When the Waterton Lakes Reserve was set apart I understood that it was the policy of the government to set apart a townsite within the reserve. Is that still the intention? Will the government survey a townsite, and by lease or in any other way give outsiders an opportunity of going in to establish a town or places of business and recreation within the limits of the reserve?
The cash of the Waterton lakes reserve is one of the cases not provided for in the existing Act which we hope to provide for in the present Bill. The Waterton reserve is a forest reserve, the primary purpose of which is to preserve the timber growth and prevent occupation by people. Under the present Bill we propose to take power to withdraw or cut out of any forest reserve any certain area to be brought under proper regulations for occupation. Under the present Act we are not legislatively empowered to deal with the Waterton reserve ox with other like reserves as they require to be dealt with if used for purposes of recreation; but under the present Bill we shall have full authority to set apart a portion of a reserve as a place of recreation, and deal with it as may seem best. My hon. friend said something as to places of business. It may as well be Understood at the beginning that it is not proposed that these parts of reserves set apart for purposes of recreation shall be primarily places of business. There will be no business there except such as is absolutely necessary for the recreation of the people. That is the principle that is embodied in the Bill.
I wish specially to urge on the minister that provision be made for settlers to have access to a portion of the timber at all times. I refer particularly to the dry or half-dead timber. It is hard to make regulations which would be just to everybody, but I think there might be more liberal regulations with regard to that than we have had in the past. I think the minister might make provision for the removal of dry timber up to a certain size for firewood and building purposes. It would be an advantage not only to the homes of the country, but to the timber area, to have it cleared of dry timber, which is liable to cause fire and to make it spread. I would like to know what the minister proposes in that regard.
I cannot at the present time give my hon. friend the details of our regulations; but we quite appreciate the desirability of getting rid of the dry timber. At the same time, we have to use a certain amount of care in giving people permission to enter a reserve and take timber. As between the two objects we have in view, the preservation of the good timber and the useful application of the dead timber, I want my hon. friend to understand that the Department of Forestry has quite a busy time. It is our desire to have the timber which has reached its growth, even if it is not killed by fire, but all the more if it is, utilized as freely as possible, always having regard to the proper protection of the timber generally. [DOT]
While I would strongly recommend liberal regulations in that regard, I am aware that it is often overdone. There are many cases in which settlers unduly draw away timber without making a proper use of it, at great loss to their neighbours. So that while I would recommend liberal regulations, I would also recommend that the department see to it that those who are over-zealous do not get more than their fair share.
I am sorry to have to differ a little with my hon. friend from Macleod (Mr. Herron); but if such a regulation were enforced, there would be great danger of there being more dry timber to handle than there is at present. I also am in favour of giving the settlers every possible advantage, but I would rather provide for them getting green timber, for the simple reason that I think it would be hutting a premium upon unscrupulous people seeing that they always have dry timber ahead.
That is one of the difficulties of the situation, and the department is very well versed in the different sides of the question. As a settler myself,
I have had to fight the government of Canada for the right to cut timber, and 11 Mr. OLIVER. ' :
have backed other people in doing so. Nobody appreciates the value to the settler of the right to cut timber for his own use, and nobody will go further to protect him in that than I will. On the other hand, the wisdom of the country, as expressed by parliament, is that the timber shall be protected, that certain laws shall be enforced, and it is my duty loyally to carry out that expressed will. I put the matter frankly before the House, and only say that the situation is very delicate and very difficult, but we bring to the discharge of the responsibility the best information we have and the best good-will both to the settler and to the wisdom of parliament in declaring the reserve.
Something has been said about reforestation. In my opinion too much is said on that subject. What this government and other governments which control timber should emphasize the most, and what they emphasize the least, is the preservation of the small timber. If the small timber of the country had the protection which it should have, until such times as the country is in a position to spend more money for reforestation than it is at present, the better it would be for the country. In many parts of the country the small timber is not marketable, bin it has probably taken fifty or seventy-five years to grow. This is the timber which should be protected, and the more we do in the line of protecting that timber and the sooner the department gets down to that basis, the sooner posterity will reap the benefit.
After this Bill passes, and a forest Teserve is set aside, what steps are to be taken to increase the park reserve in the forest reserves. On whose recommendation will that be done? Are the local governments to be consulted with reference to setting aside park reserves or game reserves? There is a reserve close to the boundary line, which, if protected, would be a great place for shooting big game, such as bears, and mountain sheep, and goats. I hope that a large portion of this forest rdserve will be set aside as a game or park reserve for that purpose. Will the local governments *be consulted?
All forest reserves are game preserves under this Act, that is to say, so far as the jurisdiction of the Dominion government extends. It is our intention to patrol these reserves, and exercise our rights of proprietorship in the protection of game. We of course will have to come to an arrangement with the provincial governments regarding any general law concerning game, and that we hope to do as the occasion arises. As regards the setting apart of areas within the forest re-
serves as park reserves, it will not be necessary to consult any particular person or government. Whenever it appears to the department that the need exists, it will be within the rights of the department to make a recommendation to council setting apart a certain area as a park reserve and bringing it under direct regulations which will make that particular area available to the public as a pleasure resort.
On section 4,
The said reserves shall, subject to the direction of the Minister of the Interior, be under control and management of the director of forestry or such other person as is from time to time selected for that purpose by the Governor in Council.
There is no direct connection. Of course all the information which the Conservation Commission collects regarding forestry work in all the provinces, and in other countries as well will be available to the forestry branch of the Interior Department just as all the information of the forestry branch is available to the Conservation Commission.