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Only top-level descriptions British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests
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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

Tree farm licence annual reports

  • GR-3636
  • Series
  • 1951-1999

This series consists of annual reports submitted by the holders of tree farm licences. Each tree farm licence requires the licensee to submit an annual report. The licensee must report on:

  1. their performance over the previous calendar year in relation to its management of the licence area and their obligations under the licence,
  2. their success in meeting their management objectives, including all employment and economic activities,
  3. the processing or other use or disposition of the timber harvested under the licence, and,
  4. their goals and major initiatives for the next calendar year.

The series is arranged annually by the tree farm licence number. The reports have been placed in file folders which, in some cases, also contain copies of correspondence between ministry staff, and/or the Licensee and references to the applicable “0” lands file. Some of the reports contain attached photographs to provide additional information.

The following ministries and departments were responsible for managing this function:

1951-1962 Dept. of Lands and Forests
1962-1975 Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources
1975-1976 Dept. of Forests (1975-1976)
1976-1986 Ministry of Forests
1986-1988 Ministry of Forests and Lands
1988-1999 Ministry of Forests

The series has been classified as 19700-60 in the Forests Operational Classification System (ORCS).

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests

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

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

Study of the organization and administrative systems of the Forest Service and other material

  • GR-1296
  • Series
  • 1951

This series contains a study on the organization and administrative systems of the Forest Service together with recommendations for departmental reorganization done by Stevenson and Kellogg Ltd., Management Engineers for the Ministry of Lands and Forests, presented to E.T. Kenney, Minister of Lands and Forests, September 26, 1951. These recommendations were partially implemented by the Departmental reorganization of June 10, 1952.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests

Land records relating to the sale of townsite lots

  • GR-1093
  • Series
  • 1911-1958

This series contains land records files relating to the sale of townsite lots at Terrace, B.C. Includes correspondence, memoranda, lot lists, reports, sketches, newspaper clippings, etc. From the Dept. of Lands early chronological series of lands files, file No. 21797/11.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests

Correspondence and other material

  • GR-1081
  • Series
  • 1953-1961

This series consists of records of the Land Inspector and Government Agent, Prince George, relating to government land reserves in Cariboo, Cassiar, Range 4 and Range 5 Land Districts. Correspondence, memoranda, plans, and reports concerning recreation, highway, B.C. Forest Service, railway, school and power line reserves.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests

Records relating to University Endowment Lands

  • GR-1068
  • Series
  • 1926-1958

This series contains records relating to the University Endowment Lands. Correspondence, memoranda, special reports, progress reports on the master survey plan and general administration of the University Endowment Lands, 1945-1958. Applications for employment, 1935-1936. Tenders for contract for Development Unit Nos. 1 and 2, 1926-1928.

Records relating to University Endownment Lands [UEL]

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests

Public sustained yield units management files

  • GR-3708
  • Series
  • 1952-1984

The series consists of management files relating to public sustained yield units. These files document day to day operations and were used for implementing and managing yield policies throughout the province. These records were created between 1956 and 1984 by the Ministry of Forests and its successors. The records were created by the ministry’s central office in Victoria and relate to all areas of the province.

Public sustained yield units (PSYU) were used by the ministry between 1948 and 1978. They were a method by which the ministry regulated harvest rate. PSYUs were an outgrowth of the Royal Commission on the Forest Resources of British Columbia of 1945. This commission recommended that the ministry should establish forest management units that would be managed for a long term sustained yield of timber.

The ministry established 88 public sustained yield units in the province and these are reflected in the records of this series. In 1978, the ministry replaced public sustained yield units with timber supply areas. The 88 PSYU’s were reduced into 33 timber supply areas.

Records contain correspondence, maps, and reports. The correspondence is with ministry staff, other ministries, other governments, businesses and members of the public. The correspondence includes letters about annual cutting rates including information about companies that exceed or do not meet their annual rates of harvesting. There are also requests from municipalities, members of the public and businesses for an increase in cutting quotas.

Files are arranged alphabetically. There is a file for each of the PSYUs in the province. Each file has also been assigned a classification number that begins with the numbers 700-6-1. This classification number was first assigned to the records ca. 1979. Documents in each file that were created prior to 1979 have been assigned a “0” number. The “0” numbers are 7 digit numbers that are part of a filing system that was created by the Dept. of Lands which was a predecessor of Forests.

