Series GR-3770 - Timber berth administration files from the Kamloops Forest District

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Title proper

Timber berth administration files from the Kamloops Forest District

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  • textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the series.

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Series

Reference code

GR-3770

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Date(s)

  • 1930-1983 (Creation)

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Physical description

55 cm of textual records

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Name of creator

(1945-1962)

Biographical history

The Dept. of Lands and Forests was established in 1945 as the successor agency to the Dept of Lands. The structure and organization of the Dept. of Lands and Forests was based on that of the Dept. of Lands. The Dept. of Lands, headed by the Chief Commissioner of Lands, was given responsibility for public lands and water rights, and all matters connected therewith. (SBC 1908, c. 31, s. 5). These responsibilities included: (1) the management of all public lands, as per the Land Act, (RSBC 1897, c. 113); (2) administration of water rights, as per the Water Clauses Consolidation Act, (RSBC 1897, c. 191) [in 1892 by means of the Water Privileges Act (SBC 1892, c. 47), the government had reserved to itself the right to manage all water resources in the province that were unreserved and un-appropriated as of April 23, 1892]; and (3) land settlement programs for returned soldiers. In 1909, the enactment of the Water Act (SBC 1909, c. 48) resulted in the creation of the Water Rights Branch of the Dept. of Lands, under the management of the Chief Water Commissioner (re-named Comptroller of Water Rights in 1912). This legislation also resulted in the creation of Water Districts under the management of District Engineers, who would be responsible for management in the field of the Branch’s responsibilities. In 1911, the Timber Department, including Timber Inspectors, forest protection services and log scaling operations, was transferred from the Dept. of Public Works to the Dept. of Lands. In 1912, the management of timber resources was formally added to the department’s responsibilities with the enactment of the Forest Act (SBC 1912, c. 17). To accommodate these new responsibilities, the Forest Branch, under the Chief Forester, was created in the Dept. of Lands. In 1945, the Dept. of Lands was renamed the Dept. of Lands and Forests (Department of Lands Act Amendment Act, SBC 1945, c. 45). At this time, the department was reorganized into two branches, the Lands Service and the Forests Service. In 1962, the Dept. of Lands and Forests was renamed the Dept. of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources (Department of Lands and Forests Act Amendment Act, SBC 1962, c. 22). At this time, the department was reorganized into three branches, the B.C. Lands Service, the B.C. Forest Service, and the B.C. Water Resources Service.

Name of creator

(1975-1976)

Biographical history

The Dept. of Forests was established in 1975 by an order in council (OIC 3838/75). Prior to 1975, the responsibility for forests in the province was carried out by the Forest Branch under the Dept. of Lands and Works (1871-1908) and later under the Dept. of Lands (1908-1945). The Forest Branch was renamed the Forest Service under the Dept. of Lands and Forests (1945-1962) and retained that name under the Dept. of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources (1962-1975). In 1975, the Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources, was dissolved, and its functions were evenly distributed between the Dept. of Environment and Dept. of Forests. As a result, the Forest Branch and all forestry functions were transferred to the newly established Dept. of Forests. In 1975, the Dept. of Forests was responsible for the management of forest and range resources of the Crown and the planned use of such land in accordance with the Forest Act and Department of Forest Act. The department was also responsible for encouraging maximum productivity of those resources and encouraging a competitive timber processing industry in the province. In 1976, the Dept. of Forests was renamed the Ministry of Forests (OIC: 3199/76) and the functions of the department remained basically the same.

