipment, and discussing plans and procedure so that every
member of the party was thoroughly conversant with his duties.
Last year we found that at least two systems could be used with success to occupy
stations. One of these was to operate directly from the base camp by daily trips. The
other was to establish sub-bases, called " fly camps," near the proposed stations. The
fly-camp method appeared to be the most economical, and it was therefore the one we
decided to employ. As we had previously arranged and weighed all our equipment, we
were able to move three crews to three widely separated mountain camps in six hours
on July 12th. Two of these crews were equipped with portable radios for communications with the main camp, while the third party had arranged a visual signal. With
these crews in position, the helicopter returned to base camp until all the stations on
the mountains were occupied.
This system appeared very economical, as only a few hours' flying was done while
much work was being accomplished. Upon careful investigation, however, it was
realized that the machine was idle during the majority of the good weather, and with
this situation " flying hours of contract " and demurrage began to dominate. Eventually we realized that the more, and not the least, the machine was used the more profitable the contract became. The procedure was therefore modified and a combination of
the two systems mentioned earlier was used. This was done briefly as follows:—
Two fly-camp crews were moved to a point where they could occupy stations
with not more than an hour's walk to each. When they had completed this,
they were immediately moved to another locality. The third crew, and sometimes a fourth crew, were moved to and from base camp, or fly camp, and the
station during the day. This worked very well, as several stations could be
done at the same time and every advantage taken of the good weather. On
several occasions all the crews were moved out to their stations from their SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE.
fly camps in the morning and back in the evening. On other days one or two
crews were moved out to stations, and the pilot and an instrument-man moved
from mountain to mountain doing as much work as daylight permitted. This
we called " bump jumping." It is difficult to say which one (or combination)
of these methods is the best to employ, as their choice is governed by numerous
variables, two of which are weather conditions and the number of stations to
be occupied in the immediate area. TJ 124 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Toward the end of the season a few barometer elevations of lakes and meadows
were taken, using the helicopter, and this experiment proved very successful.
In all, 188 .mountain landings were made, 29 of these on one day. The pay-loads on
these landings varied from 210 to 270 lb. These landings varied in height from 4,000
to 6,650 feet, with 28 per cent, between 4,000 and 5,000 feet, 66 per cent, between 5,000
and 6,000 feet, and 6 per cent, above 6,000 feet. The majority of landings for stations
(as compared with fly camps) were made within a horizontal distance of 300 feet of our
destination, with 1 mile being the maximum.
An accurate record was kept at all times of weights of loads, temperatures (both
at base and on top), wind, height of landings, and elapsed time, so that new tables of
performance can be calculated.
I think this project was a great success, this being due mainly to the skill of the
pilot, co-operation between the pilot and crew, and the untiring efforts of the party as
It cannot be too strongly emphasized that co-operation is of the utmost importance
in an operation of this kind. We found a round-table discussion between the pilot and
survey assistants to be a good idea before a flight was put into operation, remembering
always that the pilot was the final authority on all moves.
In order to carry out an operation of this type, all the participating members must
collect as much information as possible about the performance of the helicopter in
addition to the normal survey work. (This also applies to the pilot concerning the
survey work, and here I might add that I think it is a good idea for the pilot to climb a
few peaks along with the survey crew after he lands his machine. This has the tendency
of keeping the distance from station to helicopter a bare minimum, as well as increasing
his knowledge of the survey work.) This becomes apparent when it is realized that in
some cases a mountain crew must choose their own landing-fields.
(N.B.—A more-detailed report on this operation can be obtained from the Topographic Division.)
TOPOGRAPHIC SURVEY OF SAYWARD DISTRICT.
A. F. Swannell.
Under instructions from the Director of Surveys and Mapping, a control survey
was carried on in conjunction with F. H. Nash, B.C.L.S., covering Map-sheets 92-K/3,
92-K/4, 92-K/5, and 92-K/6. More particularly this comprises the area between the
50° and 50° 30' parallels of latitude and from the 125th to the 126th meridians of
longitude. Johnstone Strait and Discovery Passage proved to be the natural boundaries
between the two parties, with common stations on Menzies Mountain and the Prince of
Wales Range on Vancouver Island.
The main triangulation consisted chiefly of the existing geodetic net of 1913 and
1914, which was extended to link up to Mr. Nash's work on Vancouver Island.
Coast triangulation was also done to link existing coast triangulation stations on
Johnstone Strait, in the vicinity of Helmcken Island, to Nodales Channel, inclusive of
Blind Channel. Also, another coast triangulation link was made from Discovery Passage
to the geodetic survey line, South Base to Mitlenatch, thence north to connect with a
coast triangulation net on Sutil Channel at Hill and Coulter Islands.
In all, 124 stations were occupied, 9 triangulation, 38 camera, and 77 coast triangulation. Seventeen land ties were also made. Barometer control was obtained on
the low, flat lands on Lower Quadra Island and Cortes Island. Forty-four dozen photographic plates were exposed during the season. The area comprised approximately 805
square miles. In addition, five days were spent on Lasqueti Island obtaining vertical
control to complete Map-sheet 92-F/8 (approximately 25 square miles). SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE.
We left Victoria the morning of May 27th and returned the night of October 6th.
For transportation and as a mobile base camp we had the motor-launch " B.C. Surveyor," which more than proved its worth in this area, furrowed as it is by numerous
channels. Records kept during the season show that 3,600 miles were run by the " B.C.
Surveyor." As a conservative estimate, 370 miles were covered on foot and 450 miles
run by power-boat.
In general, our area is low-lying to the south, its mountains increasing in height
to the north.
The area may be compared to a broken cup. To the south the broken edge is the
low-lying stretch of Quadra Island, Marina Island, and Sutil Channel. The remaining
high lip is comprised of, to the west, on Vancouver Island, Mount Menzies and the
Prince of Wales Range; to the north, on the Mainland of British Columbia, the
Franklyn and Pembroke Ranges and Estero Peak; and to the east, Downie Range and
Nine large islands—namely, Quadra, Marina, Read, Maurelle, Stuart, Sonora, East
and West Thurlow, and Hardwicke Islands—are the lower-lying land in the bowl of the
cup. These islands attain heights up to around 2,500 feet in elevation. East Thurlow,
Sonora, and Quadra Islands are freely sprinkled with lakes—Hemming, Florence, and
Main, to name the largest.
Estero Peak (elevation, 5,478 feet) is the most prominent feature of the area. It
is visible far to the south from Vancouver Island. To the north this mountain drops
almost sheer for 2,500 feet, to rise to a rugged ridge and drop again precipitously into
Estero Basin at sea-level. TJ 126 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
The main arteries of navigation for Coastal boats plying between southern ports
and Prince Rupert and Alaska are Discovery Passage and Johnstone Strait. The
smaller craft and tugs towing their booms southward choose the more sheltered
Cordero-Calm Channel route. All channels, though, are treacherous, with their tides
running from 3 to 5 knots velocity. In the narrows and rapids, velocities up to 12
knots are reached.
Menzies, surgeon and botanist aboard Captain Vancouver's ship the " Discovery,"
says of the Yuculta Rapids: " They [referring to the boats sent by Vancouver to find
passage to the north] entered a narrow channel leading to the westward, through
which the water rushed in whirlpools with such rapidity it was found extremely difficult
even to track the boats along shore against it; and this could hardly have been accom-^
plished had it not been for the friendly activity of the natives."
Juan de Fuca was the first European to mention the inside passage. In the late
sixteenth century he reported sailing on an inland sea for some 20 days and finally
emerging into a wider sea. He gave the entrance to this sea as between the 47th and
48th parallels. Juan de Fuca Strait lies just above the 48th parallel. His discovery
was apparently discredited by many.
Captain Meares verified the discovery in 1787, naming the strait after Juan de Fuca.
He himself did not sail very far up the Strait of Georgia but told of the Juan de Fuca
Strait to an English trader, who reported that after sailing for upwards of 8 degrees
of latitude to the north he returned to the Pacific Ocean. In 1792 Captain Vancouver,
with his two ships " Discovery " and " Chatham," was the first to explore the region at
the north of the Strait of Georgia. Initially, he was accompanied by Valdes and
Galiano, two Spanish captains. He anchored by what he called " Cliff Island " in
Desolation Sound, on June 26th of that year. From his anchorage he sent his small
boats in sorties to find a passage to the northward. One party was sent to what is
Discovery Passage. Meeting the waters at Seymour Narrows, this party concluded that
such waters must come from the ocean beyond and so returned to their base.
Johnstone, in charge of the other party, travelled the Cordero Channel route,
eventually reaching Johnstone Strait, named after him. Being short of supplies and
the weather being miserable, he climbed a hill and saw the strait widening to the northwest, so he returned to his base ships.
Vancouver decided to try the Discovery Passage route. This he did, sailing
through the Seymour Narrows and northward, passing out of the waters of the area
on July 17th, 1792.
Campbell River, the only town of consequence in the area accessible by water, was
used as our base for supplies. It was first settled in 1904 by Charles and Fred Thulin.
Primarily, it is dependent on the logging operations in the vicinity and is a fishing-
resort town in the summer.
Access to the area can be obtained by road, sea, and air. The Island Highway
passes through Campbell River. Vancouver Island Coach Lines maintains a two-bus-a-
day service to and from the town.
Public roads are found on Quadra and Read Islands. At present, besides the steamship service to Quadra Island, a water taxi runs between Quathiaski Cove and Campbell
River. By September 9th of this year, tenders were to be submitted for a car-ferry
service between these two points.
On many of the islands, logging-roads are found. The chief mode of transportation, though, because of the numerous waterways, is by launch. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE.
Say ward District.
looking north from
Stuart Island. TJ 128 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
The Union Steamships has a weekly passenger and freight steamship service from
Vancouver to Campbell River, Quadra Island, Rock Bay, Thurlow Island, etc. Additional steamer and freight service is supplied by the Waterhouse Company. The Gulf
Lines serve the south-eastern section, calling at Stuart Island.
The Queen Charlotte Air Lines maintains flights to Comox Airport, where a taxi
from Campbell River meets the aeroplanes. They also will call when traffic demands
at Campbell River, Shoal Bay, and Stuart Island with one of their Stranraer flying-
The B.C. Air Lines has a Sea-bee stationed at Campbell River. It is an air taxi
to any of the islands and logging camps wherever it is able to land within its range.
This aeroplane also acts as an air ambulance.
Supplies are obtainable within a radius of a few miles at any point in the region,
as the islands are fairly well sprinkled with well-stocked general stores.
A synopsis of the weather for the 133 days we were in the field shows 82 fair
days, 39 days in which rain fell, and 12 days with fog. The reputed rainfall annually
averages between 70 to 90 inches. Summer frosts are unknown. In the winter some
of the bays and heads of inlets unaffected by the tides are frozen over. In mid-August
of this year an unprecedented hail-storm occurred in the vicinity of Campbell River,
doing much damage to the local crops.
The northern section of the area in the vicinity of Johnstone Strait and Kelsey
Bay seems to be a fog belt. The prevailing wind is westerly, with many of the trees
along the shores proving the fact.
The forests of the area consist chiefly of Douglas fir, Western hemlock, Western
red cedar, Sitka spruce, and Western white pine. Yellow cedar was seen on some of
the higher reaches. Scrub pine was noted on some of the rockier shore-lines, along
In the virgin timber, good travelling was encountered, the ground being relatively
free of any underbrush. Blueberry, huckleberry, salmon-berry, and blackberry were
the underbrush noted. Salal was thick in some sections, but, compared to the West
Coast of Vancouver Island, it was of no consequence. Alder and willow were encountered in moister ground and devil's-club in creek-bottoms.
Evidence of glaciation dominates every feature of the area, the truncated cones,
such as Paget Cone and Royston Mountain, to the north, and drift deposits of stratified sands and gravels to the south—Cape Mudge on Quadra Island and Marina Island
—being examples. Navigation in the latter area is made perilous because of the
shallow sea-floor bestrewn with large boulders.
A limestone-belt is found on Quadra Island, averaging in width up to 2 miles;
it extends from Open Bay on the eastern side to Granite Bay on the western side of
Besides this limestone-belt and the gravel and sands, there is exposed over most
of the area the intrusive igneous rock of the Coast Range. On West Thurlow, Helm-
cken, and Hardwicke Islands are found volcanic rocks.
At present there is no active mining in the area. In the past, some mining was
carried on for copper and gold. All these prospects, though, have ceased operating.
In 1906 work began on some copper claims on Quadra Island. Copper Cliffs, just
north of Gowlland Harbour, made several shipments of ore, with favourable returns. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 129
There was some activity about 1929 in gold properties in the vicinity of Cordero
Channel and Philipps Arm, and at Shoal Bay on East Thurlow Island.
Like most of the Coastal inlets, many bald eagles were seen. Sea-gulls, of course,
abound, and Mitlenatch Island in the Strait of Georgia is used by the gulls as a
nesting-place. In June, when we first visited the island, nests were scattered all
over the island. One nest contained seven eggs, in contrast to the customary two or
Ducks of many species are fairly abundant. Blue grouse were flushed from the
sunny spots, in particular on Tucker Mountain, Sonora Island, and Cortes Island.
Hawks, ravens, and herons were also seen.
In the past, from all reports, deer were plentiful on the islands and were in many
cases a nuisance to the settlers. Very few were seen this summer, except six by the
writer, and these all on Hardwicke Island.
Only one black bear was seen during the season, and he was on the Mainland.
The coast of the Mainland apparently is on the fringe of the grizzly-bear country,
with the occasional one being sighted.
Goats were seen on Mount George. The deep ravines which gash the western
slope of this mountain are reputed to be the breeding-ground of marten. Otter, mink,
and marten, I believe, were once plentiful, but none was seen.
As for sea life, salmon is the most important; cod and herring are also caught.
Numerous seals were seen, and a school of some dozen killer whales was sighted on
numerous occasions. According to the ship's log, dated September 20th, the " B.C.
Surveyor " altered course because of these whales; this was off Cape Mudge. Oysters
were noted on the shores of Sutil Channel.
The lakes of the area are well stocked with trout.
Logging and fishing are the two main industries. Agriculture plays very little
part in the development of these islands because of their rocky nature and the small
percentage of land suitable for cultivation. Small truck-gardens and orchards were
centred chiefly in the low-lying sections, in particular on Quadra Island where the
dark-reddish sandy loam is free of stone. All plots under cultivation would produce
only the needs of those tending them. Sheep are raised to a small extent on Read
Island and on the southern extremity of Quadra Island.
Early logging operations have removed the larger and the more accessible stands
of timber. In the early 1900's logging operations were carried on at Quadra Island
and East Thurlow Island by railway. These railways have long since been abandoned,
but a truck outfit is in operation on Quadra Island. Many of the old logging operations and burns now have a luxuriant crop of second growth.
Truck logging was carried on at Sonora Island until three years ago, the road,
still in good shape, being used as a route to Valdes triangulation station. " Cat"
loggers were in operation at Frederick Arm, Nodales Channel, and at Florence Lake on
According to a report written in the early 1920's, it was estimated that some 1,200
men were employed in various capacities connected with logging. I should estimate
there are scarcely 300 to-day.
There is a Forest Ranger station located at Thurston Bay, where at one time
boats were built for the Forest Service.
Commercial fishing is the most important industry, five different species of salmon
helping make up the catch. —
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Fishing gives rise to a third source of income—the tourist trade. Tourists come
from all parts of the world, but predominantly from the United States, to catch the
mighty Tyee salmon, the name " Tyee " being derived from the Indian word meaning
chief. These large spring salmon weigh upwards to 90 lb. This summer an American
tourist set the world's record of 72 lb. for a salmon caught on rod and reel. An Indian
woman dragged her 84-lb. Tyee to the beach; it was caught on a hand-line. As many
as 120 small fishing craft were counted from the wharf at Campbell River one evening
during the salmon run.
TOPOGRAPHIC SURVEY OF SAYWARD-SALMON RIVER AREA.