Ministries responsible for creating these records, and the dates that they were responsible, include:
British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests (1955-1962)
British Columbia. Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources (1962-1975)
British Columbia. Dept. of Forests (1975-1976)
British Columbia. Ministry of Forests (1976-1984)

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests

Public sustained yield unit general files

  • GR-3703
  • Series
  • 1955-1980

The series consists of general files relating to public sustained yield units. The files were used to calculate the long term sustainable yield in the forests. These records were created between 1955 and 1980 by the Ministry of Forests and its successors. The records were maintained by the Victoria central office in Victoria and relate to all areas of the province.

Public sustained yield units (PSYU) were used by the ministry between 1948 and 1978. They were the method by which the ministry regulated harvest rates. PSYUs were an outgrowth of the 1945 Royal Commission on the Forest Resources of British Columbia. This commission recommended that the ministry should establish forest management units to ensure the long term sustained yield of timber.

The ministry established 88 public sustained yield units in the province and these are reflected in the records of this series. In 1978, the ministry replaced the system of public sustained yield units with timber supply areas. The 88 PSYU’s were reduced to 33 timber supply areas.

Records consist primarily of reports and maps as well as correspondence among ministry staff. The records were used to calculate yield volumes and therefore contain documents used for that purpose including yield calculation reports, forest inventory summaries, mill surveys and statistics, and information about allowable cuts.

Files are arranged alphabetically. There is a file for each of the PSYUs in the province. Each file has been assigned a classification number that begins with the numbers 700-6-1. This classification number was first assigned to the records ca. 1979. Documents in each file that were created prior to 1979 have been assigned a “0” number. The “0” numbers are 7 digit numbers that are part of a filing system that was created by the Dept. of Lands which was a predecessor of Forests.

Ministries responsible for creating these records, and the dates that they were responsible, include:
British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests (1955-1962)
British Columbia. Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources (1962-1975)
British Columbia. Dept. of Forests (1975-1976)
British Columbia. Ministry of Forests (1976-1980)

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests

Public sustained yield unit policy files

  • GR-3700
  • Series
  • 1955-1985

The series consists of policy files relating to public sustained yield units. These records were created between 1955 and 1985 by the Ministry of Forests and its predecessors. The records were created by the ministry’s central office in Victoria and relate to all areas of the province. These files were used for planning in public sustained yield unit areas.

Public sustained yield units (PSYU) were used by the ministry between 1948 and 1978. They were the method by which the ministry regulated harvest rates. PSYUs were an outgrowth of the 1945 Royal Commission on the Forest Resources of British Columbia. This commission recommended that the ministry should establish forest management units to ensure the long term sustained yield of timber.

The ministry established 88 public sustained yield units in the province and these are reflected in the records of this series. In 1978, the ministry replaced the system of public sustained yield units with timber supply areas. The 88 PSYU’s were reduced to 33 timber supply areas.

Records contain correspondence, maps and reports. The correspondence is with ministry staff, other ministries and third parties including businesses and individuals. The majority of the documents relate to forest use but there are also records that relate to other land use information including mining, recreation, parks, and environment. The reports include computer printouts and written reports. The computer printouts contain information about forestry yield.

Files are arranged alphabetically. There is a file for each of the PSYUs in the province. Each file has also been assigned a classification number that begins with the numbers 700-6-1. This classification number was first assigned to the records ca. 1979. Documents in each file that were created prior to 1979 have been assigned a “0” number. The “0” numbers are 7 digit numbers that are part of a filing system that was created by the Dept. of Lands which was a predecessor of Forests.

Ministries responsible for creating these records, and the dates that they were responsible, include:
British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests (1955-1962)
British Columbia. Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources (1962-1975)
British Columbia. Dept. of Forests (1975-1976)
British Columbia. Ministry of Forests (1976-1985)

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests

Pre-emption record files, Penticton

  • GR-1386
  • Series
  • 1920-1955

The series consists of a selection of pre-emption record files originally created by the Dept. of Lands Government Agent W.R. Dewdney, stationed at Pentiction. The selection is a random sample of 13 cm from the original ca. 2.5 metres of records and covers the period 1920 to 1955. The files contain correspondence and other information regarding land
pre-emptions in the Penticton area.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests

Forest Service lookout photographs

  • GR-3263
  • Series
  • 1936-1983

The series consists of ca. 4300 negatives and ca. 5000 photographic prints taken from forest lookouts between 1936 and 1993. Falling under the function of forest protection, "lookout photography" or "panoramic lookout photography" was first initiated in B.C. in 1936. It involved taking a set of eight large-format film images at 263 fire lookout sites.

