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Archival description
British Columbia. Dept. of Lands
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Records of the Assistant Commissioner of Lands and Works, Similkameen Division

  • GR-0825
  • Series
  • 1905-1920

This series consists of records of the Assistant Commissioner of Lands, Similkameen Division, Yale District, 1905-1920. Records include two volumes of declarations for Certificates of Improvement, nos. 1-182 and 183-561. The declarations give a description of improvements made on preempted lands. Some certificates are from Osoyoos Division, Yale District. There is an index at the back of each volume. Some records may relate to Vernon and Fairview as well.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Strathcona Park Survey records

  • GR-1558
  • Series
  • 1912-1914

This series contains diaries (1912-1914; 3 vols.), line index books, (4 cols.), and surveyors' field books (11 vols.) from the Strathcona Park Survey.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records relating to surveys and surveyors field books

  • GR-1148
  • Series
  • 1913-1920

Records relating to surveys and surveyors field books. Consists of a register of surveyors' field books on Vancouver Island, especially Victoria district; an alphabetical street index to surveyors' field books for the City of Victoria, and miscellaneous correspondence pertaining to surveys. Includes record of surveys done since 1858.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Water rights maps : second series

  • CM/S4
  • Series
  • [ca. 1920-1978]

Scope and Content: This series of large scale maps was created by the Water Rights Branch pursuant to successive versions of the Water Act and the Water Act Amendment Act. The primary function of the sheets was to document the location of water rights licences. They therefore serve as a geographic index for the licencing function and also provide useful links to other maps and plans produced or used by the Branch. The sheets in this series replaced those in the first series of Water Rights Maps, 1911- 24 (see CM/B1575) and have themselves been replaced at the Water Management Branch by a third series of larger- scale mylar maps. (Accordingly, the sheets are often annotated with a "D" for "deletion," while the new maps are sometimes referred to as the "coversions.") This series was received by BC ARCHIVES in 1981. Additional second series sheets remain at the Water Management Branch. The maps depict the basic planimetry (creeks, rivers and lakes) within the boundaries of the various water districts and precincts, and record the location and numbers of conditional and final licences, as well as the numbers of both correspondence files pertaining to licences and of approvals of works. (Other types of boundaries are also sometimes depicted such as those of local waterworks or improvement districts). Some of the sheets also contain tables which specify creek names, intake codes, and various file, map, or licence numbers identifying the location and nature of water diversions. Finally, the individual sheets frequently provide the numbers of registered plans, large- scale reference maps, and water rights maps or plans containing related information. Related series held by BC ARCHIVES include the Water Rights Reference Maps (CM/S3) and the Water Rights Plans (CM/S5- S7). Arrangement: The maps are arranged in the accompanying list in water rights map number order. These numbers are grouped by the district and precincts identified at the beginning of the list and an attempt has been made to specify the "book" numbers of the volumes in which the sheets were orginally bound. Since the Water Rights Branch often renumbered maps when district or precinct boundaries were changed, a conversion list linking old and new numbers is provided at the end of the main list. The maps are now physically arranged and retrieved by the BC ARCHIVES registration number cited in the attached item descriptions.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Committee of Investigation on Garibaldi Park records

  • GR-0891
  • Series
  • 1932-1934

This series consists of the report of the Committee of Investigation on Garibaldi Park and contiguous area for the Honourable the Minister of Lands (79 pp.), appendix (24 pp.), maps and photographs, 1932-1934.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Special timber licences

  • GR-3736
  • Series
  • 1911-1990 (primarily 1963-1982)

Series consists of special timber licences created by the Ministry of Forests and its predecessors. The ministry created these records to manage the process of providing applicants with the right to cut in forests. The records were created between 1911-1990 although the majority of the records in this series were created between 1963 and 1982. The records deal with all areas of the province and were created in accordance with the Forest Act and its sections on timber licences.

Special timber licences were first referred to in the 1888 Lands Act (SBC 1888, c. 16). The 1912 Forest Act (SBC 1912, c. 17) stated that a “special timber licence shall vest in the holder thereof all rights of property whatsoever in all trees, timber, and lumber cut within the limits of the licence during the term.” These licences remained in effect until the January 1, 1979 enactment of the new Forest Act (SBC 1978, c. 23). This 1978 act replaced special timber licences with a new form of timber licence.

The records are arranged by the timber licence number which begins with TL followed by a sequential number. The TL number was phased out in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s with the introduction of the timber licence files. Many files have the new timber licence number, which begins with “T”, written on the front of the file. There is also a sheet in the front of the file that contains information about the file that replaced it.

The files usually consist of a copy of the licence, renewal documentation, correspondence, logging inspection reports, and termination documents.

There are also two volumes of file 18043f from the Dept. of Lands and Works’ “O” files series. These files contain documentation about multiple licences. These have been placed in the last box.

