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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 23, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Wedneiday, February S3, 1972 THE IETHBRIDGE HERAID 19 Cost of keeping 'longest undefended border' safe comes high WASHINGTON -I Speech-makers arc prone to call il "Ihe longest unde- fended border in llic but they haven't the job of j keeping it safe. Canada and the United Stales spend some a year to be sure they know where IJiis frontier is that j doesn't need to protect il from vandalism, greed and nature. Hunters take pot-shots at the boundary markers. Devel- opers midge their housing tracts onto the line. Melting snows, fast-growing forests and wandering rivers erase or conceal the surveyor's work. Whatever hapjKins out along the mikw of border, however, the real position of almost every foot of Ihe boundary is on record here and in Ottawa, printed on '255 finely-dclailed maps and bound into volumes Ihe size and weight of coffee tables. The only border lines not on the maps are in coastal wa- ters. Canada has proclaimed a 12-mile territorial limit at sea, and no agreement has yet been reached with the U.S. about extending the present boundaries pasl their agreed three miles. Treaties governing the sepa- ration between Canadian and American territory were first, signed in 1783, soon after the War of Independence. Hut it wasn't until 192S lhat the present line wts finally estab- lished from the St. Croix River in Uie east to the Strait (.1 Juan de Fuca in the west and then up the Alaska coast from Dixon Entrance to the Beaufort Sea. UNDER YKAHLV SUKVEY Responsibility for keeping the frontier in shape rests with the International Bound- ary Commission, with offices in both capitals and funds from both governments. The commission sends out working parlies every year to survey the line, restore its buoys and range points, clear off en- c r o a c h i n g trees and shoo away builders. Some of the fascination and frustration of the commis- sion's work came out during a visit to its Washington office and talks with its chief U.S. engineer, Francis X. Popper, a scndy-haired geodesist who likes to lead survey parties over mountain and field in pursuit, of a perfect boundary. The boundary itself, Popper explained, is long and so diversified that the problems of maintaining it can seem endless. Some parts go Ihrough set- tlements and are crossed every day by hundreds of peo- ple as a matter of routine. In Ihe twin towns of Rock Island, (inc., and Derby Line, VI., as just one example, a huge factory is planted Automatic vegetable farm o FOR THE LOVE OF CANADA Otto R. Edelmann, a Czech artist who fled from fbe Russian invaders of his country 3Vi years ago, is thanking his new Canadian homeland through posters entered in an international com- petition in Warsaw. The Toronto artist's works wilt be on display by invitation with those of such distinguished art- ists as Salvador Doll and Canada's Jean-Paul Riopelle. Farm payments plan on the way L J Bennett dam damage case adjourned EDMONTON (CP) An ap- peal against a decision allow- ing a damage action against British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority has been ad- journed May 1. The town of Peace River, Alia., is suing the authority for damages it claims were caused by construction of the W. A. C. Bennett Dam on the Peace River in northeastern B.C. B.C. Hydro has asked the ap- peal division of the Alberta Su- preme Court to set aside an or- der by Mr. Justice W. R. Sin- cldr last December allowing the case to proceed in Alberta j courts. I Mr. Justice Sinclair accepted j an argument by C. A. Camp- bell, counsel for the town, that the case must be iK'ard in Al- berta since land in Alberta had allegedly been affected by con- stniction of the dam. offsets farmer TOKYO (Kcuter) A fully a o t o m a t i e vegetable farm, where crops are grown without human labor, is planned in Japan to counteract a declining number of farmers. The first automated vegetable factory will begin production shortly near Kobe, in western Japan. The only human opera- tion will be the decision as to which vegetables to grow. Five similar factories, sup- ported by the agriculture and forestry ministry, will he built near large consumer cities dur- ing the next two years. The pilot project involves 13 air-conditioned cultivation houses over an eight-acre site. Basically, it is the old fash- ioned greenhouse on a large scale. But automatic