The negatives were used to create 20 x 32 cm (7½ x 12¾" black and white photo prints, and a grid was photographically superimposed on each print, indicating the compass bearing from 0 to 360 degrees and vertical angle from +10 to -15 degrees from the horizontal. These prints were bound into book form, and kept on hand in the lookout and at the Ranger Station to aid in communicating the details of fire locations using visual references. They were also used to orient the fire finder in the lookout - a rotatable sighting device mounted over a map located in the centre of the building. The books list the date of the images and the location. Some books also contain notations on the photos. The series also contains 2 boxes of photographic proofs which contain information about the date and time that the image was taken and the weather conditions at that time.

In the photographing process, bearings were established with the use of a surveyor's transit and level, and an interchangeable camera. With the transit, the photographer determined the precise known bearing of a distant reference object (usually a mountain peak or another lookout, sometimes a topographic survey cairn). By lifting the transit off the mount and replacing it with the camera, they could then take their eight photographs at 45-degree horizontal intervals. Photographs from the lookout were taken in this order: shot #1, North; shot #2, 45 degrees; shot #3, East; shot #4, 135 degrees; shot #5, South; shot #6, 225 degrees; shot #7, West; shot #8, 315 degrees. A suitable camera was initially borrowed from another agency until one specially built by the National Research Council in Ottawa was obtained in the summer of 1945. One report from the late 1940s states that the eight views each included a horizontal angle of 50 degrees, so that the full panorama was completed with an overlap of 5 degrees per photograph. Photos were taken on infrared film to maximize haze penetration, and a duplicate set of negatives were taken with panchromatic.

Most lookouts were photographed at least once; some were photographed two or three times. This “rephotography” was deemed necessary when there were appreciable changes, over time, in a view from a lookout. Changes in view were caused by various factors: elimination of vegetative cover due to wildfires or logging; the erecting, rebuilding or relocation of a tower; construction of dams; or the change in view caused by tree clearing at the mountain summit. Most lookouts were sites that had established structures; however, some were undeveloped sites.

The photography was sometimes carried out by a two-man crew consisting of UBC forestry students. In time, "visibility mapping" to evaluate potential new lookout sites was combined with lookout photography at existing sites; in some years a two-man crew would do both. Access to lookout sites by helicopter was used by 1960. The same crews sometimes also took photographs on behalf of the National Parks Service for parks lookouts located in B.C. For some years there was limited or no field work undertaken in either lookout photography or visibility mapping. The last photos were taken by professional surveyors on a contract basis as a pilot project.

The majority of the lookout structures were built by the B.C. Forest Service; however, several had been built by the federal government to fulfill their obligation to protect timber from wildfire within the Railway Belt. In 1930 the Railway Belt and its lookout structures were turned over to the Province of B.C.

The number of lookouts that were staffed declined in the late 1970s and early 1980s as other means of fire detection became more efficient, notably, aircraft patrols and public reporting. In addition, the electronic lightning location system that began in 1980 indicated where lightning activity had occurred, and computer models then predicted the likely location and number of new lighting-caused and people-caused fires. The decline in fire lookouts was due to technological changes, and cost-benefit analyses probably showed that some lookouts were no longer good investments. Lookout photography was given up as lookouts declined in value.

The photographs are a resource for studying landscape change. Old harvesting, regeneration, and the impacts of wildfire and urban expansion may be observed in many of the photograph sets.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Letter inward registers

  • GR-2922
  • Series
  • 1918-1954

Letter inward registers, 1918-1953; B.C. Forest Service letter inward register, Nov. 2, 1951 - Jan. 22, 1954.

Letters inward to the department were received in a central mail room where they were assigned both a sequential letter number and a file number and were distributed to the appropriate branch - Lands, Water Rights, Surveyor General Branch or the Forest Service. These registers give the date of receipt, the letter and file number assigned and an initial indicating the Branch to which the letter was sent. Occasionally, the subject of the letter is given. Letters inward to the B.C. Forest Service are registered in the departmental register until Nov. 1, 1951 and from Nov. 2, 1951 - Jan. 22, 1954, in a separate volume (see reels B11270 and B11271).

