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Geography 8

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Geography 2010A/B
Mark Moscicki

Geography: Lecture 8 March 12, 2014 British Columbia • British Columbia is mainly located in the Cordillera physiographic region. • The northeastern part of the province is located in the Interior Plains physiographic region. • The mountain ranges in B.C are aligned on a northwest to southeast axis. • Central plateau lands are found between mountain ranges. • The Insular Mountains are located just off the coast of B.C. and form the backbone of Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) and Vancouver Island. • Temperate rainforests are found along the coast, desert-like conditions in parts of the interior, and tundra at high elevations. • B.C can be divided into 7 regions. Region: Vancouver Island-Coast • Coast mountain range is the most prominent physical feature. • Valleys and fjords are found along the coast. • Climate is moderated by the Pacific Ocean. • This area has the warmest winters in Canada. • Industries include forestry, fishing, and government services (Victoria). Region: Lower Mainland-Southwest • Contains alluvial (ancient soil deposited by water) soil with a high nutrient content. • Major agricultural area of the province. • It is home to the Vancouver CMA and the majority of B.C's population. Region: Thompson-Okanagan • Kamloops and Kelowna are located in this region in the B.C. interior. • Relatively dry area with sunny, warm summers. • The land is a mix of open range, cattle grazing, forest, and some cropland. • Tourism is an important industry in the area around Lake Okanagan. • Transportation corridors pass through the region (roads and rails follow along the Thompson River). Region: Kootenay • Communities include Nelson, Cranbrook, Fernie. • Rocky Mountains are found in this region. • The Continental Divide separates the Kootenay region from Alberta. • Economy is driven by tourism, mining, and hydroelectric power. Region: Caribou-Prince George • Prince George is a regional service centre for the surrounding area. • Forestry, mining, ranching, pulp and paper mills are all found in this region. • The University of Northern British Columbia was established in Prince George in 1990. Region: Skeena-North Coast • This is an isolated area bordering Alaska. • Economy is driven by fishing, mining, aluminum smelters, and hydroelectric power. • Prince Rupert is the second busiest port in B.C. Region-Northeast • The highway connecting Yukon and Alaska to southern Canada passes through this region. • Small towns service traffic and truck transport along this corridor. British Columbia • The population in B.C. is relatively fast growing (especially Vancouver); many immigrants arrive from Asia. • The province has four main exports: lumber, pulp, natural gas, coal. • Vancouver has become a popular location for filming Hollywood movies. • Imports from China, Japan and South Korea flow through Vancouver to markets across Canada. • Rocky Mountains can act as more than just a physical divide (social divide). • Throughout its history, many residents of B.C. have felt a disconnection from the rest of Canada. • One expression of this is the concept of Cascadia:  This is the name proposed for an independent sovereign state uniting B.C., Washington, and Oregon. Physical Geography of Canada Climate Zones of British Columbia • The varied topography creates many microclimates. • Because Victoria is in the rain shadow of the Insular Mountains, it receives 40% less rain than Vancouver. • The Pineapple Express is a wintertime flow of warm air originating in Hawaii that keeps B.C. mild but also very wet. • Summers in Vancouver and Victoria are mild and relatively dry. Environmental Issues • Sustainable resource use is necessary to maintain the natural resources of British Columbia. • A challenge has resulted from the practice of clear cutting in the forest industry. • Logging companies prefer clear-cutting to selective-cutting due to the reduced cost. • Clear cutting creates soil erosion and increased sediment can impact salmon spawning grounds. • In recent years, the B.C. forest industry has been impacted by large forest fires and the mountain pine beetle. • The Okanagan Valley is prone to dry summers, high winds and occasional lightning. These are all ingredients for forest fires. Mountain Pine Beetle • The beetle has destroyed vast areas of forest in the B.C. interior. • Warmer winters due to climate change are allowing the beetle to spread at a rapid rate. • Beetles are the size of a grain of rice and bore into the bark of Lodgepole pine trees . Historical Geography of B.C • Early exploration of the land was by Spanish, Russians, and British. Spain surrendered its claim to the Pacific coast north of 42°N. • Britain was concerned about many Americans arriving on the coast along the Oregon Trail. • The U.S/Britain boundary was drawn at 49°N. • B.C became the 6th Canadian province in 1871. • In the mid-1800s there was an influx of Americans during gold rushes. • The British government established the colony of B.C in 1858 to ensure British rule over the land. • After Confederation, Ottawa aimed to lure B.C. into Canada by promising to build a railroad to the Pacific Ocean within 10 years of B.C. joining. • After completion of the Canadian Pacific railway, towns and cities developed along the corridor. • Vancouver quickly grew as a transshipment point for lumber and coal produced in B.C. as well as for grain produced in the Prairies. • Immigration increased through the mid 1900s. • The 2010 Winter Olympics put B.C on the world stage and are a high point in its history. B.C Railways
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