F. H. Nash, B.C.L.S.
The field season was occupied obtaining control for topographic maps at a scale of
one-half mile to 1 inch with contours at 100-foot intervals, comprising approximately
720 square miles of Vancouver Island contained in Map-sheet 92-K/4 and parts of Map-
sheets 92-K/3, 92-K/5, and 92-K/6, as detailed in instructions from the Director of
Surveys and Mapping, dated May 13th, 1949. Work in the vicinity of Johnstone Strait
and Discovery Passage was done in co-operation with A. F. Swannell. Campbell River
lies in the south-east corner and Sayward in the north-west corner of this area. We
left Victoria on May 16th and, having completed the survey, returned there on
Fig. 4. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 131
We worked from a base camp near Roberts Lake, which lies on the road between
Campbell River and Sayward. Supplies tyvere obtained from Campbell River and near-by
Numerous logging-roads gave access to more than half the area. We used a
Chevrolet half-ton pick-up, also two Dodge power-wagons which were supplied by the
Army. These power-wagons were exceptionally well suited to the rough roads which
predominate in this part of Vancouver Island.
Supplies and equipment were back-packed into the south-west portion of the area
over cruiser-trails maintained by near-by logging companies. Both the Bloedel, Stewart
& Welch Logging Company and the Salmon River Logging Company were most helpful
in allowing use of their railway speeders to reach these trails.
Photo-topographic methods were used almost exclusively, very little traversing or
barometer work being done. Sixty-seven stations were occupied and 39 dozen plates
exposed. A triangulation net was expanded north from stations set by N. C. Stewart,
B.C.L.S., in 1936, so that a tie to the geodetic survey net could be made by A. F. Swannell. Eight ties to cadastral surveys were made, and seven section corners replaced
with concrete monuments.
The highest mountains were found in the south-west corner of the map-sheet.
From here the ranges, which are cut by the west part of the Salmon River and the
three forks of the Memekay Rivers, become progressively lower until the main valley of
the Salmon River is reached. This valley is 2 to 3 miles wide from Salmon Bay up to
the point where it makes a sharp turn to the south-west. From here the valley rapidly
becomes narrow, and soon the hills slope steeply down to the river. The Prince of Wales
Range, containing many high peaks, lies between the lower 12 miles of the Salmon
Valley and Johnstone Strait. Mount Menzies, which rises to the west of Discovery
Passage, is the only other mountain of any note east of the Salmon River. An area of
low rolling hills spotted by a great number of large and small lakes lies east of the
Salmon River and extends from Campbell Lake and River to the Prince of Wales Range
and between the Prince of Wales Range and Mount Menzies to Discovery Passage and
This district has a moderate climate, with fairly heavy precipitation from October
to March. Records for Campbell River show that it has an average annual precipitation
of 51.71 inches. There is a heavy snowfall in the mountainous area to the south-west.
The following trees are found in the area: Douglas fir, Western red cedar, Western
hemlock, Sitka spruce, balsam, Western white pine, yellow cedar, red alder, broadleaf
maple, yew, and arbutus. All but the last two of these have commercial value.
Most of the timber lying east of the Salmon River has been removed. In this
logged section, natural reproduction has been aided by artificial planting, over 20,000
acres having been artificially restocked. Altogether there are over 100,000 acres of
No great mineral wealth has been discovered in this area, which has never been
thoroughly explored geologically. Heavy overburden in most parts prevents examination of the rock formations.
In 1885, Dr. G. M. Dawson made a preliminary geological survey, chiefly confined
to the shores of the northern part of Vancouver Island. He reports that the coal-
bearing Cretaceous rocks of the Comox Basin extend beyond Campbell River probably TJ 132 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
as far as the Salmon River. On the Coast this formation is last seen near Duncan Bay
and here has a strike to the north-west. To the north-east of this formation, altered
volcanic rock is found, referred to as the Vancouver Series by Dr. Dawson. The contact
between this volcanic rock and the granite to the north-east appears to be along a line
from Elk Bay to Bear Point.
The district may be reached by land, sea, or air. Frequent buses and freight trucks
travel the Island Highway as far as Campbell River. Less-frequent service is given
Kelsey Bay, and, since this summer, to the Bloedel, Stewart & Welch Logging Company's
Camp No. 5 at the south end of Brewster Lake. Freight and passenger boats call at
Kelsey Bay, Rock Bay, and Campbell River. There is a taxi from Campbell River to
Comox, operating in conjunction with the Queen Charlotte Air Lines. A charter aeroplane service is also operated from Campbell River.
Within the area, travel is over roads which, for the most part, are narrow and
rough. Those parts of these roads which were originally logging-railroads have good
grades. Abandoned logging-railroads which have been converted to roads give the
Forest Service access to many of the logged sections for fire-protection and reforestation. Public roads are maintained from Campbell River to Kelsey Bay, Camp No. 5 of
Bloedel, Stewart & Welch Company, Limited, and to Upper Campbell Lake. A private
road from Rock Bay joins the public road to Kelsey Bay.
Trails lead from the end of the logging-railroads up the Salmon and Memekay
Rivers. These are used by cruisers employed by the logging companies. A trapper's
trail runs from Tlowils Lake over to and up the White River.
Hundreds of men are employed at logging, the chief industry, in this part of Vancouver Island. As much of the readily accessible timber has already been logged, the
operations are gradually moving to the south and west. Logs cut 15 to 20 miles from
the booming-grounds at Salmon Bay and Bloedel are transported by logging-railway.
Truck logging is also carried on from. Salmon Bay and Rock Bay.
The forests here have been heavily overcut, but steps are being taken to bring the
rate of cutting into line with the rate of growth. A forest reserve has been created to
enable the Salmon River Logging Company, one of the largest companies operating in
the district, to prepare a forest-management plan for continuous production.
Fishing and hunting attract many sportsmen from all over the continent. Many
people are employed at the hotels, auto courts, and tourist camps which adequately
cater to the needs of these sportsmen by supplying anything from a space to pitch a
tent to luxurious motor-court accommodation. Boats and fishing-tackle may be rented,
and many guides are ready to show the fishermen the likely spots to find the large
Tyee salmon which abound in Discovery Passage. Trout-fishing in lakes, rivers, and
streams attracts its share of tourists. Hunters, who frequently attain their bag-limit
of deer and blue grouse, keep the resorts busy until late autumn. Elk Falls Park on
Campbell River is an added attraction for visitors.
Electric power now available from the British Columbia Power Commission's plant
on Campbell River will attract new industry to this district. This project consists of
the recently completed Ladore storage dam and the John Hart dam, with its two-
generator power-house which develops 56,000 horse-power per unit. Provision has Topographic Survey.
Sayward-Salmon River Area.
Wc'n'fV of m'" S*yvvard
Mouth of the Salmon River at Kelsey Bay. Salmon River Logging Company camp
and railroad in foreground. TJ 134 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
been made for a third turbine which will develop another 56,000 horse-power. The
completion of the British Columbia Electric Company's power-line from Nanaimo to
Victoria will supply power developed at this project to the most southerly part of
The Village of Campbell River is one of the supply centres for the large salmon-
fishing fleet operating in near-by waters. A breakwater now under construction and a
recently completed wharf will benefit both the fishermen and business-men of this centre.
There are several thousand acres of potential agricultural land between Campbell
River and Menzies Bay and in the valley of the Salmon River, but at present these
potential farming districts contain only small dairy and mixed farms which supply
There are no mines operating in the area.
Campbell River and adjoining Campbellton are communities which depend mainly
on industries previously mentioned, that is, logging, commercial fisheries, and a tourist
trade based on the good fishing and hunting available. There is some mixed farming
near these villages. Several small farms operate in the lower part of the Salmon
Valley, which has also recently expanded its accommodation for tourists, who can now
motor as far as Kelsey Bay. There are large logging camps which have amenities and
services usually only associated with permanent villages—family cottages, electric
power, water-supply, schools, and means of recreation. These camps will, without
doubt, become permanent communities when the logging is put on a sustained-yield
The natural resources of this area give it an assured future. Hydro-electric power
already available could be used to manufacture timber products. Agricultural land
could thus be used to supply the needs of the expanded population.
TOPOGRAPHIC SURVEY OF PRINCE GEORGE AREA.
D. J. Roy, B.Sc, C.E.
The following is a report on the field work in the Prince George area carried out
during the season 1949 under instructions from the Director of Surveys and Mapping.
The area under consideration is designated as Map-sheets 93-J/2 and 93-J/3 of the
National Topographic Series. Bounded on the north and south by latitudes 54° 15'
and 54° 00', it lies between 122° 30' and 123° 30' west longitude, encompassing an area
of 695 square miles.
The purpose of the survey was to establish horizontal and vertical control sufficient
to compile, from vertical air photographs, a topographic map at a scale of 2 inches to
1 mile with contour interval of 100 feet. The terrain did not lend itself to the photo-
topographical approach, so horizontal control was established through the medium of
transit and tape traverse of third-order accuracy. The traverse was tied to existing
geodetic triangulation stations, and secondary triangulation carried out by this survey.
Horizontal and vertical ties for control were also made to 1948 surveys by this party,
surveys of the Geographical Section of the General Staff carried out in Map-sheet
93-G/15, and to the Hart Highway right-of-way survey. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE.
U 135 TJ 136 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Vertical control was established by means of spirit levels carried from geodetic
bench-marks, trigonometric levels carried forward with traverse and triangulation,
and by the use of barometers. Both single- and two-base methods were employed in
the latter instance.
The air photos will be plotted, using the slotted-templet method of assembly to
obtain the position of the centres, which innovation considerably reduces the amount
of control required as compared to the radial-line method, as well as increasing the
accuracy of the plot. Contouring will be done by interpolation with the parallax bar
and from contours established on the pictures in the field.
Work was commenced from Finmoore in the latter part of May and terminated
at Willow River about the middle of September. We were camped under canvas and
occupied six main camps during the course of the season.
The area had sufficient roads, so that traversing was not difficult. Transport
was by means of three trucks, a half-ton Ford, a 1-ton Mercury, and an army-type
power-wagon. The latter deserves a special word of commendation—a more versatile,
rugged, and serviceable form of transport would be difficult to imagine.
Control traverse totalling 90 miles was run. Permanent marks in the form of
4-foot iron bars were planted at intervals of several miles. These marks were suitably
referenced to bearing-trees and (or) pits and mounds. Ties to cadastral surveys were
made when feasible, and three standard pipe posts were planted. Several of the concrete right-of-way monuments on the Hart Highway were tied to our traverse. Two
secondary triangulation points were established and marked in the same manner as
Approximately 85 miles of spirit levels were run along the various roads with
semi-permanent and permanent bench-marks to perpetuate this work. Squared stump
bench-marks were used on most of the roads, while along the Hart Highway between
Prince George and Summit Lake many of the concrete right-of-way monuments were
used as bench-marks. The level circuits are all swinging and were on that account
Barometer work involved some 350 miles of cross-country work and the picking
of some 900 spot heights on the vertical photographs.
The area is now one of mature relief. Surface features consist of a rolling till
plain pierced here and there by a few rock knolls. At elevations below 2,600 feet the
till plain has been covered by glacial-lake deposits. Higher parts of the till plain
range up to about 2,700 feet above sea-level. Examples of the rock knolls occur at
Pilot Mountain where the elevation is 3,275 feet and just north of the west end
of Saxton Lake where the elevation runs to 3,100 feet above sea-level.
Map-sheet 93-J/3 is characterized by rolling till plain and the Saxton outcrop.
Drainage is chiefly to the Stuart River, with the north-east corner draining in to the
Salmon River. A distinctive topographic feature is the Stuart esker which runs from
the Mandalay Creek east and south until it leaves the sheet in the south-east corner.
Starting with well-defined banks at Mandalay Creek, it becomes a maze of parallel ridges
in the vicinity of Taginchil Lake. The ridges are broken and irregular and in places
form a network enclosing depressions which are usually dry, although many contain
There are a considerable number of small lakes scattered throughout the area,
the chief of these being Saxton, Ness, Shamrock, Taginchil, Clauminchil, and Hoodoo.
On the 123rd meridian lie Nukko and Chief Lakes—major bodies of water in the area.
The extreme south-west corner of the area is occupied by the Nechako River, while the
Stuart River is just outside the west boundary. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE.
Prince George Area.
Air Force photo.)
and forest-cover. TJ 138 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Chief features of Map-sheet 93-J/2 are the Salmon and Fraser Rivers. As is
common to all rivers in the area, these two cut deep into the till plain and are characterized by fairly precipitous banks cut by entering-creek ravines. The Fraser is, of
course, the main drainage feature of the area, the Salmon being a lesser tributary.
Nukko and Chief Lakes drain to the Salmon. The Fraser, running southerly along
the east boundary of our work area, drains the remainder of Map-sheet 93-J/3;
drainage is more certain and scattered lakes are fewer. Just south of Summit Lake on
the north edge of Map-sheet 93-J/2 lies the Arctic Divide.
The reader is referred to Paper 47-13 of the Geological Survey of Canada, Mines
and Geology Branch, Department of Mines and Resources, Ottawa, for a more exhaustive treatment of the physical characteristics of the region. Report No. 2 of the British
Columbia Soil Survey also contains much information in this regard.
Forest-cover consists mainly of white spruce, lodgepole pine, and poplar. A scattering of Douglas fir may be seen throughout the area, but it does not occur generally
or in any quantity. Much of the region has been burned over, and these areas are
frequently covered by a growth of poplar or very dense lodgepole pine. The older
mature forest is dominated by white spruce, among the lesser trees being willow and
alder. Wild rose, thimbleberry, twinberry, and high-bush cranberry are among the
important shrubs. Herbs include fireweed, wild strawberries, and Canada bunchberry;
some blueberries and huckleberries are to be seen. Devil's-club is frequently encountered.
There are at least ten sawmills operating in the area, most of them in Map-sheet
93-J/2 which has more timber and is easier of access. The lumber boom has quietened
down considerably, and rising costs have forced many small operators to close down.
Timber cut on the Fraser is floated down to Shelley, on the Canadian National Railway,
while the Nechako floats logs into Prince George. There is still considerable activity,
and most heavy trucking seen is engaged in the lumber-haul. Lumbering in the past
ten or more years has been the chief factor in development of the Prince George area
The area is not regarded as one of any significance with respect to mineralization.
Geological reports are scanty, published information consisting of the aforementioned
Paper 47-13. The only indication of prospecting was on Pilot Mountain, where a
prospect for gold was reported. Local supply of gravel for road-building activity is
good and has been widely utilized. Several lime deposits are mentioned in Report No. 2,
British Columbia Soil Survey.
Moose and bear comprise the chief big game in the area. Deer are seen infrequently, while moose and bear are daily observed even on the main highways. Beaver
colonies were seen on some of the more remote lakes, and a few are trapped. Many
smaller animals are present, while wolves are reputed to frequent the area. During
the early part of the summer one was shot on the Stuart River. Bird life is not so
evident, although grouse are plentiful, the lakes being inhabited by a few ducks and
loons. On one lake a pair of Canada geese with young were observed, while late in
August the writer witnessed a parade of seventeen Canada geese on a sand-bar of the
Salmon River. Trout are to be found in some of the smaller lakes and streams, but
fishing is not very encouraging as a rule. Several trap-lines are registered in the area,
and the yield seems reasonable. surveys and mapping service. tj 139
Beginning near the end of May, with much rain, the weather improved and was
very pleasant through June and July. Late summer saw the advent of frequent long
rains until the first part of September, when we enjoyed a run of beautiful fall weather.
During a season of 122 days we had rain on 25 different days. One violent wind-storm
wreaked havoc amongst our tents, while unseasonable frost was experienced at Hoodoo
Lake in July.
For a general treatment of climatic conditions see Report No. 2, British Columbia
The developed areas are fairly well served with roads. The Chief Lake area is
connected to Prince George and to No. 16 Highway via Reid Lake and Isle Pierre. This
route is usually open the year round but may be in poor shape, especially from Isle
Pierre to the highway. Sawmill roads are the ones which penetrate the country, and'
some operators have gone to considerable expense in this regard.
Map-sheet 93-J/2 is divided up the middle by the Hart Highway. The latter is
built to modern highway standards and, when hard-surfaced, will rate as a first-class
road. This route provides a direct connection with the Peace River country. The
Salmon River valley settlement is served by a secondary road which runs east from the
highway along the north side of the river. The country on the west of the river north
of the highway is penetrated by a secondary road which finally deteriorates into a trail.
There are a multitude of old trails in Map-sheet 93-J/2—a legacy of early settlement—
The easterly sheet of the two is considerably more developed than the west, where,
except for the Chief Lake, Ness Lake, and Saxton Lake areas, there are few roads or
The Canadian National Railway follows the east bank of the Fraser from Willow
River into Prince George. The sawmill industry at Shelley is served by both road
The south-east quarter of Map-sheet 93-J/3 and the south half of Map-sheet 93-J/2
are fairly well settled. This area lies mainly on the glacial-lake deposits aforementioned. Only in this soil has farming met with much success. The Salmon Valley east
of the Hart Highway is well settled, and farming is general. Just north and south of
the Salmon River and on the highway are successfully farmed areas.