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests

Minister of Lands and Forests correspondence inward

  • GR-1808
  • Series
  • 1952-1954

Copies of letters (July 28, 1952; March 1, 1954) and attachments from Squamish Towing and Contracting Co. to Robert E. Sommers, Minister of Lands and Forests, concerning the application of Empire Mills Ltd. for a private management licence in the Squamish district.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests

Water rights plans

  • CM/S5-7
  • Series
  • 1892-1981

Introduction: Throughout its existence, the Water Rights Branch (WRB) acquired and created a large central set of plans, maps, and engineering drawings which was assigned a single set of sequential water rights plan numbers. Over time, the original plan series was divided into separate sub- series for the use of particular operational units. The topics documented in the series and in each sub- series are discussed in the scope and contents notes below. The plans are listed in plan number and water rights district order in the series list which follows this overview. The structure and contents of this list are explained in the arrangement section below. Scope and Content: The water rights plans series documents a broad range of WRB activities. It includes: plans and engineering drawings submitted to the WRB by individuals, corporations, and municipalities as part of their applications for water licences or for approval of works; survey plans and maps prepared by WRB field engineers and regional engineers in support of licensing activities, irrigation studies, water power investigations and dam inspections; general reference maps used by WRB staff; and a variety of charts, graphs, and other items used for WRB functions such as stream measurement and precipitation monitoring. Taken as a whole, this series constitutes a wealth of often highly detailed cartographic information on regions and communities throughout British Columbia- - information which in many cases is not available elsewhere. Of particular interest are early large- scale maps and plans which provide extensive topographic information and vegetation notes for many areas of B.C. well before those areas were covered by standard topographic maps, including areas which were later flooded due to dam construction. As well, some of the early plans of towns and of agricultural, commercial, and industrial sites include such detailed cultural and cadastral information as the location and identity of buildings and the names of property owners affected by proposed water projects. And of course, the series contains invaluable documentation of specific major hydro- electric, irrigation, and waterworks projects in the form of site plans and engineering (structural) drawings. The series' value is enhanced by the fact that many of the items contain numbers which can be used to link the items with related records such as water records, conditional and final licences; correspondence files, water rights and reference maps, field notes, and a variety of reports. The water rights plans received by BC ARCHIVES consist of three main sub- series that have been separated from the plans held at the Water Management Branch. To a large extent the topics and document types described above are found in all of the sub- series but each sub- series does exhibit certain characteristics which reflect its provenance. Arrangement: Although the Water Rights Plans consist of three distinct sub- series, a single comprehensive list of the items has been compiled for the convenience of researchers. In part one of this series list, the item descriptions are arranged sequentially according to the water rights plan numbers. In part two, the list is sorted geographically, according to the water rights districts in existence at the time the various items were filed. Researchers should note that the BC ARCHIVES series list is based primarily on the original Water Rights Branch plan registers (see BC ARCHIVES reel B1949 for a microfilm copy) rather than on the items themselves. The dates given in the list are the dates of filing and the descriptions presented are close (but not exact) transcriptions of the descriptions in the registers. The registers also often contain information not transcribed into in the BC ARCHIVES list such as the plan origins, creator names, material types, and numbers identifying related records. The creator names, in particular, can sometimes be used to link the plans with other records produced by the same creator such as the early regional engineers' reports published in the annual reports of the WRB. Since the water rights plan numbers were assigned sequentially, part one of the BC ARCHIVES series list is in chronological order. However, a single plan number often covers numerous individual items and the date of the items themselves sometimes does not match the date of filing. Similarly, the descriptions usually refer to the items originally filed under a given plan number. In some cases not all of the items pertaining to a number were transferred to BC ARCHIVES and in a few cases it appears that the original items filed under a given number were replaced by later plans pertaining to the same general topic. Therefore, while the list usually provides researchers with a strong indication of the types of items found under a plan number, it is necessary to consult the items themselves, using the call numbers provided in the list, in order to determine the precise nature of their contents. The items are physically arranged in call number order within each of the sub- series. Separate lists of each sub- series can be made available, but the sub- series origin of any particular item in the main list can be readily determined by consulting the item's call number against the chart at the beginning of the list.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works