Monday, April 18, 2005
British Columbia Geography 101
For the benefit of those who are not acquainted with British Columbia - especially my American and European readers - and in the wake of the forthcoming 2010 Winter Olympics, here is a short essay to help you better familiarize yourselves with it.
More than three quarters of British Columbia is considered mountainous. The Rocky Mountains run the lenght of the Province flanked by a series of companion ranges - the Columbia, Monashee, Cariboo, Selkirk, Purcell, Cassiar, Omineca and Skeena Ranges. More than one-half of British Columbia is 4,200 feet or more above sea level.
Only five percent of the Province is arable and is irrigated by coastal rains, mountain rivers and run-off that provide rich, fertile soil for agricultural pursuits such as wineries and orchards in the Okanagan to dairy farming in the Kootenays and Fraser Valley. Ten percent of British Columbia is grazed by domestic animals or is under cultivation. Forests cover about sixty percent of the Province where huge Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar grow in the moist coastal regions, and vast forests of pine, spruce and hemlock are found in the higher and drier interior.
Freshwater lakes or rivers make up about four percent of British Columbia - a statistic that belies the nature of the Province remarkable water resources. There are 650 Provincial Parks and recreation areas along with several National Parks and National Park Reserves. More than ninety percent of the land in British Columbia is owned by the Provincial Government as Crown land. Mining, forestry and tourism impact how these Crown lands are managed, as do many Aborigenal land claims. In fact, the majority of Aborigenal land claims in Canada are in British Columbia.
British Columbia is a frontier truly to be discovered. Aptly enough our motorvehicle licence plates bear the inscript 'Beautiful British Columbia' . Come see for yourselves: you will be impressed.
For further information feel free to send me an e-mail. I will be more than glad to respond.
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