Ministries that were responsible for this series include:
Dept. of Lands (1908-1945)
Dept. of Lands and Forests (1945-1962)
Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources (1962-1975)
Dept. of Forests (1975-1976)
Ministry of Forests (1976-1986)
Ministry of Forests and Lands (1986-1988)
Ministry of Forests (1988-2005)

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Reference maps

  • GR-3813
  • Series
  • 1932-1995

The series contains a collection of maps used as reference in office of the Integrated Land Management Bureau and its predecessors from various ministries responsible for lands. These particular maps were transferred from the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Lower Mainland office in Surrey, B.C. The maps were produced by the surveys and mapping branch of the Ministry or its predecessors and cover a variety of areas in British Columbia.
The maps detail many features including roads, trails, railways, powerlines, reserved lands, surveyed lands, boundaries, campgrounds, mines, historic monuments, lighthouses, survey control stations, Forest Service lookouts, communications towers, customs offices, airports and airstrips, heliports, seaplane landings, buildings, elevations, dykes, contour swamp/marsh, intermittent lake/seasonal inundation, mud, sand, gravel, glaciers and icefields. Some maps also detail telephone lines, wells, falls, rapids, dams, cliffs, mile posts, orchards and even land lots.
The dates the maps were published do not necessarily coincide with when the data was collected to create those maps. Usually this information is present in the publication information at the bottom or top of each map. The maps would have held important reference information to Ministry workers and were probably consulted frequently. Several maps have annotations marking plots of land, new features, and other notes. Many of the maps are part of composites which can be placed next to each other to create larger maps. It is for this reason that it is believed that some duplications of the maps in this series exist. Most of the maps are topographical; however there are a few maps detailing lots and land registration as well as a few water source maps from the Water Management Division. Maps are printed on paper except for a few which are on Mylar. Maps do not appear to be arranged in any discernable order.

Maps of the following cities and areas are included in this series:
Alert Bay (1956, 1965, 1976)
Ashcroft (1966, 1975)
Boston Bar (1957)
Bowen Island
Bridge River (1970, 1979)
Bute Inlet (1960, 1970, 1991)
Buttle Lake (1977)
Campbell River (1981)
Cheakamus River (1969)
Chilliwack (1959)
Chilliwack Lake (1983, 1986, 1995)
Comox (1956)
Elko (1962)
Haslam Lake (1967)
Hope (1957, 1968)
Kamloops (1979,
Kamloops Lake (1979, 1995)
Kennedy Lake (1975)
Langley (1967, 1978, 1979)
Lardeau (1973)
Lillooet River (1979
Lytton (1968, 1979)
Manning Park (1960)
Merritt (1980)
Mount Urquhart (1955, 1960)
Mount Waddington (1968)
Nootka Sound (1960)
Pemberton (1951, 1972)
Pitt River (1973)
Port Alberni (1976)
Princeton (1980, 1995)
Revelstoke (1932)
Scuzzy Mountain (1956)
Shuswap Lake (1968)
Skagit (1960)
Spuzzum (1957, 1967)
Squamish (1952, 1972, 1982)
Sugar Lake (1956)
Texada Island (1950)
Toba Inlet (1979)
Tulameen (1958, 1978, 1986, 1995)
Vancouver (1959, 1975)
Victoria (1968)
Whistler (1993)
Yale (1966, 1976, 1979, 1995)

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks

Forest Service scale and royalty invoices

  • GR-3180
  • Series
  • 1912-1975

The series consists of scale and royalty invoices created by the Forest Branch and its successor the Forest Service between 1912 and 1975. Depending upon the district, these records are either duplicate or triplicate copies. For some districts, invoices were to be paid at the Victoria Office, for others at the appropriate district office.

The records are arranged by forest district, and then numerically by account number. Records are available for the following forest districts: Vancouver, January 1913 to August 1976; Cariboo, September 1972 to November 1974, Nelson, April 1925 to February 1975, Williams Lake (also known as Cariboo), January 1913 to January 1932; Kamloops, February 1913 to March 1975; Vernon, February 1913 to March 1925; Cranbrook, October 1912 to March 1925; Prince Rupert, April 1913 to October 1974; and Prince George, March 1914 to June 1952. Account numbers are assigned chronologically within each forest district. However, when numbers became too large and unwieldy the account numbers were started over again at one.

The province collects royalties on all logs cut in the province. Over time the royalties owing have been calculated in different ways. Prior to 1894, each licensee or leasee provided a monthly written account to government of the number of trees cut on a particular property. This count was referred to as "stumpage" and fees were based on the numbers remitted. In 1894, the enactment of the Official Scaler's Act (SBC 1894, c. 35) resulted in the appointment of official scalers. Scalers followed scaling rules to measure the volume of logs cut and were usually employed by the provincial government. Scalers also determined the species and quality, or grade, of the logs. This information was then used to determine royalties owing to government.

