CLI LAND CAPABILITY OF THE PRINCE ALBERT MAP SHEET AREA,73H
The Canada Land Inventory provides one of the most comprehensive digital map source for resource planning and management in Canada. The area covered by the CLI is indicated in the index map. For each of the map sheets areas land capability is mapped at 1:250'000 scale and usually at a 1:50'000 scale. This is an example for Mapsheet 73H, Prince Albert. The index map on the right shows the areas mapped for land capability under the CLI. The left image shows an example of a number of overlays displayed on Google Earth.
Each of the 1.250'000 scale maps has an extensive description of the landscape ecosystem and capability perspectives. Below is an example for the Prince Albert map area.
Table of Contents
The area covered by the Prince Albert map sheet comprises 3.65 million acres in central Saskatchewan between 530 and 540 north latitude and 1040 and 1060 west longitude. The area lies within the Saskatchewan Plains Region of the Central Lowlands Province. There are several physiographic sections. The Waskesiu Hills and Wapawekka Hills uplands, in the northwestem and north-central parts of the area are moderately to strongly rolling morainic uplands. The Wapawekka Hills Upland is bounded on the west by the roughly undulating till plains of the Montreal Lake Plain, and on the east by the roughly undulating to rolling till and glaciofluvial plains of the White Gull Creek Plain. The Narrow Hills, an extension of the Wapawekka Hills Upland, are a prominent steeply rolling esker, which falls off sharply to the flat-lying eroded glacial till and sandy, fluviolacustrine, alluvial, and organic terrain of the northeastem part of the Carrot River Lowland. These same lowlands, but with increasing proportions of finer textured lacustrine and glacial till soils occupy the southeastern part of the area. The gently undulating to rolling glaciolacustrine, fluviolacustrine, and glacial till plains of the Saskatchewan River Plains occur in the southwest. The area is dissected by the Saskatchewan Valley, a deeply eroded trench containing the Saskatchewan River and its north and south branches.
Drainage is mainly to the Saskatchewan River system, except for the northwest, which lies within the Churchill River drainage basin. the Carrot, Torch, and Whitefox rivers and their tributaries drain the central and eastem regions to the Saskatchewan River. The Sturgeon, Little Red, and Garden rivers are tributaries of the Saskatchewan River in the westem part of the area. There are many freshwater lakes. Candle, Emma Bittem, and White Gull lakes occur in the northern part of the area and are large catchment basins in the drainage systems.
The native vegetation of the area consists of both grassland and forest. South of the Saskatchewan River the Aspen Grove Section of the Boreal Forest Region occurs, characterized by a parkland vegetation of medium and tall grasses interspersed with groves of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides), balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera), and willows (Seliw spp.). Black soils are found in this section. The region north of the Saskatchewan River is included within the Mixedwood Section of the Boreal Forest Region. Mixed woods that may include trembling aspen, white spruce (Picea glauca), white birch (Betule papyrifers), balsam fir (Abies balsamea), and jack pine (Pinus banksiana) are common on medium to fine textured, well-drained soils. Within the White Gull Creek Plain, black spruce (Picea manana) and jack pine forests are found on glacial till materials. Rapidly drained coarse textured soils generally support almost pure jack pine stands. Bogs or fens usually occupy the very poorly drained depressions. Bogs are characterized by slow-growing black spruce stands with understories of Labrador-tea (Ledum groenlandicum), feathermosses (Hylocomium spp.), and sphagnum mosses (Sphagnum spp.). Fens have a predominantly sedge (Carer spp.) vegetation with a discontinuous cover of tamarack (Larix laricina) or swamp birch (Betula pumila var. glandulifera).
Most of the agriculturally settled part of the area is accessible by road and railroad. The Saskatchewan River and its north and south branches make transportation somewhat difficult, but there are bridges at Prince Albert, southeast of i Prince Albert on Highway 3, and at Nipawin. Ferry service is provided at various j intervening points. The forest reserves are not as easily accessible. Highways 2, 120, and 106 service forestry and recreational developments within the Northern i Provincial Forest. The forest industry is centered in Pnnce Albert where a large pulp mill operates. Most of the forest reserve acreage within the area is leased to this company and is an important source of pulpwood. There are several recreational developments in the Northern Provincial Forest, at Emma Anglin, and Candle lakes. Nipawin Provincial Park is located partly in the north-central part of the area.
