Sunday, 25 March 2018

Tree Rings

Ontario Department of Lands and Forests
Geraldton District Weekly Report
April 20th, 1971
The Oldest Living Things on Earth and Their Message by G. T. Marek
Some time ago scientists found that certain species of trees showed marked variations in the width of their annual growth rings.  Investigating this matter further they found that these variations were related to variations in precipitation.  In a dry year a narrow annual ring of growth was formed;  in an average year a ring of average width resulted;  and in a wet year the rings were abnormally wide.  By examining the wood of representative sample trees, the year to year climate of the region could be established as far back as the age of the oldest tree.   This precipitated a great interest in very old trees and a search began for them.  As a result the oldest living things on earth were discovered at an elevation of 11,300 feet, namely the bristle cone pine trees (Pinus aristata) in Inyo National Forest, California.
The age of any tree can be established without the need for cutting it down by taking a core sample with an increment borer.  This is a drill equipped with a hollow, tube like bit that extracts a rod like core of wood extending from the bark to the pith.  This core contains a sample of every growth ring of the tree.  After extraction the core, which is thinner than a pencil, is examined.  This can be done by naked eye or by examination under a microscope.  Working with cores extracted from the bristle cone pines the ages of trees 4,600 years old were discovered and a complete climatological record that extended back more than 4,000 years was established.
In the course of this work it was found that the same easily recognizable combinations of wider and narrower rings occurred in many trees indicating specific climatic cycles that took place over certain periods of time.  This led to significant ring patterns and by matching these patterns in timbers found in prehistoric Indian ruins it was possible to extend the calendar more than 6,000 years into the past.
In this way by decoding the information contained in wood we are able to read the message of the trees, some of which are living and others that are dead.  No one can predict what interesting facts may be revealed through further studies of trees.
D.E. Gage, District Forester

Friday, 23 March 2018

Logging the Nepigon.....the beginning 1910


General conditions with respect to the Nepigon Pulp Limit offered for lease by tender 7th October , 1910

The successful tenderer shall enter into an agreement with the Government requiring him to erect within the limits of the territory covered by the right to cut pulpwood, or at some other place approved by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, a pulp and paper mill costing, with equipment thereof and machinery contained therein, not less than five hundred thousand dollars, and will operate the same so that the daily output thereof shall not be less than 150 tons of paper, and so that at least two hundred and fifty hands on an average shall be kept employed in connection therein for at least ten month of each and every year.

The said sum of five hundred thousand dollars shall be expended as follows: - One hundred thousand dollars during the first year, two hundred thousand dollars during the second year, and the remainder of the said sum during the third year, it being distinctly understood  that the erection of such mill and the employment of the hands shall form part of the consideration for the price of the pulpwood, and that the cutting of the said pulpwood for the use of the mill may begin as soon as and when fifty thousand  ($50,000) dollars shall have been expended on the erection of said pulp and paper mill and equipment thereof.

Two: The successful tenderer to have the right to cut and remove spruce, poplar or whitewood and banksian or jack pine, 9 inches and upwards in diameter, 2 feet from the ground, sufficient to supply the mill or mills erected, for a period of twenty-one years, from unoccupied, unsold and unlocated lands of the Crown, for a distance of five miles  in depth on either side of the River Nepigon, and extending back a distance of five miles from the shores of Lake Nepigon, subject to such reasonable terms , conditions and regulations as to the cutting , measuring,, removing and driving of the same as may from time to time be imposed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

Three:  The successful tenderer shall pay dues of 40 cents per cord for spruce and 20 cents per cord for the other woods mentioned, or such other rates as may from time to time be fixed by Lieutenant- Governor in Council.

Four: The successful tenderer to get the right to cut the wood only, and not to have any right to the soil or user thereof, except as may be necessary for cutting or removing the wood.

Five: The Government shall retain the right to sell, lease, locate or otherwise dispose of any lands included in the territory on the same terms and conditions for settlement, mining or other purposes as ordinary Crown Lands situated elsewhere.

Six: The successful tenderer shall not have the right to cut or remove timber of any kind from any lands already under timber license or permit from Crown, or which may hereafter be placed under such license or permit  for the cutting of pine during the time such license or permit is in force, or until after the pine timber has been cut therefrom, nor shall any wood be cut in or in the immediate proximity of territory covered with green merchantable pine available for lumbering purposes or which may be considered by the Government to be pine bearing lands.