Three scales were accepted for use in the province: British Columbia Board Foot Log Scale (BCFBM), Scribner's Decimal C and Doyle Log Rules. In 1915, only the British Columbia Board Foot Log Scale as accepted (Timber Royalty Act, SBC 1914, c. 76, s. 17). This scale estimated the amount of lumber that could be produced from a log, in board feet. The Forest Act (SBC, 1912 c. 17) provides the legal authority for the government's administration of scaling and requires that all logs be scaled before manufacture or shipment. The act is also used as the authority to determine which is the accepted scale. In 1946, the British Columbia Cubic Scale was introduced. This scale measured the volume of the log in cubic feet that might be ~suitable~ for the manufacture of lumber. In 1952, all measurements had to be done using the cubic scale.

A significant change occurred in 1965 when the BC Firmwood Scale Cubic Scale was adopted. This scale measured the net firmwood content of the log and was unrelated to its use for lumber. The purpose of this scale was to serve the government's requirements to assess fees and track the volume of harvests for statistical use and planning. By 1972, all other scales were discontinued. In 1978, a metric cubic scale replaced the imperial cubic scale. There are two primary methods of scaling used in the Province: piece scale and weight scale. Piece scale involves the measurement of each log harvested. This method is normally used in coastal areas where the logs are larger and not uniform in size. Weight scale is a sampling method where selected loads of logs over a period of time are piece scaled and this data is then used to estimate the volume of all other weighed loads. This method is used primarily in the interior of the Province and was introduced in 1963. It is used primarily for large volumes of smaller logs that are uniform in size. Other scaling methods may be used for small volumes of special products, for example, Christmas trees or fence posts.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Department of Lands correspondence inward

  • GR-0897
  • Series
  • 1901-1910

This series consists of Semi-official correspondence inward received by the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works (1901-1908) and the Chief Commissioner of Lands (1908-1910). Arranged alphabetically.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Lot registers

  • GR-1686
  • Series
  • 1876-1946

This series contains Clayoquot Land District, Lot registers, Lots 1-775, superceded 1946 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1946). The register lists lots in numerical order and records the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease, etc.): Information may include the name of purchaser, date and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers for correspondence files and field books. There is an alphabetical index in the volume.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Certificates of purchase

  • GR-1521
  • Series
  • 1859-1944

This series contains acknowledgements of moneys received by the Lands Department pursuant to the pre-emption or sale of crown land. These certificates of purchase include district, legal description of land, acreage, date and terms of payment, name of payer, pre-emption record number, certificate of improvement number, crown grant number and departmental file numbers. The certificates are divided into four series.

SERIES 1. CERTIFICATES OF PURCHASE BY LAND DISTRICT, 1859-1913. Volumes have alphabetical indexes.
SERIES 3. CERTIFICATES OF PURCHASE, SERIES 4. CERTIFICATES OF PURCHASE, 1907-1944. Vancouver Island certificate books.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Record book of coal, petroleum, and natural gas licences

  • GR-1409
  • Series
  • 1907-1944

This series contains a record book of coal, petroleum, and natural gas licences (1 vol.), with nominal index. The book lists licencee, licence number,. locations, assignments, and file number.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Crown land records

  • GR-1408
  • Series
  • 1901-1952

This series contains certificates granted with the object of facilitating registration of title to a portion of Crown lands granted to the Nelson and Fort Sheppard Railway Company and the Kaslo and Slocan Railway Company (2 vols.), 1901-1904. It includes notices from the Deputy Minister of Lands certifying grants, 1920, 1937, 1941, and 1952.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records relating to auction sales of Prince Rupert land

  • GR-1407
  • Series
  • 1909-1912

This series contains records relating to auction sales of Prince Rupert lands in 8 volumes. The records consist of a register of auction sale of Prince Rupert lots sold on May 25, 1909 and the following days at Vancouver and Victoria, as well as a register of auction sale of Prince Rupert lots sold on August 28 and 29, 1912 held at Vancouver. The records include receipt certificates for the May 25, 1909 sale (6 volumes). Volume 1 and Volume 8 are oversize.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Registers of auction land sales held at Vancouver

  • GR-1406
  • Series
  • 1901-1908

This series contains registers of auction land sales held at Vancouver. Volume 1 contains information from an auction sale that took place November 20-23, 1901. Volume 2 contains information from an auction sale that took place September 29, 1908. The registers include information such as lot number, name of purchaser and sale prices.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records of crown grant applications

  • GR-1405
  • Series
  • ca. 1904-1928

This series contains lists of Vancouver Island settlers who made Crown grant applications under provisions of the Vancouver Island Settlers' Rights Act, 1904, and subsequent amendments. Information includes name, acreage, and legal description of lands.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records relating to the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Belt and the Canadian Pacific Railway terminus at Burrard Inlet