Name of creator

(1976-1986)

Biographical history

The Ministry of Forests was established in 1976 as the successor to the Dept. of Forests (OIC 3199/76). Prior to 1975, the responsibility for forests in the province was carried out by the Forest Branch under the Dept. of Lands and Works (1871-1908) and later under the Dept. of Lands (1908-1945). The Forest Branch was renamed the Forest Service under the Dept. of Lands and Forests (1945-1962) and retained that name under the Dept. of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources (1962-1975). In 1975, the Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources, was dissolved, and its functions were evenly distributed between the Dept. of Environment and Dept. of Forests. As a result, the Forest Branch and all forestry functions were transferred to the newly established Dept. of Forests. In 1975, the Dept. of Forests was responsible for the management of forest and range resources of the Crown and the planned use of such land in accordance with the Forest Act and Department of Forest Act. The department was also responsible for encouraging maximum productivity of those resources and encouraging a competitive timber processing industry in the province. In 1976, the Dept. of Forests was renamed the Ministry of Forests (OIC: 3199/76) and the functions of the department remained basically the same over the next ten years. Up until this time, the Forest Service remained a distinct service within the Ministry, and was led by the Chief Forester/Chief Executive Officer. The executive of the Forest Service was composed of the Chief Forester/CEO, Assistant Chief Forester (Operations), Assistant Chief Forester (Resource Management), Director of Services and Director Range Branch. In 1977, the divisions included: Reforestation, Forest Service Training School, Inventory, Resource Planning, Special Studies, Engineering, Information, Comptroller, Protection, Administration, Valuation, Personnel and Research. The forest districts were: Vancouver, Kamloops, Prince George, Nelson, Prince Rupert and Cariboo. The passage of the Forest Act, the Range Act and the Ministry of Forests Act in 1978 completed a transformation of the BC Forest Service into the Ministry of Forests. The reorganization that followed replaced forest districts with forest regions, however, the boundaries and the names remained the same. Central services were provided to the forest regions by the headquarters in Victoria. Four divisions became branches, these included Finance and Administration, Operations, Timber Range and Recreation, and Forestry. An assistant deputy minister headed each Branch and reported to the Deputy Minister. Under each of these divisions were a series of branches, each headed by a director. The Operations Branch was responsible for all of the forest regions. Two exceptions were the Information Systems Branch and the Strategic Studies Branch, whose directors reported directly to the Deputy Minister. The goal of this reorganization was to decentralize decision-making and centralize support services. In 1986, as a result of government reorganization, functions relating to Crown lands, taken from the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing, were merged with all forestry functions. As a result, the Ministry of Forests was given the new name Ministry of Forests and Lands (OIC 1491/86).

Custodial history

Scope and content

Series consists of Railway Belt timber berth administration files from the Kamloops Forest District. Timber berths were an area based system of timber tenure established by the Dominion (Federal) Government in 1872.

Under the British Columbia Terms of Union that were passed in 1871, the BC Government agreed to convey to the Dominion Government “public lands along the line of railway throughout its entire length in British Columbia, not to exceed, however, twenty (20) miles on each side of said line.” This land was used to provide aid in the construction of the CPR Railway.

The Dominion Government retained responsibility for the Railway Belt lands until 1930 and managed land use until that time. In 1930, they transferred responsibility for the Railway Belt lands to the Province of BC. BC managed existing land tenures following the transfer including the management of timber berths. These files document the period of time after 1930.

The series is arranged by the timber berth number. The number is sequential and runs from 233 to 645 with major gaps. Files contain correspondence, licence to cut timber forms, plans, logging inspection reports, final harvesting inspection and scale and royalty accounts.

The records were created by the Kamloops Forests District as part of the following ministries:
1930-1945 Dept. of Lands
1945-1962 Dept. of Lands and Forests
1962-1975 Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources
1975-1976 Dept. of Forests
1976-1983 Ministry of Forests

The records have been classified as 10000-60 in the Forest ORCS.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred to the archives from the Kamloops Forest Region of the Ministry of Forests in 1999.

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Restrictions on access

No access restrictions apply.

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Associated materials

Researchers who are interested in the earlier period of timber berths under the Dominion Government should consult GR-1499 which consist of Dominion timber berth administration files from 1896-1932.

For related records see:

GR-1499 Dominion timber berth administration files, 1896-1932
GR-1500 Dominion Timber berth licences 1931-1951
GR-1501 Dominion timber marks register 1949-1954

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Accruals

General note

Accession: 91-6167

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