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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 6, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE LETHBRJDGE HERALD TuMdvy, AugiMt 1974 RIGHT: A crew of 12 plants Norway spruce and Scots pine iri Crowsnest forest. Seed for tomorrow By VERNDECOUX, Herald CNP Bureau BLAIRMORE Ensuring generations 80 to 100 years from now of a good supply of timber is one of the programs the Alberta Forest Service is promoting. With five major lumber companies taking timber out of the forests in the Crowsnest Pass area to the extent of 31 million board feet of lumber per year, the local program was started three years ago. Funds for the reforestation program are partially provided under the provincial budget. Lumber com- panies are involved in the program and when an area is logged put the companies either have to reforest the lands or pay a fee of per board feet of lumber they extract.- During the first year of reforestation a total of trees were planted. Last year a similar amount was planted. During the current season have been planted and it is hoped to expand the program to trees next year. Burnt out areas are also reforested under the program. Most .of the trees planted are pine and spruce of each) and approximately Douglas spruce. An experiment is also being conducted, testing a large number of Norway spruce and Scots pine in the Canadian winters. Roger Hamilton of the Alberta Forest Service is in charge of the program. Mr. Hamilton originally from Calgary, is a graduate of the-University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He has been in Blairmore for three and a half years having previously worked for the forest service at High Level for three years and with the British Columbia Forest Service for three years. Mr. Hamilton's tree planting crew comprises 12 young girls age 18 years and over from all over the province..Members receive room and board plus per hour for their labor and during the tree planting season in June and July can earn to assist with college and university fees. The girls live in a camp in the forest area and every convenience is provided, including top grade meals. Mr. Hamilton also has a crew of 10 young men who are on a cruising crew and work year round for the forest service! Trees for the project are grown from seed in the nursery at Oliver. The seeds come from local trees and are kept in cold storage. When required for seeding from a helicopter- in hard access areas, seeds are shipped in specially prepared containers. The other seedlings are shipped in trays of 100 trees each. Seeds are placed in an outer shell of fine plastic filled with peat moss and left to grow in a greenhouse where they are force-grown for five months with 20 hours of light per day and heavy fer- tilization. Trays are then taken out of the greenhouse for a hardening process in a lathe house in the forest. The succulent young trees are put in the lathe house under a 50 per cent sunlight nylon'mesh which cuts wind and sunlight so the young trees do not perish or burn. Seedlings are thus prepared for planting which otherwise, under natural conditions, would take two years. The trays of trees are then taken to the planting area which has been prepared by the crews for the seedlings. The grounds are terraced and levelled off and boughs and stumps from the forested areas are stacked in piles and burned during the winter months. In early spring the grounds are again worked on and planting begins. The sausage, a seedling tree in a plastic jacket, is planted by a team of girls one digging the hole while another plants the young tree. Mr. Hamilton says girls are more adapt to this type of tedious hard work than boys. Summer crews planted more than 100 acres' in size in the Race Horse Creek area approximately 15 miles north of the Pass. The lathe house for season- ing the seedling trees, looked after by -Mr. Hamilton's cruising crew, is located near the Lynx Creek ranger station, 15 miles south of the- Crowsnest Pass. BELOW: After adjusting to climatic conditions forester Roger Hamil- ton, examines young seedlings (centre) before planting. Ampng the crew work- ing this summer are Brigette Heller, plant- ing, of Edmonton and Marllin Johanson, Spading, from Calgary. ;