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