British Columbia. Dept. of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources

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Description area

Dates of existence

1908-1975

History

The Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources was established in 1908 under its first name, the Dept. of Lands (Department of Lands Act, SBC 1908, c. 31). Before 1908 the agencies responsible for the functions of the Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water resources were: (1) the Dept. of Lands and Works (Crown lands management, sales, pre-emptions and leases, lands surveying and mapping, timber inspection, forest protection and log scaling), and (2) the Dept. of Mines (water rights in regards to mining operations). 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 Branchs 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 departments 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. On December 23, 1975, the Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources ceased to exist. The government established two new agencies, the Dept. of Forests and the Dept. of Environment, to replace it (OIC 3838/75). All activities associated with the forestry function were transferred to the Dept. of Forests (OIC 3849/75, 3868/75). With one minor exception, the remaining functions of the Dept. of Lands, Forests, and Water Resources were transferred to the Dept. of Environment (OIC 3843/75, 3844/75, 3846/75, 3852/75). In 1976, these organizational changes were reiterated in legislation (SBC 1976, c. 18)

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Control area

Authority record identifier

LFW-2017-7

Institution identifier

CCOQ

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAAR

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

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