machinery will take over from humans in fumigating the soil, spraying water and insecticides, fertiliz- ing, harvesting and packaging of the products. Officials said the automatic factory would ensure a stable flow of vegetables to the cities, cost less in labor and ensure stabilized prices throughout the year. PART OF REFORMS Tomatoes and cucumbers will be the mainstays of the first factory, which will produce 500 tons of vegetables annually. Among the buildings will be a separate structure for the pro- duction of seedlings. Ministry officials said the plan for automated vegetable factories was decided on as a part of wide-ranging agricul- tural reforms. shortage Japan was once a predomi- nantly farming country, but the farming population is rapidly declining and now represents only 15 per cent of the labor force. Officials said they believed the project would help stop in- creasing prices that have con- tributed a continuous rise in the cost of living. Attempting to stabilize prices. Japan now imports many vege- lables, including onions from Taiwan and greens from China. Last year farmers near Tokyo destroyed hundreds of tons of vegetables as a bumper crop transportation costs higher than prices. B.C. drops tax right on the line and official monument No. 553 is inside the factory. Elsewhere, the border runs through farmers' fields and across plains, and the bound- ary commission has to keep crops and orchards from tak- ing over. Others pass through public forests and parks whose rangers sometimes re- sent keeping the boundary area cleared. TAKES HUCfiEI) nOLTK 111 the west, it plunges up and down the mountains, run- ning across constantly-shifting glaciers or along the edges of precipices where permanent markers would be impractica- ble. Along parts of the Alaska Panhandle, where impenetra- ble forests and mountains cre- ak1 a no-man's land, the boundary may be known only to the map-makers for stretches of up to 80 miles, be- cause its markers are nearly invisible among the trees and rocks. And up on the Arctic Coast, where the officially-defined border stops at the high-tide mark and the ocean houndary remains to be agreed upon, some anonymous hunter with some long-ago mischievous urge has fired bullets into the bronze monument lhat stands senlinel on the treeless, deso- late shore. In the best of all possible frontier worlds, every inch of the boundary would be cleared for 10 feel on either side to provide the 20-foot "vista" which is the official border strip described by treaty. In practice, Popper only l.aon miles of vista has been cleared. But since miles of border also runs acro.-s water and many more miles across open fields, the amount of border vista is sub- stantially larger. OFF HY INCHES There are triangula- tion stations along the border to mark turning points. 7Tic shortest distance between turns is inches, at a spot between Maine and Quebec. The longest is miles stretch from the Arctic down to lil.OOO-foot-high Mount Elias between Alaska and the Yukon, highest point on the border. That part of the border fol- lows the Hist meridian, which nms arrow-straight. Tho thousands of miles along Ihe 49th parallel, on the other hand, make up a bast curve from Lake of the Woods to the Pacific. And it could well be termed the "so-called 49th." it seems. Since a curving border would require an infinite num- ber of surveyed border points, the 1925 treaty has defined the western boundary ac running in straight lines between ex- isting monuments along the 49th parallel. Thus, parts of the border are several inches jiway from the curve of the The border is fixed on its current path by international agreement. Since it took nearly 150 years of disputes, surveys, arbitration and treat- ies to arrive the present boundary, no one seems in a rush to have it altered. C. HURKENS CONSTRUCTION GUARANTEED WORK CITY AND COUNTRY Free Estimates Phone 328-6568 Oil pain killers VICTORIA (CP) The Brit- ish Columbia government is re- moving the five-per-cent sales tax from all drugs and pain killers taken internally or ap- plied externally, Agnes Kripps, Social Credit member of the legislature for Vane o u v e r South, said here. Mrs. Kripps, whose family operates a drugstore in Van- couver, said the tax is being re- moved, effective immediately, from such drugs as aspirin, 22s and cough syrups, and from ointments and liniments applied externally to alleviate pain. In the past, only prescription drugs were exempt from the provincial sales tax. OTTAWA