The old Summit Lake Road down McMillan Creek is well settled to mixed farming.
On the west bank of the Fraser, on Lot 848, there is a ranch in operation. Three schools
are in operation and quite a number of families are located on the road between Chief
Lake and the Hart Highway. Mixed farming is the main agricultural pursuit throughout the region.
West of Chief Lake there are several thriving farms. Crescent Lake School, on
Lot 2251, serves this community.
West along the road to Saxton Lake there are severallong-established farm homesteads and some sawmills. Sylvan Glade School serves this area.
What is here referred to as the Chief Lake district is possibly the most advanced
and developed section in the whole area. A growth of community spirit is evidenced by
the new community hall. Soil conditions appear favourable, and future development
should see a thriving community. Beyond the area referred to above, little development
has taken place, for the area is difficult of access.
East of the Fraser River on our map-sheet the only village of note is Shelley, on
the Canadian National Railway, where sawmills are in operation and which serves as
rail-head for the lumbering industry. —
TJ 140 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
TOPOGRAPHIC SURVEY OF KITIMAT AREA.
: •>-- E. R. McMinn, B.A. -
The area is .that covered by Map-sheet 103-1/2 of the National Topographic Series
and is bounded by latitudes 54° 00' to 54° 15' and longitudes 128° 30' to 129° 00'. The
map-sheet, which is the third of a series extending south from Kalum Lake through
Terrace and Lakelse Lake to Kitimat Arm, includes the flat valley of the Kitimat River
on the east and on the west the rugged mountainous country drained by the Wedeene
tributaries. This area comprises approximately 350 square miles.
The intent of the survey was to obtain ground control for air photographs from
which, by using the slotted-templet method of laying down the centres, a map could be
compiled on a scale of 2 inches to 1 mile with a contour interval of 100 feet. The triangulation net was to be extended from the Lakelse area and was to include ties to the
lot survey (Clague 1910), to P. M. Monckton's stations of 1925, and to the Coastal network on Kitimat Arm.
The party landed at Kitimat Village on June 1st after a 75-mile trip by Indian boat
from Butedale. Included in the 3,000 lb. of equipment were a 15V2-ioot boat with an
8-horsepower outboard motor, a wireless set, two Wild T-2 theodolites, and two wooden-
type plate cameras. A camp was made at the village. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. U 141
It was realized that movement in the Kitimat Valley must be planned like a military
invasion. A base camp, including a cabin, was therefore built on the west of the
delta, and four months' supplies bought and stored. By June 15th the south end of the
triangulation net was planned and beacons built, although the 1925 stations were not
included because the brass plugs at these sites could not be recovered. Cairn-building
was postponed because of heavy snow on the mountains.
Travel on the inlet from Coste Island to Minette Bay by our small boat, which held
only three men, was hampered many days by the 14-foot tides and was impossible in
stormy weather. It was with relief that we turned to the main valley and the building
of a camp at the Wedeene River.
The plan was to use the Kitimat River, which is swift, muddy, and filled with
boulders and log-jams, to reach the proposed control camp on the Weedeene and, further,
to use the boat to cross the Kitimat to reach stations on the east of the map-sheet. The
up-stream trip took eight hours and ten shear-pins; the down-stream journey took
fifty-five minutes. River travel at the varying heights of flow was so unreliable and
dangerous that a trail was commenced through the green hell of swamp, bush, and
muskeg of the west bank.
On June 25th all work ceased abruptly. Raymond Louis Bowbyes, axeman, aged
20, was drowned in the rapids near the Wedeene camp. His body was never recovered.
His death can only emphasize that in the mountains and bush, which are the working-
place of the topographic surveyor, a man carries his life in his hands every second of
By July 15th, at the end of 12 miles of trail, the Wedeene camp was built, and a
month's food back-packed in from Kitimat. Five days of perfect weather were lost in
trail-cutting, food-packing, and in an attempt to cross the Big Wedeene. Three men
became mysteriously and violently ill; one developed an infected foot; the cook quit.
On August 1st, after two weeks of heavy cloud, two fly camps were organized—one
to go 10 miles into the mountains beyond Railey Creek, the other to go 15 miles into
the country at the head of Little Wedeene. These three-man parties made successive
trips for additional food. On August 15th, after two weeks of rain and snow on the
5,000-foot ridges, the party withdrew to Kitimat. From that base camp, in nine days
of fine weather at the end of August, all the stations down the inlet and those near the
camp were occupied, mostly by two- or three-day trips. J. Wade, the assistant, was
injured in the climb to " Raven " triangulation station and had to be flown to hospital
at Prince Rupert. His helper, who was carrying the theodolite, had a bad fall, and
the resultant jar rendered the instrument completely useless.
On September 5th the helicopter, which had been tentatively due August 15th,
became available. The problem was now how best to use a helicopter, 90 gallons of
petrol, one theodolite, and two cumbersome cameras. A light minute-reading transit
used at two camera stations, " Faith " and " Hope," proved unsatisfactory. In eleven
flying-hours, seven stations were occupied, including points " Catt " and " Wise," upon
which the summer's work depended. That these two stations, which could not be
reached by any other means, were completed in one day most effectively demonstrated
the change in mountain surveys brought about by the helicopter.
The triangulation net completed the tie from the geodetic base " Shames "-
" Etanda" on the Skeena to the coast triangulation points " L.E.O."-" L.W.O." on
Kitimat Arm. The system, based on Mr. Ralfs' points " Catt " and " Wise," which
were also the datum of elevations, extended by ten stations over the 35 miles to the tie
points which were also posts of Government Reserve Lot 451. Because neither the Big
Wedeene nor the Kitimat could be crossed, stations " Iron " and " Nalbeelah " of the
1925 work were omitted; the attempt to include these low-elevation stations cost many U 142
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Twelve miles of jungle
to the Wedeene.
The Kitimat Valley from " Wise." SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 143
days of work. Beacons were built at Minette Bay and at the Sandhill from which,
respectively, lot corners 452-6010 and 6266-6059-6265 were fixed by short traverses.
All stations were marked by a rock post and a cairn or beacon.
The photographic coverage, upon which the establishing of control points depends,
is incomplete. Only fifteen camera stations of a planned twenty-five were occupied, but
these, with three of the 1948 stations, cover the main Kitimat Valley, the Big Wedeene,
Railey Creek, and the Little Wedeene. All camera stations were fixed by resection only.
In 100 days of work 26 days were clear, 15 of these days being in late August and
September. The party travelled 310 miles by foot through the bush. One-third of the
summer's work was done in three days, by using the helicopter.
The 75 miles of fiords between Butedale and Kitimat are striking examples of
drowned valleys; on either shore, rising 2,000 feet, are the ridges, cirques, and
mountain-peaks usually seen at 6,000-foot elevations. The Kitimat Valley at the head
of the inlet is 5 miles wide and stretches, flat and unbroken, save for two bedrock hills,
to Terrace, 40 miles distant. Deep-cut ravines, striated bedrock, and cliff-ended
mountain-ridges indicate the north-south glacial action. At 3,000 feet these ridges
become flattened and lead back to 7,000-foot peaks with permanent snowfields. In the
north-west the Big Wedeene River rises at the snout of a 4-mile valley glacier; the
Little Wedeene and, in the east, Hirsch Creek are drainage streams, the water of which
is clear during summer.
From the air the main valley is a flat expanse of jungle, opened only by large
muskegs and the winding Kitimat River; except for the gravel plateau south of Lakelse
Lake, the valley is a huge swamp. The soil is river-silt deposited on pure gravel; the
delta has large tidal flats and salt-grass meadows. Two miles back from the river-
mouth is a 300-foot ridge of gravel crossing the width of the valley in the fashion of
an esker or an end moraine and forming what may have once been a natural dam.
The Kitimat, which runs at 8 knots, is glacial-fed and can rise or fall several feet
overnight. A 1-foot fall at the Sandhill indicates a 4-foot fall at the Wedeene junction.
Huge log-jams for 20 miles up-stream are evidence of the power of the freshet, at
which time large trees have been seen floating down-stream standing up. Navigation
is, without exception, dangerous.
Access and Settlement.
The valley can be reached from Butedale, the nearest port of call for Union Steamships, or from the north by an old trail into Chist Creek from Terrace on Highway No.
16 and Canadian National Railway. Kitimat Indian Village is on the east side of the
inlet, opposite and 2 miles away from the river-mouth. Seaplanes can land on the inlet
or on Minette Bay, provided the pilot is forewarned of the tidal currents and thousands
of sunken snags. Minette Bay has 160 feet of water, but its entrance, choked with the
outwash debris of the river, is open only at high tide and to small boats.
In the early days the Kitimat Valley boasted a wharf, a hotel, a logging camp, 3
miles of road, and several settlers. A sled-trail for mail ran through to Terrace. In
great expectation, the land was bought up by speculators, and the timber licences, lot
subdivisions, and the railway location were surveyed. Now the forest has quite recovered its own. There are no roads, no trails, and no people. But whether or not the
Aluminum Company of Canada, which had an exploration party in the area all summer,
builds its city, the valley remains a route of access to the Interior from the sea, and it
will be important especially in Pacific defence plans for this reason alone. The area is
included in Lot 451 as a Government reserve.
Kitimat Village is one of the more-modern Indian communities on the Coast. The
300 people are healthy, invariably good-natured, and well disciplined by their elected TJ 144 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
council, which directs their genuine co-operative spirit. The community hall, the neat
homes, the electric-lighting system, and the two stores would be a credit to any small
town. The village has repeatedly sponsored champion soccer and basketball teams of
which they are excessively proud. There is a new Government school and dispensary,
both inadequate for the need. The trappings of white culture are superficial; for
instance, while religion is nominally Protestant, the gravestones, which are planted in
the front lawns, quite casually combine the cross and totem. The problem of their
education lies in the disagreement in home life between the old superstitions and the
ways of modern living.
The valley forest, which is uneven-aged and over-mature, has commercially important stands of hemlock, balsam fir, red cedar, pine, spruce, alder, and yellow cedar. In
1948 a Forest Service cruise showed 40,000 board-feet per acre. The timber licences
are owned by the Powell River Company, Limited, and Pacific Mills, Limited, and are
a valuable reserve of pulp-timber. The only evidence of fire is a 90-year-old burn near
Minette Bay, which was most probably burned by the Indians to make a berry-picking
On the hills, up to the 4,500-foot timber-line, the undergrowth is blueberry shrub;
in the valley the devil's-club and in the swamps the skunk-cabbage and sword-fern
grow higher than a man. The author noted an elderberry-bush that sprouted in June
when the snow melted and was 7 feet high in September.
No geologic study of this area has yet been made, and little prospecting has been
done. One homesteader, Charlie Moore, had a magnetite claim on Iron Mountain which,
on lapsing, was examined this summer by Dr. J. N. Black, of the Department of Mines
The valley, which is possibly an old route of the Nass-Skeena system, is deeply
bedded with gravel. The few granite monadnocks are so covered with undergrowth as
to defy examination. In the granitic mountain country no sedimentary contact zones
Dense forest-cover and heavy snowfall make the Kitimat a poor game country,
where a man cannot live in the bush dependent upon shooting meat. Few grouse or
ptarmigan and no deer were seen. Moose tracks and two animals were found in the
river thickets, from where they had a safe retreat to the river when hunted by wolves.
However, in the high country, mountain-goats could usually be shot for food. In the
fall, flights of Canada geese feed on the mud-flats of the river delta.
The entire predatory life depends on the salmon run, and in September, as the
cohoe, humpback, and dog salmon enter the river, the wolves, bears, and eagles gather
along the sand-bars. Nine wolves, five grizzlies, and many black bears were seen.
Trout-fishing was only fair. In the spring the Indians net the eulachan in the tidal
reaches of the river.
There are now no registered trap-lines in the valley. Most of the river bayous
have beaver colonies, and on the Little Wedeene the party saw trees 16 inches in
diameter that had been felled.
The average temperatures of the valley are 25° F. for January and 60° F. for
July. Precipitation is 80 inches, with 9-foot winter snows that persist until May. In
June the mountains were blanketed down to 2,000 feet with snow that was 12 feet deep
on the peaks. surveys and mapping service.
(Right oblique tri-camera photograph by Air Survey Division.)
Squamish Valley. TJ 146 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
The valley in summer acts as a funnel for the cold, cloud-laden winds from the sea
to enter the warm Interior east of the Cascades; southerly winds reached 60 miles per
hour. In winter the reverse occurs, and the Indian village is lashed by intensely cold
gale winds from the north. The summer was characterized by low clouds passing overhead; only one thunder-storm occurred. In August the valley experienced an earthquake, the tremors of which were amplified by the water-laden sediments of the delta.
TOPOGRAPHIC SURVEY OF SQUAMISH AREA.
S. H. DeJong, B.C.L.S., D.L.S.
The purpose of the survey was to prepare a topographic map of the Squamish area
for an inter-Departmental committee to use as a basis to plan the development of the
area which is expected to be accelerated by the extension of the Pacific Great Eastern
Railway to Prince George and the completion of the proposed highway from Vancouver
The writer was issued instructions under date of June 13th, 1949, to take charge
of the survey to secure data to prepare a map on a scale of 1,320 feet to 1 inch with a
contour interval of 20 feet. The limits of the area were to be up to the 1,500-foot
contour on the easterly side of the Squamish River and the 500-foot contour on the
westerly side. These limits were later reduced to be the 500-foot contour on the easterly side and the 300-foot contour on the westerly side respectively.
To establish adequate and rigid horizontal control over the area, accurate traverses
were run as follows:—
(1) Water-front to Cheekye River along the Pacific Great Eastern Railway.
(2) Water-front to Camp Lake along Merrill & Ring abandoned logging-
(3) Brackendale to Camp Lake via Brohm Lake logging-road, through the
bush by Alice Lake and Crane Lake to the Merrill & Ring abandoned railway, and thence to Camp Lake.
(4) Norton & Mackinnon abandoned logging-railroad (now Empire Mills
Mamquam Road) from the Pacific Great Eastern Railway to the Merrill
& Ring abandoned railway route.
A triangulation net was extended as follows: From a base line measured along the
Pacific Great Eastern Railway between the water-front and the townsite, northerly to
Cheekye, and southerly to the hydrographic survey stations of 1930, " Chan " and " Pla."
This triangulation and the traverse were tied together, as follows:—
(1) At the water-front by intersection from the traverse.
(2) At the north yard of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway by resection.
(3) At Brackendale by intersection from the traverse.
(4) At Cheekye by intersection from the traverse.
(5) On the Merrill & Ring grade at half-mile north of the Mashiter Creek
crossing by an auxiliary triangulation point.
The south-east corner of the Newport Hotel was made part of the triangulation by
reading on it from several stations and reading back from it to the same stations.
Besides this, the angle between " Garibaldi " and " Mamquam " triangulations stations
was read at this point. No cairns could be distinguished, but the directions were read
on the most likely points on the peaks indicated by the ground photographs supplied.
A further tie was secured to the main triangulation by a resection from one of the
stations west of the Squamish River. Again no cairns could be distinguished. SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 147
Ties to the Cadastral System.
The traverse was tied to the cadastral system, as follows:—
(1) At the water-front Stations 0 and 1 are concrete monuments marking
(2) Miscellaneous subdivision ties in Squamish.
(3) Miscellaneous ties to the Pacific Great Eastern Railway right-of-way
(4) Ties to the Bridge River power-line at:—
(a) Intersection with Merrill & Ring grade.
(b) Intersection with Norton & Mackinnon grade.
(c) Brackendale vicinity.
(d) Cheekye River.
(5) Ties to district lot corners, as follows:—
(a) "Three ties along Merrill & Ring grade south-easterly of
(b) Four ties along Norton & Mackinnon grade.
(c) One tie near Brackendale.
Permanent Marks, References, and Miscellaneous Ties.
All triangulation stations, excepting the base, were marked by standard rock posts.
The north end of the base is referenced by ties to an iron post on the railway right-of-
way and an iron post marking the British Columbia Electric Railway Company substation at Squamish. The south end of the base is indirectly referenced by a tie to
Station 1 of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway traverse.