The climate of the map area is continental subhumid, characterized by extreme summer and winter temperatures and fairly low annual precipitation. Throughout the area, the mean annual tempoerature ranges from 300 to 350 F and the mean July temperature varies from 60 to 640 F. The number of degree-days above 40 F ranges from about 1750 to 2250. The length of the growing season is 153 to 164 days. The growing season starts between April 25 and April 30 and ends between October land October 11. The northwestem comer of the area, which comprises the Wapawekka Hills and Waskesiu Hills uplands and the Montreal Lake Plain, is much cooler and has a shorter growing season than the rest of the area; this trend corresponds to the region of agricultural development.
The annual precipitation is about 16 inches 60 to 70 percent of which falls during
the growing season. The precipitation in the northern part of the area
is slightly higher.
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The Saskatchewan River provided a natural route connection with the west and the Athabasca region from the Winnipeg Basin and Hudson's Bay. It was followed by early European explorers such as Henry Kelsey (1691), La Verendrye (1741), Anthony Henday (1754-55), David Thompson (1786-88), and others. By 1753 the French had established a trading post at Fort-à-la Corne and during the next thirty years many other posts were built along the Saskatchewan River and its branches. Although the fur trade was seasonal and river-oriented permanent posts were established at Cumberland House to the east and Fort Carleton to the southwest of the area and trails becameimportant. The main trails, here, were west to east from Fort Carleton to Prince Albert and Fort-à-la Corne and then to Cumberland House; a north-south trail also developed between the Montreal Lake region to the north and the North Saskatchewan River at Prince Albert.
A small permanent settlement at the present site of Prince Albert began in the early 1860s in an area that had been an Indian camping ground. In 1866 the Reverend James Nisbet established a Presbyterian mission and by 1874 the total population in the vicinity of Prince Albert was estimated at 288. North-West Mounted Police posts were later established at Prince Albert and Fort-à-la Come.
The decision not to build the transcontinental railway through the fertile belt delayed settlement in the area. In 1890, the Qu'Appelle. Long Lake, and Saskatoon Railway was connected with Prince Albert. In 1905 the Canadian northern was extended to Prince Albert from the east. In 1923 24, branch lines were built north to Paddockwood and to Nipawin, which is the most northerly extension of railways
A Scandinavian colony began at Glen Mary in 1900 and a Jewish colony at Edenbridge in 1906. Indian Reserves were formed at Little Red River, south of Emma Lake, Muskoday on the South Saskatchewan River, and James Smith, Cumberland, and Fort-à-la-Corne.The southern sections were fairly well occupied by the tum of the century but the main population influx occurred from 1906-1911 with the railways. French speaking and other settlers moved into the region north of Prince Albert and many Scots moved into the vicinity of Weirdale. Further expansion occurred with the soldier settlements after 1916 and with the re-opening of homesteading in 1924. Much of the northeastem and northern settlement lands were occupied in the 1930s by settlers from the drought-ridden south.
Grain and livestock farming and the production of specialty crops are the most common type of agriculture in the area. The specialty crops include rapeseed and other oilseeds registered cereal, and forage production. Wheat is still the dominant crop. Summerfallow occupies less than one-third of the cropland area. Farm units are becoming larger but about 50 percent of the farms are one-half section or less in size. Similar to other parts of the province, the total number of farms has been reduced and farm sizes are increasing. Agriculture, concentrated in the south, occupies less than half of the area.
Prince Albert is the main retail and wholesale center of the area. Nipawin competes for retail sales in the east and Melfort, south of the area, is a service center for the south-central section. Prince Albert was an early lumbering and commercial fishing center, and has become the main gateway to northern recreation lands. Prince Albert has long been associated with the tourist industry particularly since Prince Albert National Park was established in 1927. Prince Albert is the focal point for roads from the south and it is the only center with significant road connections to northern Saskatchewan. Its northern orientation was strengthened further when it became the provincial govemment's main center for northern administration.
Most of the soils that have been developed for agriculture in the area are of glaciolacustrine or alluvial origin. Soils on glacial till, glaciofluvial, and sandy glaciolacustrine deposits largely remain under forest cover within provincial forest reserves. Forest reserves occupy 50 percent of the area. Most Black and Dark Gray soils have been developed for agriculture and comprise about 74 percent of the agricultural soils of the area. The soils that have developed on silty or clay textured lacustrine sediments and on medium textured alluvial deposits are some of the most productive soils in Saskatchewan. These soils are rated Class land include the Melfort, Tisdale, Weirdale, Kamsack. and Nipawin associations. The soils that have developed on resorted or modified glacial till include the Pally, Kelsey, and Paddockwood associations. They are very productive agricultural soils, but are often reduced to Class 2 because of a limitation of adverse soil structure, or by soil complexity imposed by undulating topography. Soils on moderately coarse textured alluvial and lacustrine deposits Include the Meota Shellbrook Carrot River, and White Fox associations. These soils are rated Class 2 or Class 3 with limitations of varying degrees of moisture deficiency.