Seven: No wood cut on the said territory shall be exported or sold or disposed of to any other person or persons, but such wood shall be used for the purpose only of supplying the said mill or mills.

Eight: The Government will not guarantee any particular quantity of wood nor undertake to do more than grant the right to cut such quantities of wood of the kinds aforesaid as may be on the said property.

Nine: Failure to erect the mill or mills and make the required expenditures within the time specified shall entail forfeiture of the right to cut pulpwood and the bonus paid for the same.

Ten: Proper sworn returns of the quantity of wood cut each season shall be made to the government in conformity with the Crown Timber Regulations and payment shall be made for such wood not later than the first day of November in each year, and the Government shall have all rights and powers in respect of enforcing such payment as are now provided in the case of timber cut under timber license.

Eleven: No refuse, saw-dust, chemicals or matter of any other kind shall be placed or deposited in any river, stream or other waters which shall or may be injurious to fish life.

Twelve: No pulpwood, logs, timber or other material not in boats or scows shall be floated or driven or allowed to be floated or driven down or to accumulate in the River Nepigon above Camp Alexander, between the 15th days of June and November in each and every year, and the floating or driving of pulpwood logs, timber or other material down the said river shall be subject to further and other regulations as may hereafter from time to time be made by the Government.

Thirteen:  All Indian Reserves falling within the area of any pulp limit are excluded therefrom.

Department of Lands, Forests and Mines,  Toronto, 8th July, 1910

Foestry Is...


The Weekly Report , District of Geraldton

Ontario Department of Lands and Forests

October 20th, 1966

Adapted from the Prince George Progress.

Forestry is the raw material of beauty, of tourism, and of industry.  It is a full lunch bucket and coins jingling in pockets.

Forestry is tree growing and tree managing. Forestry in Canada is 5 billion dollars a year. (1966)

Yes, forestry is many things.

It is the whine of a powersaw and the moment of suspense when a faller’s tree hangs between heaven and earth.  It is a “cat” carving a trail to a new stand of timber and a drawing board where a bridge is designed.

  It is  30 tons of logs piled on a growling truck, and dollar-earning newsprint spinning off the rollers at half a mile a minute.

Forestry is the patient probing of the secrets of genetics and a quest for bigger, better, faster growing trees.  It is 60 million seedlings a year in Ontario hand planted on thousands of acres of logged-off land.  It is a ranger patrolling timber from  a river boat and a sweat backed stevedore loading lumber on a foreign ship.

Forestry is still flapjacks and bacon and eggs fried potatoes for breakfast, but it is mechanical harvesters that have made horses almost extinct in the woods.  It is a spreading population of deer and moose and a vast province being gradually opened for the traveller’s delight.  It is tree pruning, and sod-busting and fat cattle grazing within smelling distance of a slash burn.

It is stereoscopics and data-processing machines and a hand-axe and a back-packed water pump trekked over a hill.

Forestry is scarlet flames roaring through a fir stand, and infestation of budworm, but it is wind whispering through a pine grove and s singing trout stream and deer feasting with pleasant malevolence on tender young trees.

In spring it is greenery and growth and awakening;  in autumn it is a surrealistic masterpiece in green and gold and yellow painted by the greatest Master of them all.

 Forestry is the life blood of our economy.

G.E. MacKinnon, District Forester

Monday, 26 February 2018

Monday, 5 February 2018

he Lynx of 2018, so far

Lynx. Note its furry foot.
All photos by B'J. Brill 2018

LYNX 2018 with my poem

I wrote a poem in 1968.
Fifty years later I got THE photo to go with it.
The snow is scarlet the snow is white
I am alone in the starlit night
The blood of my veins is pulsing delight
As the blood of my kill is staining the white
And I scream forth my triumph
Feb. 5, 2018
my house yard, Nipigon.
To the dead of the night
This is my instinct, thus I must kill
You can not deny me, try as you will
For I must live and I live to kill
The heat of the race, the capture, the thrill
When there’s none to deny me my right to my kill.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Nipigon River Bridge summer 2017

Nipigon River Bridge approach from the West. August 2, 2017
construction zone
The return... approaching from the East.
Traffic control.
The "Follow me" truck.
Driving West across the Nipigon River Bridge.