Five lot corners were replaced by standard concrete posts and one by a standard
The railway traverse is referenced by four standard rock posts set in the southerly
concrete bridge piers on the easterly side of the rails of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway bridges between Squamish and Brackendale. The north end of the traverse is
referenced by the tie to Triangulation Station No. 1213, which is easily accessible, and
to the south end of the traverse by the foreshore lease monuments heretofore mentioned.
The south-east corner of the Newport Hotel has been tied into both the triangulation and traverse, and is referenced by a standard rock post in the westerly concrete
curb of Cleveland Avenue set on the line between the said corner and " Garibaldi " triangulation station and also to a copper tack in the same curb set by G. M. Christie,
B.C.L.S., in 1949. For convenience in referencing, the hotel corner was numbered
" 1222 " in the 1949 triangulation net.
The Merrill & Ring grade traverse is referenced by a standard pipe post on the
north bank of the Mamquam River, a standard rock post at Triangulation Station No.
1221 eccentric, and a standard pipe post at Camp Lake.
Levels were run by spirit level along all traverse routes, and, where practicable,
elevations of all permanent marks established were determined. Further, a standard
rock post was set along the Brohm Creek Road at the confluence of Brohm Creek with
the Cheekye River to serve as a bench-mark. There is no horizontal tie to this point.
Levels were based on Geodetic Survey Bench-marks 583-J and 583-J-2 at Brackendale, and Bench-mark 585-J at Cheakamus, all of which were found to be in apparently
Methods of taking topography had to be suited to conditions. In general, the
method was to establish spot heights at suitable locations and identify the points on TJ 148 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
the air photographs provided. To achieve this, all temporary bench-marks and turning-points in the level circuits were identified on the photographs. Further, by plane-
table and telescopic alidade any open routes adapted to this method were traversed and
further spot heights thus secured.
The above methods were applicable in only a limited portion of the area. In most
parts brush was dense enough that neither spirit levels nor plane-table and alidade
could be run, except at extremely high cost in time and labour. A further complication
was that forest-cover was dense enough, uniform enough, and high enough to prevent
the topographer from identifying his position readily unless he could establish his
position by other means within fairly close limits. To overcome this difficulty, compass
traverses, using " call bearings " and cod line or approximate tape measurement, were
run to establish approximate locations to aid the topographer in making his identifications. In a number of cases it was necessary to accept such traverses without any
positive identification having been made due to the nature of the terrain and forest-
cover. All such traverses were closed back on some identifiable point to make adjustment possible. Elevations of all traverse stations, where the telescopic alidade could
not be used, were determined by aneroid barometer, using the two-base method.
The history of Squamish and its environs has not yet been compiled. The first
white man known to have visited the area was Captain Vancouver, when he sailed up
Howe Sound in 1793. Since that time it has passed through the usual stages of
Trading, prospecting, and lumbering opened up the country. Before construction
of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway, goods were shipped to Squamish and transported
up the Squamish and Cheakamus Valleys by pack-train. Construction of the railway
between 1912 and 1921 expanded this development, the railway following the general
route of the pack-trains.
The history of the Indians in this valley should be of distinct interest, and much
of their lore and legend may still be learned from the older ones. The younger generation, whose interests are different, are not perpetuating the old legends to the same
extent as their elders. The situation regarding the white population is similar. Many
of the old settlers are still resident in the valley, but they are reaching an advanced age.
Any postponement of the compilation of the history of Squamish will materially reduce
the information available from these sources. It is hoped that someone will soon show
the necessary interest and take the time to write this story, which is a vital part of the
history of British Columbia.
The valley-bottom is level and rises very little from the mouth of the Squamish to
Brackendale. Here it commences to rise more rapidly. On the westerly side of the
Squamish River the mountains rise abruptly from the water, with the exception of
a few draws and flats of small extent. The tributaries of the Squamish, coming in
from the west, are short and fairly numerous. In most cases the water tumbles in
small streams over precipitous rocks. Occasionally a stream in a well-defined valley
gains considerable volume but, nevertheless, has an exceedingly steep gradient.
The main part of the valley lies to the east of the Squamish River. Below the
mouth of the river the mountains rise out of the ocean, and streams have the same
characteristics as those above described. A notable example is Shannon Creek, which
cascades over the rock-face in two spectacular drops high up the mountain-side. It
may be seen for miles on a clear day from points far up the Squamish Valley.
As mentioned heretofore, the mountain-slopes in this valley are exceedingly steep.
Many various types of rocks were encountered. One feature of the rock was that in SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 149
certain areas there were no slopes, but the ascent consisted of vertical faces broken by
narrow ledges. The most outstanding example of this is the westerly face of the
" Stawamus Chief," which virtually rises vertically 2,000 feet out of the valley.
Above the river-mouth the valleys of the Stawamus and the Mamquam enter from
the east. The Mamquam has numerous tributaries and a comparatively large basin.
It is fed by the Mamquam and Garibaldi glaciers, as well as by the run-off from the
mountain-slopes. Its volume is very sensitive to changing weather conditions as a
short period of hot weather will raise it almost to flood stage and an extended period of
rain will do the same. In cool weather it dwindles to almost a trickle. The lower
reaches of the Mamquam flow through the valley of the Squamish, although at one
time the river had a channel of its own almost to the sea.
During the floods of 1940 the Mamquam River cut a new channel straight to the
Squamish instead of following the old turn south. The east channel of the Squamish
has since that time become merely a slough carrying a small quantity of water at high
The Squamish River itself is also glacier-fed at its source, but its greater length
and many tributaries cause it to be less sensitive to changes of weather. Its flow is
nevertheless variable, and high stages may be reached at various times throughout the
summer season. This stream is navigable to certain types of craft to its upper reaches.
Its current is always swift, and when the water is high it requires a fast boat to make
The most recent flood of serious proportions occurred in the valley in October
The climate of the Squamish Valley is typical of the Coast, except that fog is rare.
Apparently the same conditions which produce fog also produce the well-known
Squamish winds. (The translation of the word " Squamish " from the Indian is said
to be " big wind.") The residents of the valley frequently say, " There is always a
wind in Squamish." This is not invariably true. This writer has observed that when
the weather is cloudy the air may be perfectly still, but when the sun shines a breeze
rises in the morning, stiffening as the day progresses, almost always blowing in from
the south off the ocean.
Rainfall is high but not excessive for this coast. The temperature in winter is
usually a little lower than that of Vancouver, and snow is more common, lasting for a
longer period of time.
The fixed population of the valley below Cheekye is estimated at about 1,200 people.
This figure includes the Indians who move about from one reservation to another of
the numerous small reservations in the area. There is also an intinerant population
ranging up to 400.
Settlement and Development.
Settlement occurs mainly along the existing Government road, being concentrated
at Squamish, Brackendale, and Cheekye. The Townsite of Squamish is becoming quite
rapidly built up. Much new construction is in progress—some of the old buildings
are being renovated, both hotels are being extended, and two new stores are being
built, in addition to considerable new housing. Most of the new housing of recent or
present construction is going on in the upper part of the townsite, as far north as the
Mamquam River, and on a new subdivision on a bench overlooking the lower townsite
east of the east channel of the river. A great deal of new development is anticipated,
and there is a large demand for building lots for new residential construction. Much
of the demand is restrained and awaits the opening-up of new land subdivided on
modern lines. tj 150 department of lands and forests.
At the present time Squamish is accessible by boat from the south via Howe Sound
and by rail from the north. Union Steamships offers a daily service from Vancouver
for passengers, express, and freight. Howe Sound Lines offers a service, daily except
Tuesday, from Horseshoe Bay for passengers and light express. The Pacific Great
Eastern Railway has its own freight service by barge, carrying railway-cars from
Vancouver to Squamish, providing a freight service without further handling as far
north as Quesnel. Its express is carried by the Union Steamships and transferred to
the train at Squamish. The Pacific Great Eastern Railway passenger service operates
north from Squamish to Lillooet daily except Sunday and from Squamish to Quesnel
three days a week. These services connect with the Union Steamships services at
Squamish, and the service at Quesnel is linked by bus with Prince George and other
From Squamish a road runs northerly up the Squamish Valley for some 20 miles.
Another leaves this just west of the Cheakamus River, running a short distance up
the Cheakamus Valley. There is a road also running north-easterly from the main
road just north of Brackendale to Brohm Lake and beyond. From the main Squamish
Road also, the Empire Mills Mamquam Road proceeds up the Mamquam Valley and
ascends the ridge to the north to within a few miles of Diamond Head Chalet. For
several miles this road follows the old route of the Norton & Mackinnon logging-
railroad, abandoned some years ago. Another road leaves the Squamish-Britannia
Highway a little below Squamish and follows up the Stawamus River.
The above roads are mainly private roads, built and maintained by the logging
companies into whose limits they proceed. At present they receive a certain amount
of traffic by vehicles operated by the general public. It is difficult to envisage that
their privacy will be long maintained when the public is able to enter the area from
Vancouver by car.
The proposed new highway is now in use between Squamish and Britannia Beach.
From here it is possible to proceed about 2 miles farther south along Howe Sound.
Beyond this point the road follows the Bridge River power-line and continues to Vancouver. However, use of this latter part of the road is highly restricted, as it crosses
the Greater Vancouver Water District watershed.
Seaplanes can find landing at Squamish and even at points on the river above the
town. There is some traffic by this means to Squamish, but to a greater extent there
is increasing traffic between Vancouver and points up the valley. Air traffic to
Squamish so far has been light and is used as an emergency service only. There is
no air schedule at present, and none anticipated as far as the writer can determine.
Tourist Facilities and Traffic.
The Squamish Valley already enjoys a considerable tourist traffic by way of Union
Steamships and Pacific Great Eastern Railway. This, up to the present, must be
considered as through traffic mainly, inasmuch as most tourists merely pass through,
proceeding to Diamond Head Chalet by jeep or up to other resorts via Pacific Great
Eastern Railway. There are virtually no facilities to accommodate tourists in Squamish
itself. There is a certain amount of hunting and fishing organized with limited
facilities at Cheekye, and there are also a few dude ranches in the valley. The taxi
company at Squamish operates a conducted tour at present between the arrival of the
Union Steamships boat and its departure each day for those who take the boat trip
for the day and who wish to see something of the Interior.
There is no doubt that, when the new highway is complete, a considerable expansion
of tourist accommodation and other facilities will be experienced, and Squamish, with
the roads now leading out in several directions, will become a tourist centre. '
surveys and mapping SERVICE. TJ 151
Tourist facilities are now being developed on Garibaldi Lake and serviced by
aeroplane. This development is by-passing Squamish and will have little effect on the
The main industry of Squamish is lumbering. All the roads carry heavy logging-
trucks, and great quantities of timber are transported into the town. Douglas fir,
hemlock, and cedar in sizes up to 4 and 6 feet are being hauled in large quantities.
Another timber product is alder, which grows in profusion and to large sizes, and
which is being used by the furniture industry in Vancouver.
The timber referred to is all being cut in the hinterland. In the valley-bottom,
including the entire area studied, the timber has long since been cut, except west of
the river. A considerable amount of reseeding is being done, and the time may come
when the lower reaches again produce.
West of the Squamish there are fine stands of virgin timber. However, this has
barely been touched on account of its inaccessibility due to the extremely steep rock-
slopes. One patch of this timber of limited extent was recently taken out by a high-line
strung across the Squamish River. Farther up a considerable quantity was taken out
some years ago, access having been gained by ferry just above the mouth of the
Cheakamus. In the main, however, this timber still awaits the day when the logging
operator's ingenuity develops means of getting to it and handling it in these difficult
places at a reasonable cost.
Game and Fish.
Game in the valley appeared scarce to the writer. He personally saw only one deer
all season, which, compared to other parts of the Province, is very little. However, it
seems that the influx of a number of cougar into the valley in recent years has driven
the deer away.
The valley abounds in black bear, several having been seen. Coyotes and cougar
were also observed. Grouse of various kinds, though not plentiful, were quite frequently
observed. Fish abound in the streams and lakes. The most common are trout in all
seasons, and the rivers and creeks are choked with salmon in the fall.
BRITISH COLUMBIA-YUKON BOUNDARY SURVEY.
A. J. Campbell, B.A.Sc, D.L.S., B.C.L.S.
Former reports of the survey, which commenced in 1945, give a short history of
the evolution of the boundaries of the Province of British Columbia and show how the
60th parallel of north latitude was established as the boundary between Yukon and
Northwest Territories and the Province.
In these reports the methods used in marking a parallel of latitude on the ground
are described in some detail. For the purpose of this report it is only necessary to state
that before commencing the final running of the boundary-line a series of points was
established in 1943 and 1944 by astronomical observations. These " astro-fixes " were
placed at varying intervals close to the parallel. The parallel points established from
them are then connected and finally joined by a series of lines as the boundary.
The instructions issued by the Commissioners for this year's work stated: " The
object of the survey is to establish on the ground the boundary between British Columbia and Yukon between the astronomical points R-5 and N-6. The boundary-line shall
be straight lines joining the permanent boundary monuments, which shall be erected by
you at intervisible points not over 3 miles apart. The line shall be well cut out to give
a good sky-line and shall be well blazed." TJ 152 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
These instructions, dated May 2nd, 1949, are signed by the Commissioners—Bruce
Waugh, Surveyor-General of Dominion Lands, and N. C. Stewart, Surveyor-General of
By referring to the sketch-plan, which shows the portions of the line surveyed in
each year, it will be seen that the line has been completed from Teslin Lake east to
Smith River. Also, in establishing the boundary between R-5 and N-6 the last pair of
astro-fixes has been connected. Any further extension to the east would require that,
first, another series of astro-fixes be established before commencing its final delineation.
This year's work, compared with other years of the survey, was a large order to
complete in one season. Not only was the distance longer, but, first, it was necessary to
make the tie between the astro-fixes before commencing the final running of the line.
To make a complete triangulation such as had been done formerly, or to run trial lines,
was out of the question if it was to be completed in the time, so some method had to be
devised that would give an accurate bearing between the two points and could be done
quickly. From information gathered in the field, and from a thorough study of aerial
photographs covering the area, it was decided that there was a big possibility that it
could be done. A bare topped ridge, situated almost midway in the area and quite close
to where the line would go, offered a solution. If the summit of this ridge, known hereafter as " The High Ridge," was visible from a point or points near R-5 to the west, and
also to the east, near N-6, then a sketchy or elongated form of triangulation could be
made, pivoting on this central ridge, that would fulfil the requirements. This plan
received the approval of the Commission, or, to be accurate, it originated there, and it
is sufficient to say here that it was quite successful. The important feature is that
" The High Ridge " lay close to the line, thus giving assurance that the resulting bearing
between R-5 and N-6 would be of sufficient accuracy. This was completely demonstrated
in the results obtained. Also, the cairn on " High North " proved very useful, and
comforting, to check the position of the line from many points both east and west of it.
During the first part of the season, while engaged on the triangulation tie, the
party consisted of nine men, all brought from Victoria. On moving into the Smith
River area more men were added, these all being obtained locally, until, during the
heaviest part of the line work, there were eighteen men in all.
Field work commenced on May 18th, when some of the party left Victoria. On
completion of the section of the triangulation up to " The High Ridge," a move was
made to N-6 in the Smith River valley. Finishing the tie at that end, the work of
running this line commenced on June 27th. This steadily progressed until October 7th,
when it closed in at R-5. Completing the setting of several monuments and packing
the camp outfit for shipment, the party was disbanded on October 11th, and a return
was made to Victoria.
The line work was carried out exactly as in the preceding years of the survey.
This has been well described in former Reports. This year no trouble was experienced
in taking observations at times and places they were needed. Sufficient were taken to
control the bearings on all the chords.
The lines were run from east to west instead of what would appear as the natural
way. It was decided to do this, with the approval of the Commissioners, for several
reasons. One was that the party would be camped at the east end on finishing the
triangulation tie, and would mean a long move of over 100 miles by pack-horse and
truck to come back. The horses would have to make this trip also, as there were no
trails across country. But the main reason was that several miles of the west end of
the line could be reached from the highway, and once the camp was back to it, the need
for the pack-train would be over. This appeared to be important, as it had been estimated that it would take until the end of October to finish the work, and the freeze-up,
with its attendant lack of feed and icy rivers to ford, might make it very difficult for the
horses to reach their home range. It also would mean a considerable saving in the cost SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE.
British Columbia - Yukon Boundary.