Gray Luvisol (Gray Wooded) soils occupy extensive parts of the area, but are estimated to comprise only 2lpercent of the soils developed for agriculture. The Luvisol soils that have developed on fine textured, lacustrine, lake-modified, glacial till and glacial till are part of the Arbofield, Garrick and Waitville associations respectively. They are less fertile than the Black and Dark Gray Chemozemic soils. The surface horizons of these soils are deficient in humus puddle easily when wet, and form hard, compact crusts on drying. Seedling emergence is often restricted because of this condition. These soils are generally rated Class 3 and some are rated Class 2.
They may be further downgraded if excessively stony. The more strongly leached Luvisolic soils of the northern Provincial Forest region are included in the Waitville, Loon River, and Bittem Lake associations. These soils are reduced to Class 4 because of severe limitations of low soil fertility and adverse soil structure. The excessively stony Bittem and Smeaton Complex soils are rated Class 5. The soils developed from coarse textured alluvial, glaciofluvial, and fluviolacustrine materials are in the Pine, Bodmin, and Sylvania associations. These sites are not suitable for arable agriculture and are rated Class 5 or 6 because of limitations of low moisture-holding capacity and low soil fertility. The Nisbet, Fort a la Come, and Torch River forest reserves are predominantly Class 6 soils of the Pine Association. tne moderately coarse textured La Corne soils are rated as Class 3 or Class 4, with similar but less severe limitations. Otherwise agriculturally suitable soils on ~inodetately to strongly rolling landforms are downgraded to Class 4 or 5 because of adverse topography.
Gleysolic soils occur throughout the area in intermittent, poorly drained depressions. These sites are rated Class 5 or 6 and limited by excess soil moisture. Organic soils occupy extensive tracts of bog and fen in the northern parts of the area. These soils are not classified for agricultural capability and are designated on the map by the letter "O".
The regions with the highest capabilities for recreation are water oriented and are associated with the shorelands of lakes or the corridors of the Saskatchewan River and the North and South Saskatchewan overs.
Over the entire area there is considerable topographic diversity but the upland units show few contrasts in topography or significant differences in recreation capability. Most of the upland units are rated Class 6 for recreational capability. Some riverine lands and two upland units are rated Class 4. Class 5 lands are associated with the dissected southeastern section of the Fort à-la Corne Provincial Forest and the sandy terrain of the Nisbet Forest.
The corridor lands of the Saskatchewan Rivers are rated mostly Classes 4 and 5. Boating, canoeing, and angling are possible in the rivers and the valley sides have considerable capability for camping, walking riding, and viewing. Some historic sites have been marked in the area but not all sites have been verified.
The shorelands of the larger lakes including Candle, Emma Anglin, Christopher, and Bittem lakes, have the highest capability for recreation in the area. Candle Lake, the largest lake, has excellent sand beaches rated Class 1 and very little of the shoreland is rated lower than Class 3. In most sections the backshores are welltreed and suitable for cottage and other development though some stretches have wetland behind the beach and immediate badc shore. Angling success for pike, perch, and pickerel is high. Emma Lake is similar in most characteristics but lacks the qwlity of the best beaches on Candle Lake. Anglin and Bittem lakes have shorelands of lower capability that lack good beaches but they have moderately high capability for boating, angling, swimming, and cottaging; the well-treed backshores support these activities. Many other lakes including Sandy. White Gull, Clears, and Oscar, are capable of use lor boating, angling, swimming, and cottaging. Lands settlements in this area yield to the fairly uninhabited 5 capable of sustaining outdoor recreation such aswildlife viewing, hunting driving, and riding. Lakes and, to lesser degree, river conidors are the focus of recreation (moderate to high capability and many of the lake shorelands are already
Capability Classification by J. H. Richaro's, Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan. Saskatoon 1973.
The northern part of the area is within the Boreal Forest Region. The hardwoods present in much of the area are trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides), black poplar (Populus balsamilera), and white birch (Betula papyrifera). The conifers most of which are abundant throughout the area are jack pine (Pinus banksians), black spruce(Picea marians), white spruce (Picea glauca), tamarack (Larix lan'cina), and balsam fir (Abies balsamea).
