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GEOG 162 Lecture Notes - Vancouver Island North, Nechako River, Coast Mountains

Course Code
GEOG 162
Michele Wiens

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Chapter 7 British Columbia
Physical Geography
Complex physiography within the Cordillera
-combination of mountains, plateaus, and valleys extending from southern BC to Yukon; it has
at least 10 mountain ranges (Coast Mountains and Rockies are most prominent); it strongly
influences climate
-narrow continental shelf with several islands
-small north east portion of BC (Peace River district) is part of the Interior Plains
-diversity in terms of topography, soil, vegetation, climate
-little arable land (Fraser Valley, Peace River, Okanagan, Thompson)
Urban Geography
-similar to Ontario and Quebec with a core-periphery arrangement of the population in BC
-population core is in the south west corner here over 60% of residents are concentrated
-major urban centers are within this core (Vancouver, Victoria, etc)
-much of the province is sparsely populated, clusters in the Okanagan and Thompson Valleys
and on Vancouver Island north of Victoria
Periphery or Core
-within the province, the south west part of BC serves as the core with a large surrounding
hinterland that provides raw materials (lumber, fish, minerals, etc)
-a resource economy is dominant but high tech, services, and tourism is growing, primarily in
the Vancouver/Victoria urban cluster
-although BC’s economy is becoming more diversified, it still has a small manufacturing base
A Strong Sense of Regionalism
-BC has a very regional nature, due in part to the north/south trending mountains which tend
to cut the province off from far away Ontario, Canada’s hinterland
BC’s Basis of Economy
Forestry-a cornerstone of BC’s economy
-many changes in the industry
-less accessible timber available
-restrictions of provincial government and establishment of wilderness areas of mature forest
-attempts to increase processing (manufacturing)
Forest Renewal Act (1994)-provincial government’s more sustainable approach to managing
forests; stumpage fees doubled to finance replanting
Other Industries
Fishing-has suffered over-exploitation
-conflicts with forestry and hydro industry on spawning grounds
-conflicts with division of salmon catch (commercial, Native and sports fishers)
Mining-many multinational companies in BC
-capital investment is high; risky ventures (e.g. Northwest Coal Project)
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