Cairn on " The High Ridge."
Monument 41 8.
Long slope down to
Boundary across Coal River valley to " The High Ridge."
TJ 154 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
of the survey. As it happened, the highway was reached on September 20th, and the
pack-train started its long trek homeward the next day.
West from the Smith River valley the boundary passed through a gradually ascending series of rolling ridges and small hills scattered in a haphazard way over the area.
It is well watered and dotted with small lakes. The largest of these, which was named
Triangle Lake, 9 miles from the Smith River valley, is over a mile from its northerly
tip to a mile-long base at the southerly end. The line crossed a bay at the north end
and also crossed bays on two more of these lakes farther west. The altitudes in this
section go from 2,120 feet at N-6 to 3,880 feet on the summit of a timbered ridge on
the east side of Bear Creek, Which is between 18 and 19 miles from the Smith River
Bear Creek is the local name of a pleasant little stream 10 to 12 feet wide and
around 2 feet deep which meanders through a very narrow valley to join Coal River
beyond the southerly end of " The High Ridge." Directly from it the slopes rise steeply.
Those to the east climb very steeply for 1,400 feet, and those to the west for 1,800 feet
to the top of " The High Ridge." The line crosses " The High Ridge " a quarter of a
mile north from and 150 feet lower than the triangulation cairn on the summit.
West of " The High Ridge," for the 13 miles over to Barney Lake, the pattern
changes, being more mountainous, with some of the ridges running north of the line
to open-topped mountains. Coal River, 3 miles west and 2,400 feet below the ridge, is
a lovely clear-water river, 300 feet wide, running southerly, to cross the highway at
Mile 533, on its way to the Liard River.
West of Coal River, in the 10 miles over to Barney Lake, the line passes over three
main ridges and up to 1,700 feet above it. Barney Lake, known locally as Boundary
Lake, with its very clear water, is 4 to 5 miles long. Its head, or northerly end, is
surrounded by mountains, some rising to open tops. Its southerly end is in the flat
country adjacent to the highway, and its waters drain to the Liard River in a rather
peculiar manner. A considerable stream flows out of the lake at the south end but
soon disappears underground, to show again as a large spring 100 yards before crossing
the highway. It is here known as Sandin Creek.
West from Barney Lake, for the 12 miles to R-5, the line passes through gently
rolling country and rapidly nears the highway. At Soby Creek it is less than a quarter
of a mile away from a bend in the road. Near Mile-post 586 it crosses the travelled
roadway and then back again, in three-quarters of a mile, although still remaining on
the right-of-way. This makes nine crossings of the highway by the boundary.
East of " The High Ridge " and nearly half the distance to the Smith River valley,
spruce and balsam, or white fir, predominate, with a few scattered lodgepole pine. For
this region the spruce and balsam are quite large, some up to 2 feet in diameter, and
averaging around 10 inches. On the east half the balsam disappears and the pine
becomes more plentiful. Here they are smaller, being from 6 to 8 inches in diameter.
In the Smith River valley some poplar was noted. The only burnt area is one of considerable extent, spreading over some low hills, most of it north of the line in Yukon.
It is reproducing almost exclusively with pine, now about 8 feet high.
West of " The High Ridge " there is a change and lodgepole pine is the predominating species, with spruce general and poplar encountered, low down, in the Coal River
valley and again around Barney Lake, and west to R-5. The timber in Coal River
valley has been badly burned but is now well-grown over, principally with pine, which
in places is very thick. West of Barney Lake there are recent burns, spreading south- SURVEYS AND MAPPING SERVICE. TJ 155
erly to and across the highway and also well to the north. Reproduction in this, almost
entirely pine, is very sparse as yet.
Willow, buckbrush, and small bush alder is common to the whole area, but never
very thick. Small fruits are very scarce but general. Some high-bush cranberries,
blackberries, and red currants were noted.
The same report can be made of this area as in other years of the survey. Big
game is scarce. A number of black bear were seen, but only one moose. Grouse,
mostly fool-hen, were fairly plentiful.
Some good catches of Dolly Varden and grayling were taken from Coal River, and
lakes in the vicinity of Smith River Airport are reported to provide good fishing.
Triangle Lake, crossed by the line, contains plenty of pike, but no trout were caught.
Barney Lake is reported to have few fish, and these are suckers. This may be due to
the underground outlet to the Liard River.
N-6, the starting-point for the year's work, is 35 miles by road and trail up the
Smith River valley. The road, leaving the highway between Mile-posts 516 and 517,
goes 25 miles up the valley to Smith River Airport. This is an emergency landing-field,
radio and weather station, manned by an Officer Commanding with several Royal Canadian Air Force personnel, and Department of Transport radio operator. The road,
quite narrow compared to the highway, is good in dry weather, but when wet becomes
very muddy and quite slippery in places. Crooked Lake, lying off the north end of the
airstrip, is suitable for seaplane landings, and a narrow road approximately 3 miles
long leads down to it. It had been the original intention to construct the airport at
Tobally Lake, a much larger lake 20 miles farther north, and at that time a tractor-road
had been pushed through to this lake. This makes a very good trail. N-6 is situated
about 7 miles up this road. From this tractor-road a good pack-horse trail was cut
out along or close to the line for the 33 miles over to Barney Lake. A trail goes along
the east side of the lake and out to the highway near Mile-post 577. West of Barney
Lake there is no trail near the line, but it is readily accessible from the road.
The Alaska Highway has been kept up to its usual standard. Considerable resurfacing is being done, as well as a few changes in alignment. The accommodation at
the camps and stopping-places is being steadily improved and modernized, and new ones
are being built.
The National Defence and Geological Topographic parties were again working in
the area, and the Geodetic Survey carried its triangulation net farther to the south
along the highway.
The authorities of the Northwest Highway System, as usual, granted privileges to
my party, and our thanks are also due to the Officer Commanding and members of the
staff at Smith River Airport for the assistance and many kindnesses shown to the party. 1 9 ^3= 3 to 1 9 ^3= £>
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DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
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WATER RIGHTS BRANCH.
R. C. Farrow, M.E.I.C, B.C.L.S., P. Eng., Comptroller.
The year now coming to an end has been marked by continued increase in the
volume of work which has been noted yearly since the end of the war, and has affected
all sections of the Branch. This increase in the amount of work handled has not been
matched by increases in the staff. In fact, on the technical side, the Branch was still
under strength by four engineers up until mid-year and is still short of draughtsmen.
Technical men of suitable calibre have been difficult to find at the salaries offered.
Only one typist and one clerk have been added to the clerical staff this year, although
the total volume of work handled by them has increased by over 50 per cent, since
1939, which is a great credit to their conscientiousness.
The work of the district offices has, of course, increased in proportion, and since
the war it has been necessary to augment their staffs each summer by engineering
parties manned by undergraduates from the University of British Columbia.
On the technical side the increase in the volume, variety, and complexity of the
work handled has been even greater.
The time is rapidly approaching when increases to the staff will have to be
seriously considered; a second assistant engineer at each district office will soon be
The degree of activity in the Water Rights Branch is a good barometer of general
activity, since more population, more agricultural activity, more industries, and more
hydro-power generated is reflected immediately in the use of more water.
Our expanding economy and population undoubtedly account for most of the
increased volume of work, both in number of licences issued and in the number of
changes of works, of ownership, and of appurtenancy, the three latter often involving
more work than the issue of a licence.
A number of large and complicated or contentious licences dealt with during the
past year have involved a great deal of extra work, as well as meetings, conferences,
and hearings, such as the licences for Columbia Cellulose Company, Limited, at Port
Edwards, the Nanaimo Sulphate Pulp Company, Veterans' Land Act Cawston benches
irrigation with complications involving the International Joint Commission, and the
Aluminum Company of Canada.
The number of boards and committees on which the Comptroller is serving inevitably involves the staff of the Branch, both technical and clerical, in much extra work.
Lastly the public to-day demands much more in the way of service and precise
information than previously.
WATER LICENCES AND APPLICATIONS.
The total number dealt with continues to increase. The statutory work connected
with these are tabulated below:— ,„,„ '„,„
Applications for licences 623 580
Apportionments 19 50 -
Transfers of appurtenancy 26 15
Changes of works 20 70
Extensions of time 472 300
Changes of Ownership 314 260
Cancellations and abandonments 238 225
Right-of-way over Crown lands 155 154
1,867 1,654 tj 160 department of lands and forests.
1949—Conditional 457 1948 , 1,158
Final 377 1947 1,037
The large number of licences issued in 1947 and 1948 was due to a concentrated
effort to pick up a backlog of work which had accumulated during the war.
IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS AND WATER-USERS' COMMUNITIES.
These public corporate bodies, incorporated under the " Water Act," continue to
increase in number. There are now 42 water-users' communities and 120 improvement
districts in the Province, increases of 2 and 9 respectively over last year.
They function for various purposes connected with water, the majority being for
irrigation and waterworks, the remainder being variously for fire-protection, drainage,
dyking, and power purposes. Their organization and a certain amount of administration are handled by the Branch, in much the same way that municipalities are cared for
by the Department of Municipalities.
DRAUGHTING AND MAPPING.
Statutory and General.
Like all other functions Of the Branch, this has continued to increase in the past
year. The report of the chief draughtsman is as follows:—
Water applications cleared and plotted on water rights maps ._ 623
Conditional-licence plats compiled and drawn 457
Final-licence plats compiled and drawn 377
Water-rights maps compiled and drawn 35
Improvement-district plans compiled and drawn 10
Clearances—change of ownership, cancellation, extensions of
time, etc. 1,089
Land clearances—purchases, leases, cancellations, reversions,
Crown grants 5,300
Many requests from other departments and our own District Engineers for water-
rights maps were taken care of.
Water Resources and Technical.
The work of this section has increased greatly, largely on account of the widening
scope of technical work and services involved. The report of the supervising draughtsman is as follows:—
Plans for new reports: Babine-Stuart Lake storage, Shuswap and Kamloops
Lake storage, Wilmer domestic-water supply, Terrace domestic-water
supply, Camp Lister (Creston) irrigation, Wilmer irrigation, McBride
irrigation, Kettle River-Mission Creek diversion (irrigation).
Ten snow-survey plats: Fraser River basin, Okanagan, and Powell River.
A large number of hydrographs, flood hydrographs, differential mass diagrams,
and correlation curves were plotted in connection with the numerous hydraulic studies
carried out on flood-control and on problems arising from the Fraser River Board, and
the International Columbia River Engineering Board concerning the Arrow Lakes and
Columbia, Kootenay, and Similkameen Rivers.
Complete design and construction drawings were made for the new Okanagan
flood-control dam at Okanagan Falls. WATER RIGHTS BRANCH.
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< a U 162 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
The demand for our engineering reports on various power and irrigation projects
has continued, and additional copies of twelve such reports were compiled during the
year, involving the assembling and colouring of hundreds of white prints.
REVENUE AND EXPENDITURES.
The revenue and expenditures for the past decade are as follows:—
1940 $324,210.04 $105,236.66
1941 338,017.72 89,646.53
1942 341,535.46 84,462.94
1943 355,765.68 74,815.42
1944._. 363,901.98 77,475.36
1945-. 382,297.16 80,531.78
1946 406,056.03 82,434.78
1947 441,165.99 122,688.53
1948 427,342.57 167,154.17
1949 476,184.06 219,263.25
Totals $3,856,476.69 $1,103,709.42
Average for last ten years $385,647.67 $110,370.94
Revenue for the first eight months of the fiscal year 1949-50 was $430,265.14.^
Plate 2 shows graphically revenues and expenditures to March 31st, 1949.
The greatest acreage of irrigated lands in the Province, some 100,000 acres, is still
operated by private effort, mainly stock-ranches and mixed farming. On the project
scale the history of irrigation in the Province, mainly for specialized crops such as tree
and soft fruits, has been a checkered one. Started mostly by private land-selling companies, the various systems, often poorly designed and cheaply built, had eventually to
be taken over by the growers, who formed improvement districts for the purpose.
Large sums were borrowed from the Government, under the Conservation Fund, for
their rehabilitation, most of which has never been repaid.
This financial background has made it virtually impossible to borrow money on the
open market for financing irrigation projects.
In the meantime the most readily accessible sources of irrigation-water have been
appropriated, so that any further irrigation projects will inevitably be more expensive
to develop, quite apart from the increased cost of labour, materials, and equipment
presently obtaining. Under present circumstances, therefore, it appears that any considerable expansion of irrigation on a project scale will only take place under subsidization.
Whether subsidization, per se, is a good thing or not, it is being undertaken for
irrigation projects by the Prairie Farms Rehabilitation Administration throughout the
Prairie Provinces, and they have now entered the same field in British Columbia as
engineering and construction agents for Veterans' Land Act projects, and, furthermore,
under agreement between the Minister of Lands and Forests for the Province and the
Minister of Agriculture for the Dominion, joint projects may be undertaken with the
Prairie Farms Rehabilitation Administration as the operative Dominion agency. Irrigation in this Province, therefore, appears to have entered a new era.
In order to facilitate this co-operative work, a committee has been set up known
as the Dominion-Provincial Co-ordinating Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation,
composed of the representatives of the Prairie Farms Rehabilitation Administration
and Experimental Farms Service, Department of Agriculture of Canada; Department
of Agriculture of British Columbia; Department of Lands and Forests of British WATER RIGHTS BRANCH. TJ 163
Columbia; and Veterans' Land Act Administration where interested. The writer is
chairman of the Committee.
Its functions are to review all projects suggested for joint development, as well as
Veterans' Land Act projects, to co-ordinate the gathering and study of all available
data, and to initiate surveys and studies where data are incomplete or lacking.
With the volume of work put before it, the Committee has found it necessary to
meet almost monthly in the past year. When it came into being, the Veterans' Land Act
projects were already in an advanced stage of planning, and these were considered first,
cleared, and their construction recommended to the two Governments. The recommendations were accepted, and active construction is under way. Those in question are :—
Westbank irrigation project, Kelowna 1,070
Nisconlith irrigation project, Chase 1,096
Johnson-Western small-holding projects, Kamloops 73
Penticton benches small-holding project 304
Cawston benches irrigation project 585
Total area 3,128
The Cawston benches project has involved this Branch in a great amount of work
owing to the State of Washington protesting the granting of the water licence, and the
matter being referred to the International Joint Commission. The matter has not yet
been composed to the satisfaction of this Branch.
The Committee has listed for consideration some twenty projects scattered throughout the drier sections of the Province; these total some 75,000 acres, and would accommodate 2,000 or more farm units. No reliable estimates of cost are available on many
of these, but the aggregate might well exceed $7,000,000 if all proved feasible and were
The data considered necessary by the Committee for proper consideration of any
project are as follows:—
(1) Land-ownership involved (whether private or Crown).
(2) Suitability of land as indicated by:—
(a) Soil survey and report.
(b) Land-utilization survey and report.
(3) Nature of crops suggested for the area.
(4) Availability of water, having in mind prior water rights.
(5) Engineering surveys and reports.
(6) Cost of project and estimated cost per acre of water to the user.
In addition to these factual data, other factors have to be taken into consideration,
such as accessibility to existing transport facilities, distance from markets, and probable
shipping costs for recommended crops, and extent of existing social amenities. The
crop suggested and most suitable for the area is an important consideration. For
instance, with the prevailing marketing conditions for tree and soft fruits, any great
expansion of acreage for these products might be unwise. On the other hand, dairying
could be expanded with advantage; milk is presently being shipped from the Lower
Fraser Valley as far as Nelson. The fattening of beef cattle on feed-lots is another
field worth exploitation. Regarding suitability of crops and marketing, various bodies
are consulted, such as the Marketing Boards, B.C. Tree Fruits, Limited, etc., and the
reports of the local Agricultural Club Committees on post-war rehabilitation are freely
consulted and are of great value.
The Veterans' Land Act projects are financed by the Dominion Government, with
only minor aid from the Provincial Government, mainly in the form of co-operation by
various departments in order to expedite their development. U 164
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
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For the non-veteran projects it is proposed that where Crown lands are involved,
the cost will be shared by the Dominion and Provincial Governments, and where private
owners are involved, costs will be split three ways.
The Dominion Water and Power Bureau of the Department of Mines and Resources
carries out a Dominion-wide service in the measurement of stream-flow, the rise and
fall of lakes, and associated studies. The Branch makes an annual contribution to the
cost of this work, which is only a fraction of the total amount spent in the Province by
the Bureau, who carry out the work requested by us with the utmost co-operation.