  • GR-1404
  • Series
  • 1860-1912

This series contains records relating to the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Belt and the Canadian Pacific Railway terminus at Burrard Inlet. The records consist of correspondence, memoranda and other records from the Lands Department. Central files are extracted and filed separately (see f.1 for a list of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo files). These includes correspondence and plans of government reserves at Burrard Inlet and indenture of grant to British Columbia and Vancouver Island Spar Lumber and Sawmill Co., 1860-1866; these materials were filed separately as they pertained to lands comprising the Canadian Pacific Railway terminus at Coal Harbour.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records relating to foreshore leases

  • GR-1402
  • Series
  • 1895-1952

This series contains records relating to foreshore leases, including expired and canceled leases. It consists of a register to foreshore leases (1 vol.), lease indentures, sketches, plans and material relating to leases for Prince Rupert foreshore, fish plants, fish traps, and fishing stations, and to lands formerly comprising the Songhees Indian Reserve, Victoria.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands


  • GR-1400
  • Series
  • 1910-1911

This series contains correspondence files of the Forest Protection Branch. The records consist of letters inward and outward of the Minister of Lands, the Deputy Minister of Lands, and the Forest Fire Commissioner, Martin Allerdale Grainger. It includes letters from the Supervisor of Fire Wardens.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Record book of resumed lands under the Soldiers' Homestead Act, 1916

  • GR-1399
  • Series
  • 1916-1921

This series contains a record book of resumed lands under the Soldiers' Homestead Act, 1916. The information is arranged by Land District. The records list pre-emptions and land purchase applications canceled or resumed by the Crown during the Great War (1914-1918). The reverted lands were to be used for returned soldiers' homesteads.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records relating to Whalen Pulp and Paper Mills Ltd.

  • GR-1397
  • Series
  • 1916-1917, 1926

This series contains records relating to Whalen Pulp and Paper Mills Ltd. Records include copies of leases and legal documents filed against the company's licences and leases, including wood pulp, booming ground, and quarry leases. Filed with the Minister of Lands.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Railway Belt land leases

  • GR-1384
  • Series
  • 1911-1946

This series contains copies of canceled and abandoned Railway Belt land leases issued by Canada, Dept. of Interior and canceled or reassigned by B.C. Dept. of Lands. Records include (1) leases of Westminster Power Cc., Twp. 6 and 7, Range 6 and 7, W.7.M., 1930-1931. (2) lease of A.H. Peppar, reassigned to C.H. McDonald, Sect. 29, Twp. 39, W.C.M., 1930-1932. (3) leases of Brittingham and Young reassigned to Indian River Pulp and Power Company, 1911-1946.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests

Lands correspondence

  • GR-0360
  • Series
  • 1896-1936

This series consists of selected correspondence files from the several branches of the Department of Lands and works, and its successor the Department of Lands: Lands, Surveys, Water Rights, and Forests. Records include requests for information concerning the availability of land in British Columbia, Water Rights Branch correspondence concerning various power projects and irrigation, forest fire reports, and files on Forest Branch launches. Note: "WRB" refers to Water Rights Branch.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Reports of the Assistant Timber Inspector at Nelson

  • GR-1213
  • Series
  • 1912

This series contains reports by the Assistant Timber Inspector at Nelson on timber cut and royalties payable by the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Doukhobor Society.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Parker Bonney report

  • GR-1987
  • Series
  • 1913

This report to the Forest Branch of the Dept. of Lands, is part of a series of initial surveys of forest-land, a programme commenced by the Branch in 1912. Bonney's report covers parts of the Nass and Skeena watersheds and was completed at a cost of 43.58 cents per square mile. As well as reporting on standing timber and forest industry potential, Bonney includes forestry problems, agriculture, sail studies, fishing, mineral resources, geology, topography, water power, communications and climate. Notes are included on methodology and impressions of Indians and white settlers . An index and a map of the project area will be found at the start of the reel.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Mining licences

  • GR-1176
  • Series
  • 1912-1915

This series consists of mining licences for the purposes of prospecting for coal and petroleum pursuant to the Coal and Petroleum Act, 1911 and amendments. These licences were for the Queen Charlotte District (file 1) and Cassiar District (file 2). Prior 1911, the Act was known as the Coal Mines Act.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records relating to the University Endowment Lands

  • GR-1161
  • Series
  • 1925-1953

This series contains the Lands Service records relating to the University Endowment Lands [UEL] adjacent to the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. They contain ledgers of lot sales which show purchase payment, improvement tax schedules, and interest charges. Boxes have nominal indexes. Box 5 is oversized. For related records, see GR-1068.

British Columbia. Lands Service

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