The Provincial Forest Reserves near the Saskatchewan Rivers contain mostly jade pine with mired stands of trembling aspen, black poplar, and white spruce near the river valleys whore the drainage if more favorable. Small bogs covered by black spruce, willow, and tamarack are common in the Fort à la Come Provincial Forest Much of the area is in the Mixedwood Section of the Boreal Forest, where softwood-hardwood mixtures predominate, particularly spruce-aspen and pineaspen types. Pine is present on the drier till soils and mixes with black spruce on high hills. Black spruce and tamarack grow where there is little peat accumulation.
The shrub understory includes tall, medium, and low species. Taller shrubs are mainly pioneer species present on open sites, whereas the shorter shrub species represent more advanced communities under a closed forest canopy. Sites have been divided into five types: very dry to dry, fresh, moist, very moist and wet.
The characteristic shrubs on very dry to dry sites are green alder (Alnus crisps), wolf willow (Elaeagnus commutate), Canada buffalobetry (Shepherdia cenadensis), common juniper (Jun$erus communis), creeping juniper (J. horbontelis), and bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). On fresh sites, saskatoon (Amelanchier elnifolie), beaked hazelnut (Corylus cornuta), pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanics), choke cheny (P. virginians), bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera), snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), western snowberry (S. occidentalis), and Canada blueberry (Vsccinium myrtilloides) dominate. Moist sites are characterized by i mountain maple (Acer spicatum) and high bush-cranberry (Viburnum frilobum). Red-osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera), beaked willow (Salix bebbiana), pussy willow (S. discolor), Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum), and low bush-cranberry (Viburnum edule) are characteristic on very moist sites whereas speckled alder (Alnus rugosa var. americana), basket willow (Salix petiolaris), and scrub birch (Betula glandulosa) are found on wet sites.
Four main muskeg types occur in the area: black spruce, tamarack open, and willow. Mosses predominate in dense spruce muskeg, and reindeer moss (Cladonia spp.) and Labrador tea are also found. There are no shrubs. Open spruce muskegs are characterized by steep-sided hummocks, and are covered by the same species as well as by alders, willows, and swamp birch. Tamarack muskegs have fewer hummocks and the vegetation mainly consists of grasses and sedges. Open muskegs have large tracts of swamp birch in addition to grasses and sedges. Willow muskegs include the quaking and willow-spruce types. The quaking type is characterized by tall, scattered willow clumps and a ground cover of grasses and sedges: Alders, red-osier dogwood, and occasional spruce and tamarack occur. The willow-spruce type is characterized by shorter willows well distributed over a hummocky surface of mosses and Labrador tea and interspersed with young spruce.
The transition from a parkland-prairie to forest habitat type is reflected in the development of marsh vegetation, as well as in the upland plant species. in the southern, farmed part of the area, typical prairie sloughs are common. Here the most frequently occurnng emergents on the more permanent sloughs are roundstem bulrush (Scirpus sp.), spangletop (Scolochloa festucacea), and cattail (Typha latifolia). Creeping spike rush (Eleocharis palustria) and sedges (Carer spp.) are dominant on the more temporary ponds. These fertile sloughs support a wide variety of submerged aquatics; the most common are Richardson pondweed (Potemogeton richardsonii), other pondweeds (Potanogeton spp.), water-milfoil (Myriophyllum sp.), common bladderwort (Utriculeria vulgaris), and white watercrowfoot (Ranunculus subrigidus). Duckweeds (Lemne spp.) are widespread throughout the south.
Wetlands in the northern forested region are less numerous and less fertile than in the agricultural region. Marshes are often treed to shoreline with a narrow fringe of cattail, roundstem bulrush, or sedges. Shallow bog lakes with a floating sedge mat and muskeg lakes are found throughout the forested region. Submergent growth is generally sparse. Pondweeds, duckweeds, and yellow pond-lily (Nuphar variegatum) are found on open water.
The southern part of the area is heavily utilized by breeding waterfowl. Here the most common species are the Mallard (Anes pletyrhyncos), Pintail (A. acute), Bluewinged Teal (A. discors), and Shoveler (Spatula clypeata). Other species found throughout the south are the Canyasback (Aythy valisineria), Redhead (A. amerrcanef, Ruddy Duck (Owyura lamaicensis), American Widgeon (Mareca americana), Gadwall (Anas strepera), Scaup (Aythya sp.) and American Coot(Fulica americana).
Most of these species occur in the north, but they are not abundant. Other species also found in the forested region include Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola), Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangule), Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis), and White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandia). The Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) nests throughout the area but is uncommon.
Moose (Abes alces) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are the most common ungulate species that inhabit the area. Scattered bands of elk (Cervus canadensis) and woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are found in specialized habitats throughout the area, and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) occur in very limited numbers. In general, the southern part of the area has good capability for ungulate production, whereas the rest of the area has fair capability.