The importance of this service is becoming more and more widely appreciated, as
evidenced by the increasing demand for our British Columbia Snow Survey Bulletins,
issued as of February 1st, March 1st, April 1st, and May 1st each year. The three
latter forecast the volume of flow to be expected during the snow run-off months—April
Our Columbia Basin network is co-ordinated with the United States network, and
a precise, fast system of exchanging field data has been developed, which works with
great smoothness. .
The gathering of the field data each year is an epic in itself. From the headwaters
of the Columbia River in British Columbia south to the Mexican Border, and from the
Coast to the Continental divide, literally thousands of snow surveyors start off simultaneously on their hazardous trips to the mountain snow courses, some on skis and snow-
shoes, the more fortunate ones in over-snow track-vehicles, a few in helicopters. A few
days later these vital data as to how much water is stored in the form of snow are being
funnelled into various intercommunicating headquarters by telephone and telegraph
and wireless, in order that the Bulletins and forecasts may be issued as soon as possible.
Up until this year our snow surveys have only covered the Columbia Basin, including the Okanagan and Similkameen Basins, but the Fraser River flood of 1948 pointed
to the necessity of assessing the flood potential due to snow. This year considerable
reconnaissance was carried out for the purpose of locating new snow courses; ten new
courses were established this year—six in North Thompson River drainage and two on
the headwaters of the Fraser River. It is planned to gradually expand the Fraser Basin
coverage. The total number of courses in operation in the Province is now sixty-five,
besides which a number of United States courses are used (see Map Plate 3).
Fraser River Sedimentation Studies.
The problem of silt-carrying rivers has become the subject of intensive study in
the United States, where instruments and techniques have been developed for determining the amount of silt carried in a stream and, indirectly, the bed-load deposited. The
amount carried and deposited has an important bearing on river engineering. In the
first place, silt carried indicates bank-erosion upstream, which may not be apparent to
the casual observer, or even on actual examination of the banks. But changes in the
volume of silt carried in different reaches will indicate where this often slow attrition
is taking place. The amount of silt carried determines the useful life of any reservoirs
impounded by dams built in a river. For instance, it is estimated that Lake Mead,
behind Boulder Dam on the Colorado River, will have been rendered ineffective through
the deposition of silt in 144 years, despite its enormous size. Silt carried and bed-load
deposited are important factors in navigable reaches and necessitate annual dredging.
Silt is also a carrier and holder of bacteriological pollution in streams. PLATE 3. WATER RIGHTS BRANCH. TJ 167
The determination of its various causes and effects and methods of dealing with it
require specialized studies and equipment. Preliminary consideration of the problem
was under way when the Dominion-Provincial Board, Fraser River Basin, came into
being, and decided that such studies were essential to the over-all basin studies. The
Board, therefore, requested that the Branch undertake this work and voted a substantial
contribution toward it.
By arrangement with the Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and Soil
Conservation Service, who undertake co-operative river-sedimentation surveys in the
United States, I arranged for one of our engineers to visit their establishments and
accompany their engineers on their field work. They even extended this courtesy by the
loan of equipment until such time as we are able to obtain it.
Last year was occupied with detailed reconnaissance of the river for selecting suitable sampling-sites, in correlation with existing and projected stream-gauging stations,
and also with designing and building of necessary handling equipment and training of
The British Columbia Research Council is co-operating by carrying out any necessary laboratory work which is complementary to the field work.
Inspection of Dams and Dam-sites.
The approval of all dams, as well as other hydraulic structures, is a statutory requirement. In the case of concrete dams this entails, principally, checking the stability
of the design by analytical methods, but with earth dams entails considerable field work.
The site and proposed fill material have to be inspected, samples taken, which are subjected to laboratory tests by the Soil Mechanics Laboratory of the British Columbia
Research Council, from which our dam-inspection engineers establish the criteria of
design for the dam. Further inspections during construction are necessary in order to
ensure that the specifications are adhered to. This was carried out for twelve dams
during the past year, which involved thirty-one inspection trips and the taking and
analysis of some sixty soil samples. In addition, the concrete dam at Okanagan Falls,
as part of the flood-control project, was designed by Branch engineers.
With hundreds of old earth dams in the Province, which, if they failed, could
menace life and property, a certain number have to be inspected each year, and repairs
or betterments ordered. ,
The 1948 floods weakened many dams and necessitated far more inspections than
usual during the year. Forty dams were inspected, and orders issued regarding them.
Many of these dams are far back in the mountains in very inaccessible localities,
requiring several days' travel to reach them, although this can sometimes be reduced
by the use of aeroplanes.
Special Hydraulic Studies.
Our association with the International Columbia River Engineering Board, concerning the many problems relating to the use of water in this basin, of vital concern
to the Province, together with similar problems in connection with the work of the
newly constituted Fraser River Board, has required a tremendous number of very
complex hydraulic studies relating to potential multiple-use projects, involving flood-
control, hydro-electric and irrigation functions, and the equally complex benefit-
determination and cost-allocation studies, both as between the different functions of
a project and as between the United States and British Columbia.
Three major problems in this connection have been under constant study during
the year, as follows:—
(1) The effect of the proposed Libby dam in the Kootenay River in Idaho
on our interests both as to benefits and damages. The Department of
Lands and Forests has been co-ordinating an over-all survey of possible
- TJ 168 department of lands and forests. !
losses due to flooding which might result from the development; this
Branch is determining the hydro-electric possibilities in Canada which
would be drowned out, and also the effect of Libby dam storage on the
plants of the West Kootenay Power and Light Company and City of
Nelson on the Kootenay River. We are also working on benefit determinations and cost allocations for this project.
(2) Arrow Lakes storage, requested by State of Washington interests, to
provide additional flow during low-water periods for Grand Coulee and
Bonneville power developments. They were under the misapprehension
that this could be provided more quickly than other up-stream storage-
sites in United States territory. Extensive studies were necessary before
this thesis was disproved.
(3) At the request of the International Joint Commission, a study and report
was made as to the effect of the granting of water licences on the Similkameen River in British Columbia on " vested interests " in the State of
These studies are handled by the Office Engineer and his assistants, practically
to the exclusion of other work. He is also a member of the Working Group of the
International Columbia River Engineering Committee, of which G. P. Melrose, Deputy
Minister of Lands, is an ex officio member. This work has also entailed attendance by
the Deputy Minister, the Office Engineer, and myself at meetings of the Committee
and Board in various places as far distant as Washington, D.C.
Water being one of our fundamental natural resources, it is essential that our
inventory of it and its possible most beneficial use be kept constantly up to date.
So far as the Fraser River is concerned, British Columbia's own great river, this
work is being expedited through the Dominion-Provincial Board Fraser River Basin,
of which the writer is a member and also secretary. Considerable work on storage
and power dam-sites and their related reservoir-sites was carried out during the year
by the Branch, in conjunction with the Board.
Power, mechanically'produced and widely applied, is the basis of our present
civilization and culture, and British Columbia is particularly fortunate in its, as yet,
untapped resources of water-power. The relative positions of the three leading Provinces in this regard are as follows :— Potential 24-hr. Power
at 80% Efficiency at Installed
Ordinary 6 Mos. Flow. Capacity.
Province. Horse-power. Horse-power.
Quebec 13,064,000 5,940,000
British Columbia 11,000,000 1,176,000
Ontario 7,261,000 2,894,000
The installed capacity given for Quebec and Ontario are as of the end of 1948,
the latest figures available.
It should be noted that the estimates of potential power, except where sites have
been surveyed, do not take into account the possibilities of storage and concentrations
of head and, therefore, represent nearly minimum power possibilities.
Out of British Columbia's 11,000,000 potential horse-power, nearly 6,000,000 horsepower are on the Fraser River system—about 2,000,000 horse-power on the main stem
and the balance on its larger tributaries. The importance of Fraser River power lies
in the fact that it includes three of the largest remaining blocks of power on the North Geographic Branch B. C.
PLATE 4. WATER RIGHTS BRANCH. TJ 169
American Continent, and all its power-sites are reasonably accessible either to tidewater or to our existing communication system.
This has grown at a constantly accelerating rate during the past century, from a
mere 5 horse-power direct-connected water-wheel in 1848 to 1,176,000 horse-power
to-day. The distribution by principal uses is as follows:—
Central electric stations 709,400
Mining and metallurgical 330,300
Pulp and paper 132,300
Expansion continues, and the following projects are presently under construction
or in an advanced stage of planning:—
British Columbia Power Commission—Whatshan Lake 33,000
British Columbia Electric Company—Jones Lake 33,000
Consolidated Mining & Smelting Company—Kootenay River
at Brilliant 37,000
Since 1912 the Water Rights Branch of the Department of Lands and Forests
has surveyed and reported on 181 power-sites of all sizes and totalling over 4,000,000
horse-power, out of which an aggregate of 770,000 horse-power is now under licence,
some partly developed, others in course of development. These include the John Hart
Development of the British Columbia Power Commission at Campbell River. The
exhaustive engineering reports of the Water Rights Branch were instrumental in
interesting the Aluminum Company of Canada in the great Eutsuk-Tahtsa and Chilko
power-sites on Fraser River tributaries (see Map Plate 4).
During the past year, surveys of potential Fraser River power-sites have proceeded
at an accelerated rate, with financial assistance from the Fraser River Board. The
surveys from Cottonwood Canyon up-stream were continued, with two engineering
parties totalling twenty-four men, one working on each side of the river, but in coordination. They were in charge of two hydraulic engineers, each with assistant
engineers. Traverse, air-photo control, and levels were carried forward some 21 miles
from West Road River to Canyon Creek; sixteen permanent monuments were set,
consisting of iron pins set in concrete, each being fixed in elevation and in horizontal
This particular section of the river is somewhat difficult of access; it can only
be approached on the eastern side by one or two primitive roads and trails, which
require four-wheel-drive trucks to negotiate them. There is no road access from the
west, and, therefore, the party working on the western side had to rely on boats
equipped with outboard motors, while the one on the eastern side also had to make
considerable use of water transport. Negotiating the fast water of the canyon required
the services of experienced river-boatmen.
While power or flood-control dams on the Fraser River itself would impose an
insuperable barrier to the passage of salmon, it is nevertheless necessary to assess the
value of these sites against the time when higher authority will have to determine, TJ 170 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
as a matter of policy and in light of relative economic benefits, whether the great
power potential of the river is to be realized or whether this shall be denied and the
river reserved for passage of salmon, and which alternative is in the public interest.
A general map and power-profile of the Tahtsa-Kemano scheme taken from our
report on this project, which is under consideration by the Aluminum Company of
Canada, are shown on Plates 5 and 6.
Office work and plans for the 10,000-acre Camp Lister project were brought to
a conclusion and are now before the Dominion-Provincial Co-ordinating Committee on
Irrigation and Reclamation.
An engineering survey and report was made on the possible rehabilitation of the
Wilmer (East Kootenay) irrigation system.
An engineering survey was also made, and the report is in course of preparation
for a project to supply irrigation for 5,000 acres in the vicinity of McBride, in the
Upper Fraser Valley above Prince George.
Following low-level air-photo coverage by the Air Survey Division the previous
year, a ground party ran out a trial location for diverting the headwaters of the West
Kettle River into Mission Creek in order to augment the flow of the latter for irrigation purposes.
Surveys and reports were made on the provision of domestic water for the community of Wilmer, and for repairs and betterments to the waterworks system of the
Village of Terrace.
As a part of our work in connection with the Fraser River Board, engineering
surveys were carried out at the outlets of Shuswap, Little Shuswap, and Kamloops
Lakes, and along the South Thompson River, for several miles below each outlet, in
order to assess what degree of flood-regulation could be obtained in these lakes by
controlling their outflow. In order to carry out this work at extreme low water, it
was necessary to work through January and February in one of the coldest winters
on record in that area, with considerable periods of 25° below zero or lower, which
added considerably to the difficulties and discomfort of the engineering party concerned.
Very considerable staff changes occurred during the past year, particularly
amongst our technical staff, which threw a heavy burden of additional work on to
senior members of the staff. Three of our senior engineers left us to go to more
lucrative fields. D. K. Penfold, our Chief Engineer, went to the Public Utilities Commission, and likewise J. S. Kendrick, Chief Hydraulic Engineer; he, however, very
shortly thereafter joined the staff of the Aluminum Company of Canada as resident
engineer for British Columbia. V. L. Mosher, Assistant District Engineer at Nelson,
left to go into private practice in Nelson. The experience and ability of all three were
sorely missed, particularly as the Branch had not yet made good its losses in engineers
due to superannuations in 1946.
This depletion in our ranks necessitated a considerable reshuffling of personnel.
E. H. Tredcroft, an engineer of long and wide experience, was promoted to the position
of Chief Engineer from that of District Engineer at Kelowna; A. F. Paget was
promoted from Assistant District Engineer at Kamloops to District Engineer at
Kelowna; M. L. Zirul was transferred from Nelson to Kamloops as Assistant District ■t A
YfX ! h
il WATER RIGHTS BRANCH. TJ 171
Engineer; and a young graduate engineer, D. J. Baker, was taken on as an Assistant
Hydraulic Engineer and posted to Nelson as an Acting Assistant District Engineer.
In the meantime, our long and persistent search for suitable young engineers
began to bear fruit, and during the summer and fall I. L. Johnston, P. G. Odynsky,
and H. L. Hamersley joined the staff as Assistant Hydraulic Engineers, and D. E.
Smuin as an engineer-in-training; we were also joined by a highly experienced European engineer in the person of V. Raudsepp. While most of them joined the Branch too
late in the season to greatly affect the year's field work, it is felt that as they gain
experience and familiarity with the work of the Branch these engineers will become
valuable members of the staff.
On the administrative side, K. R. F. Denniston was promoted to the newly created
position of Administrative Assistant to the Comptroller, and A. G. Sargent to the
position of Chief Clerk; both are old and tried members of the Branch. The clerical
staff gained a useful addition in W. R. Tuthill, who joined us as an intermediate clerk
on transfer from the Lands General Office. COAL, PETROLEUM, AND NATURAL
GAS CONTROL Coal, Petroleum, and Natural Gas.
Gas-seep on fire near Lone Mountain on Monkman Road, Peace River area, British Columbia.
See gas analysis on page 181.
The Honourable Byron I. Johnson, Premier of British Columbia, and party
visit Peace River natural-gas No. 8 well while it was being drilled, Peace River
District, British Columbia. COAL, PETROLEUM, AND NATURAL GAS CONTROL. TJ 175
GOAL, PETROLEUM, AND NATURAL GAS CONTROL.
Thomas B. Williams, M.Sc, Ph.D., P.Eng., Controller.
The Control is now three and a half years of age. By the end of the year the
members of the permanent staff numbered six, in addition to the part-time services
of an accountant. The temporary summer coal staff numbered twelve, with an additional sixteen working on the drilling contracts.
The oil and gas activity within the Province increased in a most encouraging way.
Three deep tests were under way, with a fourth to be begun early in the new year.
Four lesser deep tests were standing.
The Control reports genuine progress for 1949 and is in the act of becoming a
Division of the Lands Branch of the Department.
Coal, Petroleum, and Natural-gas Holdings issued or renewed during 1949.
Leases under the " Coal and Petroleum Act, 1936."
Leases renewed Number. Acres.
Coal, petroleum, and natural-gas leases 3 1,033
Petroleum and natural-gas leases Nil Nil
Coal leases 4 2,518
Totals 7 3,551
Licences under the " Coal Act, 194A-"
Permits under the " Petroleum and Natural Gas Act, 19%7."
Geological permits issued 13 1,351,933
Geophysical permits issued 2 432,000
Totals 15 1,783,933
Applications for extension of permits 27 889,339
Applications for new permits pending 18 1,724,491
Application for permit addition 1 25,000
Licences under the " Petroleum and Natural Gas Act, 1947."
Licences issued L 18 23,047 U 176 department of lands and forests.
Subsisting Petroleum and Natural-gas Leases under the " Coal and
Petroleum Act, 1936," and Permits and Licences under the
" Petroleum and Natural Gas Act, 1947."
Leases 28 12,744
Geological permits 20 1,945,940
Geophysical permits 2 432,000
Licences 18 23,047
Totals 68 2,413,731
Applications for permits pending 18 1,724,491
Application for permit addition 1 25,000
Total area issued and applied for -___ 4,163,222
The year saw the Control pushed out of its borrowed space and with its laboratory
closed part time for lack of room. However, the field work advanced successfully,
confirming earlier predictions. Late in the year new offices and laboratories were
occupied. Contacts with coal interests in general, the production end as well as the
market and the scientific sides, were broadened.
