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British Columbia. Dept. of Lands
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Crown lands records

  • GR-0039
  • Series
  • 1874-1944

The series consists of records relating to the pre-emption, sale, and registration of land in New Westminster, Sayward, and Coast (Range 1-5) Land Districts, created by the Assistant Commissioner of Lands and Works and District Land Commissioners, pursuant to the Land Act.

The records include pre-emption applications, 1887-1911 (11 vols.); certificates of pre-emption, 1884-1938 (57 vols.); certificates of purchase, 1874-1944 (95 vols.); registers of sales of unsurveyed lands, 1884-1911 (4 vols.); lot register, City of Vancouver, 1886-1892 (3 vols.) and a register of lot owners, Town of Granville, 1874-1884.

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

Department of Lands correspondence outward

  • GR-1811
  • Series
  • 1908-1910

Letterpress copies of "semi-official" correspondence outward from the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, and, after the Dept. of Lands and Works was split in 1908, the Chief Commissioner of Lands. vols. 6-10. There may be volumes missing in this unit. The volumes contain nominal indexes of correspondents.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

District lot registers

  • GR-2598
  • Series
  • 1914

Cariboo Land District, auctioneer's agreements, subdivision lots 11385, at Fort George. The lots were subdivided from District Lots 343, 933, 934, 936, 938, and 1429, and are arranged randomly by lot and sublot, but numerically by certificate number, in each volume. Information may include date of sale, name and address of highest bidder and amount bid, deposit, and terms of sale. No index is available.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

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

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

Land register

  • GR-2626
  • Series
  • 1859-1885

Comiaken Land District, Vancouver Island, land register, Range 1, Section 1 to Range 3, Section 19. The information in this volume has been copied from another source and pre-dates the information in the Comiaken section of GR-0625. The register is arranged numerically by Range and Section and records the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, etc.): information may include the name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments and reference numbers to correspondence and field books. The volume includes an alphabetical name index.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Land register

  • GR-2624
  • Series
  • 1875

Cameron Land District, Vancouver Island, land register, Section 1, Lot 3-4, 8-10, superceded 1875 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1875). The register contains one pre-emption entry and some notes. Information may include the name of purchaser dates and numbers of certificates issued., (including Crown Grants), along with cross references to other registers.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Land register

  • GR-2629
  • Series
  • 1871-1911

Cowichan Land District, Vancouver Island, land register, Sections 1- 24, superceded 1929 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1929). The register lists the sections in numerical order, and records the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease, etc.): information may include the name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. The volume contains an alphabetical index.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Land register

  • GR-2636
  • Series
  • 1882-1915

Sayward Land District, Vancouver Island, land register, lots 1-843. This register is a summary of pertinent land information from 1882-1915. 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 the purchaser, lease number, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. Hernando Island and Cortez Island each have their own pages. No index is available.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Land register

  • GR-2628
  • Series
  • 1891-1928

Cowichan Land District, Vancouver Island, land register, arranged numerically by lots within local areas, i.e. individual islands, superceded 1929 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1929. This volume is a continuation of an unknown previous register and records the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease etc.): information may include the name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. The volume contains an alphabetical name index.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Land register

  • GR-2632
  • Series
  • 1864-1865

Douglas Land District, Vancouver Island, land register, Range 1, Section 1 to Range 8, Section 20, superceded at an unknown date. The registers record the land in numerical order and records the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, preemption, lease, etc.): information may include the name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. The volume contains an alphabetical name index.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Land registers

  • GR-3348
  • Series
  • 1861-1909

Series consists of land registers registering when land was transferred from the Crown to private ownership. Series includes both township registers and district lot registers. Data elements include the legal description, how the lot was acquired the name of the indiviaula acquiring the property, terms of papyment, the date acquired, and the date of the Gazette notice.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Land registers

  • GR-2627
  • Series
  • 1862-1933

Comox Land District, Vancouver Island, land registers, Sections 1-113 and lots 1251, superceded 1933 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1933). The land is listed numerically within the sections or lots and records the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease, etc.). Information may include the name of the purchaser, dates and number of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. The volume contains an alphabetical name index.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Land registers

  • GR-2630
  • Series
  • 1872-1929

Cowichan Land District, Vancouver Island, land registers, Sections I- 21, superceded 1929 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1929). The registers list the sections in numerical order and record the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease, etc.): information may include the name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issue (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. The volume contains an alphabetical name index.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Land registers

