This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The forestry convention which met in Montreal the day before the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was a remarkably successful meeting. The two bodies were merged, as suggested by Dr. Warder, at Roches ter, and the members of each worked together for the common good. The Lieutenant Governor of Quebec honored the meeting with his presence, and Dr. Warder, Dr. Loring and other eminent gentlemen made addresses. Mr. Little, the Vice President, worked enthusiastically to get up a good meeting, and the great success which followed must have been very gratifying to him. It was the general impression among the people of Montreal that this meeting would do more to awake an interest in forestry in Canada than anything that had occurred for some time. We are surprised that there has been so much lethargy hitherto; for much as we have known that the prosperity of Canada depended a great deal on her timber interests, we had no idea of the very great extent to which this is true. In Quebec the writer found, by inquiry amongst the business men, almost the universal answer that timber was at the bottom of the most important interests in that city.
We found that in a large number of cases where timber was cut away, the land was not cleared away for agricultural purposes, but was suffered to grow up again into timber. But much that was growing was useless stuff, and there was the same objection we see everywhere, namely, that an immense amount of dead rubbish abounded everywhere, making excellent material for some future forest fire. In fact, there is so much ignorance prevailing about the proper management of forests, both as to caring for second growths and the building up of absolutely new ones, that especially in Canada where there is so much in forestry under her leading industries, that a forestry convention ought to find good material for a meeting there every year, as well as for an exceptional one like this.
The Quebec Legislature, by an Act of 1882, chap. xiii., offers a bonus of $12 per acre to any one who will plant an acre of ground with trees and keep it well preserved. And no person is permitted to clear land by fire between July 1st and September 1st. It is also said an "arbor day" is to be instituted by the Dominion government.
Among the number of very interesting papers at the Forestry Congress was one by Mr. Marler, of Montreal, on the denudation of forest lands. In the course of his remarks he said that the Province of Quebec is the principal territory from whence the mercantile lumber is drawn. " When I say mercantile lumber I speak of those trees which make up the lumber trade, and are taken from the following list: Oak, Elm, Ash, Birch, Walnut, Butternut, Hickory, Iron Wood, Maple, Basswood, White Birch, Beech, Poplar, Cherry, Balm of Gilead, Plane tree, Willow, Pine, Spruce, Larch, Cedar, Balsam, Hemlock, "There are two large belts of timber land in the Province of Quebec, one on the south side of the St Lawrence, the other and greater on the north side. The first extending from Gaspe, the Bay des Chaleurs, which divides it from New Brunswick ; thence along the high lands on the boundary line until it strikes the head waters of the Connecticut river; thence along the line of 45° of north latitude to the St. Lawrence, by which it is bounded in front. This belt consists of about 30,000 square miles.
The other from below the Saguenay to the Ottawa, and thence two hundred miles north of the St. Lawrence, and consists of about 120,000 square miles.
"Until a few years back these great belts of timber land were reached only by the streams running through them, and could only be devastated by the lumberman a few miles each side of these rivers, leaving large spaces untouched by the woodman's axe. But since twenty years this great belt has been intersected by some dozen railroads, which are now working into these reserves".