The following meetings were attended:—
(1) The Second British Columbia Natural Resources Conference.
(2) The Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
(3) The Interprovincial Mining Conference held in conjunction with the Provincial Ministers of Mines.
(4) A paper was contributed to the semi-annual meeting of the American
Association of Mechanical Engineers of the United States.
The work in the Pine River field along the Hart Highway was continued by two
geological parties, aided by trenching and diamond drilling. Sixteen thousand five
hundred and seven feet of drilling were done in twenty-three holes.
During a part of the time in which the laboratory was closed in Victoria, a small
amount of work was done in Vancouver at the laboratories of the British Columbia
In the early winter the partly completed new laboratory building on Superior
Street, back of the Parliament Buildings, was moved into, and it is hoped that we shall
be operating fully in 1950.
A locomotive test and certain power-plant tests, as well as tests looking to the
establishment of new uses for this high-class coal, were conducted. Laboratory examinations seeking a means of distinguishing one coal-seam from another continued.
It is hoped to complete the field work in the Pine River field next year.
Testing in the laboratories and elsewhere, when it may seem advisable, will continue.
During 1949 the field work was inspected by the Controller but was under the
active supervision of N. D. McKechnie, Assistant Coal Controller.
In the summer the Federal Government building on Peters Street, which had been
kindly loaned to us and which had been occupied for two years, was vacated.
Temporary offices were loaned to the Control by the Pacific Great Eastern Railway.
Most of the laboratory equipment was put in storage. The Research Council of British coal, petroleum, and natural gas control. TJ 177
Columbia, situated in Vancouver, kindly loaned us such quarters as they could spare,
and a limited amount of our work was conducted in them.
Late in the year the offices and the laboratory were moved into specially built
quarters in the partly completed Temporary Building No. 3 on Superior Street.
N. D. McKechnie divided his time between the office and the Pine River field work
during the year. His field parties consisted of temporary employees. E. A. Ramsay
acted as chief of the No. 1 party, south of Pine River, and continued operations into
December. F. K. North, a lecturer in the Geological Department of the University of
British Columbia, had charge of the No. 2 party, operating north of Pine River,
during the University holiday. A number of geological students were employed with
both parties. The usual two bulldozer crews and two diamond-drill crews operated as
in past years.
K. C. Gilbart, Chief Chemist, in addition to his other duties, is largely responsible
for the design of the new offices and laboratories of the Coal Control and of the
Petroleum and Natural Gas Control. M. B. Powley, assistant chemist, has operated
between Victoria and Vancouver.
Mrs. V. E. Davidson continued as secretary.
The Controller and K. C. Gilbart attended the Second British Columbia Resources
Conference, organized under the patronage of the Honourable the Minister of Lands
The annual meeting of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy was
attended by the Controller in the spring in Montreal, as well as the annual western
meeting, which took place in the autumn in Vancouver. He served on the committees
He attended also the annual meeting of the Interprovincial Coal Committee, which
occurred in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Ministers of Mines, in September at Fredericton, N.B.
The Controller submitted a paper on Pine River coal to the semi-annual meeting
of the American Association of Mechanical Engineers of the United States, held in
June at San Francisco. This paper was read by W. H. McBryde, ex-president of that
body and mechanical adviser during the Second World War to the President of the
United States. He reported that the quality of the coal brought favourable comments
from these prominent engineers.
Two parties entered the field in May. The No. 2 party returned in September.
The No. 1 party remained in the field into December. The area investigated, as in
past years, was the Pine River field. The nature of the work was similar to that
It is believed that it will be unnecessary to operate north of Pine River in 1950,
and that the work south of Pine River will be completed during that year. A report
is in the process of being prepared. The previous estimate of 190,000,000 tons of coal
available to a railway which could run through Pine River valley still stands.
Sixteen thousand five hundred and seven feet of drilling were done in twenty-three
holes by two drills which were employed. An effort is being made to trace the seams
across the field. Certain variations both in thickness and quality have thus far been
indicated. Several locations suitable for mine-openings and also for surface-stripping
have been found. U 178
department of lands and forests.
During the year Dr. R. H. B. Jones, chief geologist, Oliver Iron Mining Company,
Minnesota, and K. B. Old, field representative of H. C. Frick Coke Company of Pennsylvania, visited the field and conducted coking tests on samples of the coal.
The Honourable Byron I. Johnson, Premier, and party also visited the field during
The Controller and the Assistant Petroleum Controller made a horseback trip to
a point some 90 miles to the south-east of the Pine River coalfield and sampled the
coal where it outcrops on Little Prairie Creek in the basin of Wapiti River. This area
is just west of the Alberta Border. Considerable investigation at this point will be
necessary before an adequate idea of the quality of the coal can be learned.
As was the case in 1948, work was conducted in a borrowed building on Peters
Street until the end of June, when, at the request of the owners, the Control vacated.
A kind offer by Dr. E. Maddigan, Director of the Research Council of British Columbia,
of some space in his crowded laboratories was gratefully accepted, and a small portion
of the equipment was moved to the University campus in Vancouver. Mr. Gilbart
from then on divided his time between Vancouver and Victoria, but Mr. Powley worked
in Vancouver until October, when the equipment was brought back to be installed in
quarters constructed for the purpose in Temporary Building No. 3 at 541 Superior
Street. Operations should be again under way early in the new year.
In spite of the above-mentioned delays, some 127 samples from the Pine River
area were tested. The coal ranges from semi-anthracite, through low-volatile and
medium-volatile, to high-volatile bituminous coals.
Considerable progress has been made on the testing of capacity moisture and the
fusibility of coal ash. Thus far, analyses of samples of coal, taken from exposures or
trenches, have confirmed the belief that coals near the surface do not give reliable
indications as to their qualities at depth.
An idea of the qualities of the short-flame bituminous coal of the area may be had
from the analysis of the run-of-mine Hasler coal used in the Canadian Pacific Railway
test mentioned below.
Analysis, Sample No. SA-^9.
Moisture per cent.
Ash per cent.
Volatile matter per cent.
Fixed carbon percent.
Gross calorific value B.t.u.
Mineral matter-free dry F.C
Mineral matter-free dry B.t.u
Mineral matter-free moist B.t.u
Ash fusion .*.
2,580° F. (medium) bituminous.
An additional sample of 210 tons of coal from the Hasler Creek field, south of Pine
River, was mined during the year. From this a test was made of mine-run coal by the
Canadian Pacific Railway on the division between Calgary and Medicine Hat. The
results have been published by the Department of Railways, which supervised this test,
under the heading " Report of Tests of Hasler Creek Coal." The following is a
quotation:— coal, petroleum, and natural gas control.
" The tests prove that Hasler Creek coal is a good locomotive fuel and savings as
high as 15 per cent, may be obtained by its use. This is attributable to its exceptionally
high calorific value and low ash and moisture content.
" No trouble was experienced in firing or handling the locomotive while using the
Another shipment of the above-mentioned coal was tested in the heating plant of
the University of British Columbia. Again we quote the above-mentioned report:—
" The purpose of these tests was to prove that Hasler Creek coal can be successfully
burned in a chain-grate stoker in a modern steam plant, designed and installed to burn
other coals now on the market, and to make a comparison as to the efficiencies and
evaporation between Hasler Creek coal and the lower-grade coals now normally used
for fuel in the same plant.
" These tests prove that Hasler Creek coal is a suitable fuel to be burned on chain-
grate stokers in modern steam plants designed and installed to burn other coals now on
" Higher evaporation rates per pound of coal were obtained when burning Hasler
Creek coal than with other lower-grade coals now on the market.
" The normal ash refuse of the plant was considerably reduced by burning Hasler
Creek coal. Fly ash was negligible.
" No slagging or clinkering was in evidence when burning this coal.
" This coal burns smokelessly and is free from soot."
Another part of the 210 tons of Hasler coal was tested as to its suitability as a
powdered fuel in the power plant of the Granby Consolidated Mining, Smelting and
Power Company, Limited, at Princeton, B.C. Again we quote from Report of Tests on
Hasler Creek Coal by the Department of Railways:—
" The purpose of this test was to prove whether or not Hasler Creek coal could be
successfully burned in a pulverizsd-coal-burning steam plant primarily designed to burn
low-rank coals; and, provided Hasler Creek coal could be successfully burned and
ignition maintained in the above type of plant, to observe its performance as to evaporation rate and boiler efficiency.
" The test proves Hasler Creek coal can be burned successfully in boilers equipped
to burn pulverized low-grade coals. If certain changes were made to such a plant to
accommodate this high-grade coal, increased efficiency would result.
" Due to the dryness of Hasler Creek coal, pre-heated air to dry the coal is not
"A stable flame can be maintained burning Hasler Creek coal in a pulverized plant
designed for low-grade coals.
" This coal appears to respond very satisfactorily to varying demands and changing '
loads imposed on the plant.
" Slagging on boiler tubes is eliminated when burning Hasler Creek coal due to low
ash content and high ash fusion temperatures.
" The grindability of Hasler Creek coal makes it very suitable for pulverized-coal
units, also the maintenance of pulverizing equipment will be lowered due to its excellent
" It would appear Hasler Creek coal would make a very suitable fuel for large
pulverized-coal-burning steam plants."
A sample of coal was sent to the Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio, for
testing in a fire turbine engine now being perfected. Recent correspondence with the
Institute brought the report that a certain difficulty connected with the general design
of the equipment had prevented our coal from being tested thus far, but a report just
received states that a locomotive-size gas turbine has operated successfully with
pulverized bituminous coal as a fuel for thirty-eight hours. TJ 180 department of lands and forests.
Two samples of coal have been sent to Permanente Metals Corporation, Spokane,
Wash., for tests in making carbon electrodes. Thus far we have not received a report
concerning the suitability of this source of carbon for that work. An additional larger
sample has been requested.
It is considered by the Control that the purity of some of the Pine River coals
makes them highly desirable for such operations as the last two mentioned above.
A number of small samples of Peace River coals have been sent to Dr. C. A. Seyler,
in England, for microscopic study. Dr. Seyler is an eminent scientist, and it is hoped
that some valuable information, which will be useful in the correlation of the various
seams, will result from his work.
Additional samples of coal ash were examined spectrographically by the Geological
Department of the University of British Columbia during the year. The result showed
small quantities of magnesium, aluminium, calcium, sodium, titanium, boron, vanadium,
and barium in varying small amounts. Thus far there have not been enough diagnostic
differences between samples to indicate that this process will be useful in the correlation
Coal was also furnished to the Department of Metallurgy at the University for the
special investigation of its ash and to the Department of Geology for the investigation
of students writing theses.
With the new laboratory in operation, it is expected that new highs will be attained
by our Chemical department.
The Control now handles the analyses of the coal samples sent in from various
parts of the Province.
The Assistant Coal Controller will again conduct investigations south of Pine
River, for the purpose of continuing the work thus far done to the north-west of
Willow Creek, until the river is reached. Additional work will be done in an area
west of the present Willow Creek investigation, where there is a possibility of a
further extension of the field. Brief trips are to be made into other promising fields
within the Province for the purpose of planning the extension of field operations.
PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS.
The " Petroleum and Natural Gas Act, 1947," has been operative slightly in excess
of two years. During that time the centre of petroleum interest in Canada has been in
the Province of Alberta, with British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba bidding
for a share.
Under the terms of the Act, no drilling on properties acquired is necessary for
three years and six months from the date of the first permit or before the end of May,
1951, at the earliest. To date, seven deep tests have been drilled, three more now are
drilling, and four smaller projects have been active. Promising discoveries of gas have
New offices and laboratories were occupied late in the year.
The Controller visited various meetings of petroleum bodies. Members of the staff
visited three of the prospective petroleum and natural-gas fields of the Province.
Sixty-eight parcels of land, comprising a total of 2,413,731 acres, are held by oil
companies, and 1,749,491 additional acres have been applied for.
Drilling has been conducted during the year by seven companies.
The progress which prevailed during 1948 has increased in speed. Extensive acreage was acquired in all four corners of the Province, as well as in the Interior. Drilling
progressed in the four corners. coal, petroleum, and natural gas CONTROL. TJ 181
Last year's officials are with the Control, and three additional assistants are
expected to join the staff early in the new year.
The following meetings were attended: The Second British Columbia Resources
Conference, three sessions of the Interprovincial Petroleum and Natural Gas Committee—the last one in conjunction with the Sixth Annual Conference of the Provincial
Ministers of Mines, the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
The Controller consulted with the officials of the Alberta Petroleum and Natural
Gas Conservation Board in Calgary.
Members of the staff visited three of the oil and gas fields now being developed.
The following is the analysis of gas from a large seep near Lone Mountain in the
Red Willow River area of the Peace River District:— Percentage
Carbon dioxide 1.56
Hydrogen sulphide 0.00
Total hydrocarbons 98.07
CH4 (specific gravity factor, 0.554) 87.96
C2H„+ (specific gravity factor, 1.038) 10.11
Average " n " 1.103
Specific gravity (calculated) 0.620
Gross B.t.u. per cubic foot (calculated) 1,091
The offices of the Control, which during more than the first three and a half years
of its existence have frequently been moved, are now stationary in Temporary Building
No. 3 at 541 Superior Street. A suitable laboratory for the examination of drilling
samples and cores and the analysis of oil and gas has also been set up.
Sixty-eight parcels of land were held at the close of the year under permit, licence,
and lease by individuals and companies. Their total area amounts to 2,413,731 acres.
In addition, eighteen parcels have been applied for by nine individuals and companies and are now being dealt with. The total areas covered, including an addition to
an existing permit, amounting to 1,749,491 acres, are situated in North-eastern British
Columbia, in the Peace River area, along the Monkman Road farther south, in the Flathead area in the southeast part of the Province, in the Cariboo area, the Lower Mainland, and the Coastal islands, including the Queen Charlotte Islands.
Wells are being drilled by the Peace River Natural Gas Company and associates
north of Dawson Creek and the Phillips Petroleum Company on the Monkman Road.
The latter company is preparing to drill another well near Sunset Prairie, west of
Dawson Creek. The Canadian Kootenay Oil Company and Border Oil Company have
done some drilling in the Flathead area. The Royal City Oil and Gas Company and the
Durland interests drilled two shallow wells in the Fraser Delta. The Royalite Oil Company is now drilling a well near Skidegate, in the Queen Charlotte Islands.
The projected gas-line from the Peace River area to Vancouver is a live topic, and
survey parties examined the route during the past summer. u 182 department of lands and forests.
As has been said above, some of the earlier permits will be due for more serious
development in the late spring of 1951. From present appearances, increased activity
in securing holdings and in drilling may be anticipated, when it may be found that the
present staff is inadequate. The probability of having to set up one or more field offices
is being kept in mind. DYKING AND DRAINAGE Dyking and Drainage.
East Vedder dyke along the Vedder Canal, with Fraser River at 1 9.5 feet, Mission gauge.
Double casting from canal to inside, east Vedder dyke. DYKING AND DRAINAGE. TJ 185
DYKING AND DRAINAGE.
Bruce Dixon, B.Sc, M.E.I.C, P.Eng., Inspector of Dykes, Commissioner.
Our report for the year 1946 attempted to bring together, for any who might be
interested, historical facts, based upon knowledge accumulated over a long period,
together with proceedings of the Legislature, bearing upon dyking matters in general
but with particular reference to those districts whose affairs are administered directly
by this office. This was brought up to date in 1947 and in 1948.
The year 1949 saw no changes as regards legislation, but it was filled with historical
importance from a physical point of view. From Agassiz to the sea, a great many
dyking works, completely new or greatly improved, came into being. The Fraser Valley
Dyking Board was the motivating authority for this development, and its report will
soon be available. However, as in 1948, liberties will be taken with information in the
writer's possession, as a member of that board, but only where such information has a
connection with the districts concerned herein. Those districts are, as formerly, the
dyking districts of Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows No. 2, Pitt Meadows No. 1,
and Matsqui, and the drainage districts of Maple Ridge and Matsqui operating under
the provisions of the " Dyking Assessments Adjustment Act," with amendments,
together with the dyking districts of Dewdney, West Nicomen, Sumas, and South Westminster operating under the provisions of the " Drainage, Dyking, and Development
Act," supplemented by special Statutes. The following brief reference to each in turn
is submitted, following up the thought expressed above.