White-tailed deer habitat has generally been rated Class 3. Although browse production and cover are generally adequate, there is an overall limitation of poor landform distribution. Climate is a very important secondary limitation for this species.
The Fort à la Corne Provincial Forest provides good elk habitat and has been rated Class 2 to Class 4. The Class 2 region includes rugged south-facing slopes and extensive meadow and forb-producing areas near the river. Class 3 regions generally have a more severe landform limitation, and Class 4 regions have an additional fertility limitation. The Class 4 regions consist largely of continuous stands of jack pine, and, to a lesser extent, mixtures of black spruce and aspen; forage production is poor. North of the provincial forest, a large agricultural fringe region has been rated Class 3 for elk production. This region traditionally supported large.herds of elk, although their numbers are gradually decreasing as a result of land clearing.
The rest of the area has been rated for moose, except for a small region to the extreme northeast that has been evaluated for woodland caribou. This part of the area has fair to poor capability for moose production, mainly because of poor hndform interspersion and low fertility. It is characterized by continuous black spruce forests other softwoods, and extensive tracts of bog. Scattered habitat suitable for elk also occurs. Habitat for woodland caribou has been rated Class 4 and has a landform limitation because of poor interspersion of summer and winter range.
Utilization of the ungulate resource is at or near its maximum potential in the southern half of the area. The northern part, however, is limited by lack of access and is therefore underharvested. Utilization should increase as more pulp roads provide access into regions that are presently inaccessible. The Candle Lake vicinity, which has good populations of moose, white-tailed deer, woodland caribou, and elk is an important exception.
Capability classification by T. W. Rock and K. R. Scheelhaase. Fisheries end Wildlife Branch, Saskatchewan Department of Naturel Resources.
The best waterfowl breeding habitats are located on the Saskatchewan Rivers Plain and on the Carot River Lowland south of the Saskatchewan River system. Only two fairly small units in the extreme south are rated Class 1. Here undulating and rolling topography on heavy, fertile, lacustrine soil provides many basins that hold water throughout the keeding season end provide excellent food end cover for waterfowl broods. Fairly large units ofClass 2 and 3 habitat are located in the southern part of the area. Limitations on these units are usually flat topography and poor waterholding capacity of the soil.
Small sites rated Classes 2 and 3 are found north of the North Saskatchewan Rivec. Most of the agricultural land north of the river is rated Classes 4 and 5 because of flat topography and poor interspersion of wetlands. The forested region , provides very low quality waterfowl habitat and is rated mainly Class 6 with some , Class 5 and 7 units. Wetlands in the forested region are scarce and of poor quality because of reduced edge and low tertility. The lakes in the north support few breeding waterfowl, but Bitten Lake in the northwest comer is used by staging and migrating birds.
Some of the smaller river system$ including Carrot, Whitefox, and Garden, provide Class 3 breeding habitat for part of their lengths. The Saskatchewan River system, because of fast-flowing water and poor edge development has low capability for waterfowl production.
Capability classification by R. E. G. Murray and C. A. Mathew$ Canadian Wildlife Service, Saskatoon Saskatchewen.
The area is located entirely within the Boreal Forest Region, and includes the Aspen Grove Section 817, and the Mixedwood Forest Section, B18a (Forest Regions of Canada, Rowe 1959). The established ecological types a re those common to these particular sections within the Boreal Region. A natural occurrence of tree species is closely related to physiographic position, texture of the material, and drainage.
White spruce occurs on fine to coarse-textured lacustrine and till deposits in moderately to well-drained positions; mixedwood white spruce-aspen on fine- to coarse-textured lacustrine and till deposits in well-drained positions; jock pine on fine- to coarse-textured outwash, modified till, alluvium, and aeolian deposits in moderately to excessively drained positions; black spruce-jack pine 5 on a complete range of deposits occurring generally on plateau iilre hilltops, upper water catchment, and swamp border areas where there has been little accumulation of peot; and black spruce on a variety of textures and deposits generally low-lying or lake-basin types in which there has been rather extensive raw humus or peot accumulation. This species also grows on upland sites where moisture is favorable.
Assistance from Mr J. S. Clayton and his staff of the Saskatchewan Institute of Pedology, Saskatoon, and Mr. P. Gimborzevsky, formerly Research Scientist, Canada Department of Forestry, Winnipeg, is gratefully acknowledged.
Capability classification by P. J. Senyk under the direction of A Kabzems, of the Forestry Branch, Saskatchewan Department of Natural Resources.