  • GR-2623
  • Series
  • 1855-1928

Bright, Cedar, Cranberry, Mountain, Nanoose, Nanaimo, and Wellington Land Districts, all on Vancouver Island, land registers, superceded 1928 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1928). The registers list the land in numerical order, usually by Range and Section, but occasionally by lot. There can be up to three methods of land description within one Land District. Information may include the name of purchaser, dates and number of certificate issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. The volume contains an index to districts by page number, and an alphabetical index to grantees.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Land registers

  • GR-2631
  • Series
  • 1873-1887

Cowichan Land District, Vancouver Island, land registers, Range 1, Section 1 to Range 10, Section 10 of the Sahtlam District of Cowichan, superceded 1929 (i.e. no further entries were added after 1929). The register lists the land in numerical order and records the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease, etc.): Information may include the name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. The volume includes an alphabetical name index starting on page 81.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Land registers

  • GR-2634
  • Series
  • 1871-1931

Nelson Land District, Vancouver Island, land registers. Sections 1-6A, Lots 7-40G, and lot 50, superceded 1931 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1931). The registers list land In numerical order, and record the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease, etc.): information may include the name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. The volume contains an alphabetical name index.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Land registers

  • GR-2633
  • Series
  • 1859-1928

Goldstream and Highland Land Districts, Vancouver Island, land registers. Section XXIII, Rows 1-26, and R I W Section I to R III W, Section 26, (Goldstream), and R IV W, Sections 1-23, and Sections 1-94, in two sub volumes of the Highland (V.I.). Land District, all superceded 1930. The land is listed in numerical order and records the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease, etc.): information may include, the name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. The volume includes an alphabetical index.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

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

Licenses to prospect for coal and petroleum

  • GR-0177
  • Series
  • 1904-1927

The series consists of records created by the Dept. of Lands between 1904 and 1927. It consists of East Kootenay licenses to prospect for coal and petroleum re lot 4593. Volumes contain stubs retained by the department.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

List of lands resumed by the Crown under B.C. Soldiers' Homestead Act, 1916

  • GR-1133
  • Series
  • 1916-1919

This series contains a list of lands resumed by the Crown under B.C. Soldiers' Homestead Act, 1916. Includes legal description and file references. Also contains an undated letter of John William McIntosh, Member of the Legislative Assembly, to the Deputy Minister of Lands regarding moneys owed on land by a wounded veteran.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Lot register

  • GR-2622
  • Series
  • 1872-1947

Alberni Land District, Vancouver Island, lot register, lots 1-291, superceded 1947 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1947). 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 the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. A summary of the auction sale of subdivided lots from the Eastern portion of District Lot 1, is shown on pp. 86-90. The volume contains an alphabetical index of names.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Lot register

  • GR-2639
  • Series
  • 1860-1947

Yale Division of Yale Land District, lot register, lots 1-728, superceded 1947 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1947). 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 the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. The volume contains an alphabetical name index.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Lot register

  • GR-2644
  • Series
  • 1912-1928

Similkameen Division of Yale Land District, subdivision lot register for lots 1-4 of District Lot 2708, cancelled in 1928. The records are arranged numerically and record the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease, etc.): information may include name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued, dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. The volume contains an alphabetical name index.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Lot register

  • GR-2635
  • Series
  • 1882-1942

Sayward Land District, Vancouver Island, lot register, lots 1-612, superceded 1945 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1945). 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 the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. The volume contains an alphabetical name index.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Lot register

  • GR-2640
  • Series
  • 1865-1938

Kamloops Division of Yale Land District, lot register, lots 981-1768, superceded 1938 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1938). 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 the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and references numbers to correspondence files and field books. The volume contains an alphabetical name index.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Lot registers

  • GR-2594
  • Series
  • 1914-1949

Cariboo Land District lot registers, subdivision lot registers for Fort George, Summit Lake, Red Pass, and McBride, superceded 1949 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1949). The registers list lots in numerical order and record the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, auction, etc.): information may include name of purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and references to correspondence files and field books. Upset prices are also listed. There is an alphabetical name index in each volume.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Lot registers

  • GR-2612
  • Series
  • 1860-1943

Lillooet Land District, lot registers, lots 1-3000, superceded 1943 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1943). The registers list lots in numerical order and record the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease, etc.): information may include the name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. There is an alphabetical name index in each volume.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Lot registers

  • GR-2591
  • Series
  • 1862-1922 (1951)

Cariboo Land District, lot registers, Lots 1-10026, superceded, 1922 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1922). The registers that supercede this series may be found in GR-2592. The registers list lots in numerical order and record the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease, etc.): information may include the name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including (Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. There is an alphabetical name index in each volume.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

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