COQUITLAM DYKING DISTRICT.
The dyke structures of this district, in common with all others on the Pitt River,
were built by a floating dipper-dredge operating from a borrow-pit close to the inside
toe. No bonding trench to interrupt the natural-ground seepage plane had been
utilized in the original construction, and the tops of the dykes were too narrow to admit
of any vehicular traffic.
During the winter the entire 8.41 miles of dyke in this district were widened by
drag-lines operating from outside borrow-pits, first excavating a bonding trench at the
outside toe and then superimposing the added section over it to give the desired width
of 12 feet. The entire length has been gravelled for all-weather traffic, and a good start
has been made on filling in the old borrow-pits, as well as the new ones created through
the process of widening. The latter work is being done by a suction-dredge and, it is
hoped, will be completed before the next freshet. The filling of the inside borrow-pits
interfered with established drainage arrangements, and supplemental drainage works
are nearing completion. In the Upper Coquitlam area some 20,000 tons of rock have
been placed in protecting the river-bank from erosion, and the Back Ditch Road is
being raised where required, while in the Lower Coquitlam area a new drainage pump
capable of delivering 30,000 imperial gallons per minute against a 10-foot head is being
The suction-dredge, while working on the inside borrow-pits, naturally interfered
with drainage, and the district's pumps have operated almost continuously. An experiment with a new chemical on brush and weed killing was tried and, while partially
successful, cannot quite be justified, for economic reasons.
MAPLE RIDGE DYKING DISTRICT.
Remarks made first above with reference to the original Coquitlam dykes and the
method adopted in their widening apply with exactness in this district. The entire
14.39 miles of dyke have been widened and all except about 3 miles gravelled before bad
weather interrupted operations. Approximately 8.5 miles of the double borrow-pit have
TJ 186 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
been filled in, and a large suction-dredge is now completing the job. Supplemental
drainage works are being attended to. The suction-dredge work has required almost
continuous operation of the district's drainage pumps. Weed- and brush-killing experiments were carried out on 9.5 miles of dykes in this district, but definite conclusions
with reference thereto are not yet possible.
PITT MEADOWS DYKING DISTRICT No. 2.
The remarks made with reference to Coquitlam and Maple Ridge apply also to
this district. Its work, however, is nearer completion than the other two districts.
The entire 5.46 miles of dyke have been widened as in the other districts, and the borrow-pits, both inside and outside, have been completely filled. Supplemental drainage
work was quite a problem in this area but is approaching completion. The flood-box
in this area had to be increased in length to adapt itself to the new dyke sections, and
this work is now in progress. A new pump with a capacity of 30,000 imperial gallons
per minute is being supplied, and the contract for its erection has been let. The gravelling of the roadway on top of the dyke remains to be done, but the contract is let and
will be proceeded with as soon as weather favours.
PITT MEADOWS DYKING DISTRICT No. 1.
This district is in the process of becoming abandoned. Its history over the past
quarter of a century has been one failure after another. The fairly large break
which occurred during the 1948 flood has been reconditioned, but beyond this no work
has been undertaken during the year.
MATSQUI DYKING DISTRICT.
The entire 7.2 miles of dyke in this district have been completely reconstructed.
Evidence secured during the 1948 flood proved conclusively that the old cross-section
was too small for the material encountered. The new design was made to bear directly
upon this point, and in some reaches the new section shows an increase of 65 per cent,
over the old. Material was selected as much as possible, and a considerable part of it
was hauled and compacted into place. Where practical, material was taken from the
river-bank with bulldozers and the bank sloped for paving with rock for protection.
Any borrow-pits which existed were filled in. A good all-weather roadway has been
constructed along the 12-foot top, and the slopes, generally 2 to 1 outside and 3 to 1
inside, will be floated and seeded. Around 3 miles of river-bank have received a generous application of rock blanketing, so that at the moment the river-bank is in good
A major operation during the year was the cleansing of approximately 10 miles
of the main slough system and levelling the spoil-bank thus created. A new modern
drainage pump, capable of delivering 40,000 imperial gallons per minute against a 12-
foot head, was installed on this slough system, and an attempt was made to correct a
known weakness at or about the flood-box which takes this slough through the dyke to
the river. This known weakness had given anxiety for some years and concerned seepage in alarming proportions under and around this concrete flood-box. Steel-sheet
piling had been driven from the side of the box along the toe of the dyke, and a heavy-
rock wall had been constructed in a trench excavated through the surface strata to
encourage the wall to settle. It was hoped that this would act as a filter, and it appeared
to until the higher static head of 1948 was encountered. This year's effort involved
two operations, as follows:—
(a) The driving of 40-foot steel-sheet piling to continue the line already
started some 120 feet farther to cross a buried fork of the slough in the
hope of crossing and cutting the contributing formation. dyking and drainage.
(6) Excavating 3 feet from the bed and sides of the slough up-stream from
the box 150 feet and backfilling this area with selected gravel and rock.
This was not entirely successful and further study and action must be given this
situation, for a chain is no stronger than its weakest link.
Pumping requirements were normal. Weed and brush destruction was undertaken by handwork, and even at the 90-cent rate for labour this method would seem
to be more economical than chemical or fire destruction.
MAPLE RIDGE DRAINAGE DISTRICT.
The maintenance of the drainage-ditches in this area was added to considerably
during the year through the operations of the suction-dredge working in the area in
material which almost refused to go out of solution. As a result, it drifted for miles
and fouled quite extensively many of the ditches. The drag-line excavating unit which
was purchased by the Pitt River Districts in 1946 was busily engaged for most of the
year, and all the ditches lying to the north of the Canadian Pacific Railway received
attention. Those in the remainder of the district will receive attention just as soon as
the suction-dredge working in that area shall have finished. A problem with which
we are unable to cope is that of restricting cattle from injuring the ditches. District
funds will not permit fencing, and there are no statutory regulations relative thereto.
This feature should be given attention.
New pump installation. U 188
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
MATSQUI DRAINAGE DISTRICT.
This district comprises only a part of the Matsqui Dyking District, and on the
whole the ditches did not suffer materially through flood damage. Considerable work
was done during the year on the larger ditches by utilizing a small drag-line, and
on the smaller ditches by handwork. Generally speaking, the works are in better
condition now than for some time in the past. That portion of the Gifford Slough
which was made a part of the drainage district's works will require attention within
two years, and it will be necessary to curtail maintenance expenditures for the next
two years in anticipation of this requirement.
DEWDNEY DYKING DISTRICT.
This district, as presently constituted, embraces all the low lands around Hatzic
Lake lying to the north of the Canadian Pacific Railway grade. The railway grade
once formed its dyke, but it failed disastrously in 1948. The lands comprising the
Dewdney Peninsula—that is, the lands south of the railway grade and bounded by
Nicomen Slough, the Fraser River, and Hatzic Slough—had a small unorganized dyke
of sorts, but it failed in 1936 and was known to be insecure. In fact, in the late spring
of 1948, owners in this area, realizing that nothing they could do in a hurry would
save their lands from flooding, decided to organize and build a proper dyke after the
Concrete flood-box at Hatzic Slough, showing steel-flap gates in position and pump-
discharge spillway to the right. Note baffle walls going right around flood-box to break
the line of seepage. Pouring of pump-house floor proceeding in background. DYKING AND DRAINAGE. TJ 189
An agreement between the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Dewdney Dyking
District, dated April 1st, 1914, provided for termination, and after the 1948 experience
the company refused to negotiate for continued joint use. Accordingly, a new dyke
was located to protect the lands in the old Dewdney Dyking District as well as the
lands in the unorganized Dewdney Peninsula. This dyke commences at high ground
at Hatzic Station on the Canadian Pacific Railway and runs up the Fraser River to
cross Hatzic Slough at a selected site, thence continuing up the river and Nicomen
Slough past the Dewdney Trunk Road to tie on to high ground on the east bank of
Suicide Creek, a distance in all of 7.35 miles. The dyke is well constructed of the
best material available and to the section indicated by the most recent experience.
The dam at Hatzic Slough has a steel-sheet piling lower core with a clay upper
core, and 12 feet top width, with slopes of 1 to 3 on the outside and 1 to. 5 on the inside.
Drainage is provided by a concrete flood-box of four chambers, 6 feet wide and 6 feet
high, equipped with automatic gates which close and open very sensitively with
changing water-levels. This structure was located on the bank of the slough, but the
steel-sheet piling core was continued under it with a 3-foot cushion of clay between
the floor slab and the piling. The concrete structure is 161 feet long, and settlement is
reasonably uniform. It is probable that it has not yet come completely to rest, and
this feature will require careful watching for some time. Artificial drainage for the
growing season, when the gates are closed, is provided for through two large drainage
pumps capable of delivering 80,000 imperial gallons per minute against a head of 12
A 12-foot gravel roadway has been supplied over the entire length of the dyke, and
fencing on one side has been finished. There remains to be done floating of the slopes
and seeding. The dyke was located so as to avoid river-bank protection works, but
it is probable that in the course of time a considerable amount of this work will
become necessary. It is the responsibility of this combined area to provide the dyke
right-of-way, but in their disorganized state it is impossible to find funds with which
to negotiate. Organization must be completed at once.
WEST NICOMEN DYKING DISTRICT.
Early in the century the Dominion Government closed off Nicomen Slough at its
upper end by constructing the Bell Dam, and this encouraged energetic farmers to dyke
the 4,000-odd acres in this island some thirty-five years ago. The farmers on the East
Island preferred to take chances and did nothing. The dyke construction, some 13.5
miles, put the district in debt to the extent of $87,000, was never very successful, and
seemed to lead from one trouble to another. The Government of the Province assisted
materially nearly every year and in 1916 headed a refinancing scheme getting them
many concessions from the bondholders, including a better interest rate. Retirement
was arranged for July 1st, 1953.
Calls upon the Government continued, until in 1930 the Department of Public
Works constructed a new highway to Agassiz, and as this traversed the island from end
to end they constructed a new dyke to protect the highway. This highway crossed a
small part of the East Island to get to Deroche, and so a dyke was built by the Department of Public Works from the West Nicomen Island dyke along the Fraser eastward
to Bell Dam, a distance of about 5 miles, and along Nicomen Slough eastward from the
West Nicomen Dyke. The owners of the East Nicomen Island lands have never seen fit
to organize themselves and have done nothing over the years to maintain the dyke provided for them as above recited. Our purpose in getting away from West Nicomen, the
district about which we are reporting, is to attempt to show the importance of the East
Island to it. The Fraser River has a slope during high stages of 5.7 feet from Bell Dam
to the mouth of Nicomen Slough, and the Nicomen Slough Dyke, both for the West and TJ 190 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
East Islands, is on a level grade based upon the highest known water at its mouth. At
Deroche the water in Nicomen Slough during high freshet stages would be about 3 feet
lower than the Fraser level immediately across the East Island and 5.7 feet lower than
the Fraser level at the extreme upper end of the East Nicomen Dyke. It is not difficult
to visualize what would happen if a break occurred again at any point in the 5 miles of
the Fraser Dyke of East Nicomen. Unless steps are taken to see to it that this section
is properly maintained, the West Nicomen District will always be in jeopardy.
All these dykes have by now been put in excellent condition. The filling of borrow-
pits is nearing completion. The cross-section of the dyke has been increased where
necessary, and a 12-foot all-weather roadway has been gravelled from the point where
the Lougheed Highway enters at the west end around the slough and up the Fraser to
the Bell Dam. There remains to be done some fencing, and floating and seeding the
slopes where practical.
A change in the direction of a part of the main river started erosion to the river-
bank at an alarming rate in the early fall. This was corrected, but a fall freshet in the
river changed the direction again, and more work at this point is being planned.
SUMAS DYKING DISTRICT.
A large amount of improvement was accomplished in this district during the year.
The Fraser Dyke from the Vedder Bridge to its junction with Chilliwack Mountain was
substantially reinforced by increasing the inside slope with material hauled and compacted into place, and the entire East and West Vedder Dykes were reinforced in the
same manner with material taken from the Vedder Canal and double-handled by dragline. An all-weather roadway was gravelled over this entire distance, some 13 miles.
In addition, some 243,000 cubic yards of suction-dredge material were placed in borrow-
pits on the Fraser section.
During a flash flood in the last week of November the Vedder reverted to form and,
overflowing its banks, washed out the grade of the British Columbia Electric Railway
at the upper end of the East Vedder Dyke. Sandbagging had to be resorted to when
the top of the dyke proved too low for the raised river-bed. This dyke is now being
raised to the new requirement. Some additional work is planned for this area, the most
important of which is concerned with further strengthening the East Vedder Dyke and
a section north of McGillivray Slough and some work around the main Sumas River
dam, where the source of a seepage boil has not so far been discovered.
SOUTH WESTMINSTER DYKING DISTRICT.
Physical improvements have centred around the erection of two creosoted-timber
flood-boxes and two of 36-inch armco pipe. In addition, the dyke was reconstructed
from the elevator at the extreme west of the district to the Timberland mill. Throughout the mill, among its foundations, was installed a concrete flood-wall with two gaps
left for the operation of the mill to be stopped when necessary by the operators themselves. The dyke was further strengthened eastward where necessary to the Pattullo
Bridge, and the Canadian National Railway raised its grade from the bridge eastward
past the easterly limits of the district. Some slight bank-protection was undertaken in
the vicinity of the elevator, where wash from river traffic made it necessary. DYKING AND DRAINAGE.
For the sake of brevity we have attempted to show the financial picture of each
district in the following table:—
Rate per Acre.
Credit in Renewal Reserve
Pitt Meadows No. 2
Maple Ridge Drainage
"B" and "C"
$9,054.48 $2,240.14 $3,745.76
21,297.96 3,955.82 | 7,491.56
4,240.76 1,099.48 1,248.56
20,259.52 I 9,910.36 I 6,555.14
* The Drainage Maintenance Fund, accumulated by annual assessments, will be diminished by the overexpendi-
ture in this year.
t It is not yet possible to assess this district because a part (the peninsula) is not organized.
X Estimated (year ends December 31st).
§ Estimated (year ends December 31st).
In the foregoing table the rates per acre in the column " Capital " are grouped
for convenience. In the case of West Nicomen and South Westminster the rates shown
are for straight debt servicing, that is, interest and sinking fund. In all other cases
this column groups " Token Payment and Renewal Reserve " as provided by the " Dyking
Assessments Adjustment Act, 1947." The column " Surplus " is simple arithmetic, in
which the totals of requirements are subtracted from the gross proceeds, but it is
predicated upon the assumption that all levies made will be collected. We have been
criticized for levying for these surpluses. However, it was done because of the fact
that there will be requirements almost immediately for right-of-way purchases in
most districts for which purpose a further and special levy may be required.
The column " Renewal Reserve " shows the accumulation to the credit of each
district in terms of the 1947 amending Act. It is hoped that demands upon this fund
may be delayed for a few years until it shall have reached important proportions.
This brief report has dealt with about one-half of the Fraser Valley lands above
New Westminster reclaimed by dyking and drainage. Others improved similarly by
action of the two major Governments since the national disaster of 1948 will have
been Agassiz, Harrison Mills, Chilliwack, Mission Flats, Silverdale, Glen Valley, TJ 192 DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS.
Salmon River, and West Langley. Looking to the future, a natural question might
be, "What of these?" Of paramount importance now and evermore is the proper
and adequate maintenance of all the works so benevolently provided.
Clause 9 of the working agreement between the two Governments reads:—
" When the Board reports to British Columbia and Canada that the work of
repairing, strengthening, constructing or reconstructing a dyke or a portion of a
dyke has been completed or that water or debris has been removed from any portion
of the flooded lands in the Fraser Valley, the Board shall thereupon cease to have any
interest in or responsibility for that dyke or that portion of a dyke or that portion
of the land, as the case may be, and British Columbia shall thereafter make such
provision as may be necessary for administration and maintenance thereof."
The Board will have so reported before the next freshet, and important decisions
must now be made. Our nearness to the problem for many years, together with recent
experiences, confirms the belief expressed upon former occasions, namely, that there
must be a continuing, overriding, powerful authority whose duty it is to firmly and
unswervingly see to it that proper maintenance works are undertaken in a timely
manner. SOUTHERN OKANAGAN
LANDS PROJECT Southern Okanagan Lands Project.
Laying 6-inch water