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Marco Wong

on 24 March 2014

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The Cordillera's main non-renewable resources are fossil fuels and minerals, such as coal, copper, gold, etc. The northern Yukon reigon has large deposits of zinc, silver, gold, and lead. You can also find a lot of coal in the rocky mountains, Copper, silver, gold, lead, and zinc can be found in the interior mountains of Vancouver Island.
PLANT(vegetation) LIFE
There are three main vegetation areas in the Cordillera region: Coastal areas, central interior areas, and the northern areas. The coastal areas in the cordillera is one of the only few places that have temperate rain forests. They are home to the largest trees in Canada: western red cedar, Douglas fir, and the Sitka spruce. The temperature and climate of the wet rainforests make this area the perfect condition to grow theses giant trees. In the central interior areas, the plateaus mostly have natural grassland areas, and on the mountain slopes, they have forests of fir, pine, and aspen.

There isn't much vegetation up in the high mountain areas because the soil 's very thin, and the temperatures are cold. Wildflowers like lupines, columbines, and daisies grow on the highland meadows above the treeline. At last, the northern areas are made up of boreal forests of spruce, pine, birch, and aspen. north of the treeline consists of small shrubs, mosses, lichens, and wildflowers. (Source: "What Plants and Grow in the Cordillera?" The Cordillera (Andrew, Griffin, Mader 2004, p.12)

Reach New Heights in Canada's Highest Mountains!
Produced and designed by: Marco Wong
Date: October 15, 2013
Learn about where it is, what it looks like...
its climate ...
its vegetation and animal life...
its natural resources...
its economic activities...
and its human settlements!
In Spanish, Cordillera means 'a chain of mountains'. the Western Cordillera is located in the edge of Western Canada, and it stretches over 800km from the Canada-United States border (49 degrees N Lat) to north of the Arctic Circle (70 degrees N Lat). The Cordillera covers most of Yukon and B.C. . The area of the Cordillera is approximately 1600000 sq. km. and makes up one-sixth of Canada's land. (Source: http://www.britannica.com (2013))
The Cordillera is comprised of mountains which were not yet worn down by erosion. They are almost twice as high as the Appalachian mountains. The Eastern mountain chain is made up of the Mackenzie and Rocky mountains. The Interior mountains chain is made up of a few mountain ranges including
The Ogilvee, the Skeena, and the Columbia. And finally, the Western mountain chain is made up of
the Coast mountains, which runs along the Canadian West coast. (Source: "What does the
Cordillera look like?" The Cordillera (Andrew, Griffin, Mader 2004, p.4)
Its renewable resources include forests, fish (notably salmon), land, soil, and water. The Columbia Icefield is a major source of water for some rivers in the Cordillera. Forestry in the British Columbia region is a very important renewable resource, because over 60% of British Columbia is forested, cause of its excellent growth conditions for coniferous trees, and holds 24% of Canada's merchantable wood. In 1997, 1.7 billion worth of revenue was received from the fisheries and aquaculture industries in BC. (Source: "Natural Resources http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com© 2012 Historica-Dominion
Most of the Western Cordillera's early economic activities are resourced-based. The Europeans that came in to settle on the Canadian west coast wanted the furs and pelts of the animals that lived there. They traded with the Native Indians, who also relied on its natural resources for thousands of years on their food, clothing and exchange. The Europeans were primarily attracted by the abundance of mineral resources in the area. By the 1880's coniferous trees were being cut down for lumber to supply the settlements, and salmon were being canned and shipped throughout the world, and that's why BC's fish are so famous nowadays.
The Cordillera has two main climate areas:
-the southwest coastal plains
-the mountains and interior plateaus
In the Southwest coastal plains, it has mild, wet winters and warm summers. It also gets fewer days with below-freezing temperatures than anywhere else in Canada. because of this, it has resulted in a long growing season, making the plains good for farming The Western slopes of the Coast mountains get the most precipitation; in some places, up to 2000mm each year! On the eastern side of the mountains though, the rain shadow makes that side a lot drier.
The mountains and interior plains usually have cold winters and cool summers. Valleys between mountains stay warm and dry, especially in the summer. In the winter, cold, arctic air blown through the eastern mountain chain into the interior plateaus. (Source: "What is the Climate in the Cordillera?" The Cordillera (Andrew, Griffin, Mader 2004, p.8)
Seagulls, bald eagles, and oysters catchers are just a few of the many varieties of birds in the coastal areas. Mountain goats roam the mountain slopes of the coast. You can also see Northern sea lions and fur seals The fish that live here include halibut, sturgeon, herring, eulachon, and salmon. Brown bears and black bears live in the forests of the eastern and central interior. Although grizzly bears usually live in the less forested areas, thre are more of them here in the cordillera than anywhere else in the world.

In the 19th century, they started utilizing their natural resources to supply other markets in America, East Asia, or Europe. As the population increased in the 20th century and started to concentrate in the southwest cities, consumer-goods manufacturing became possible with shipped goods from eastern Canada and the US. Agriculture started expanding at the lowlands and deltas of Fraser valley. ( Source: "Economy"
www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/british-columbia (2012)
A few Europeans settled in the west to do fur trading with the Native Indians. Later, people came to settle around the forts at Victoria, Nanaimo, and Fort Langley. But when gold was discovered in this region near the Thompson river, people started swarming to that region. The people kept moving upwards to where more gold was discovered in the Cariboo Mountains.

The town of Barkerville, located right near the Fraser river valley also right where the gold rush started, sprang up and had a sudden population of 5000 people, cause people were desperate to find gold, and to the very north of Barkerville , in Yukon, also sprang up Dawson City. During the Klondike gold rush era, the population there boomed up to more than 15000 in 1898. After the gold seekers lost hope, they left Dawson city, and the population decreased all the way to less than 5000 in 1902.
The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) was supposed to be built from eastern Canada and through the mountains to connect with the west coast. They had to bring many people to the region to work on the long, hard project. Most were the chinese who arrived during the gold rush , and they were often given the most difficult and dangerous jobs, and because of that, it resulted in many deaths.
After the railway was finished, many chinese workers and their families stayed in the region . Today, Vancouver is home to the second-largest Chinese community in North America. ("How the Railway Influenced Settlement" The Cordillera ( Andrew, Griffin, Mader 2004)
Greater Vancouver, with a population of 2 313 328
Greater Victoria, with a population of 359 991
Abbotsford, with a population of 133 497
Kelowna, with a population of 117 312
www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/british-columbia (© 2012 Historica-Dominion)
Nelson-info CANADA: Geographical Regions: The Cordillera (Andrew, Griffin, & Mader 2004)
(Clark, Wallace, & Earle 2006) Making Connections: Canada's Geography- Chapter 12: Canada's Landform Connections "Western Cordillera" (Pg. 141-142)
www.westerncordilleralandformregion.blogspot.ca (Woods October 22, 2012)
www.mediahex.com/Canadian_Cordillera# (N.D)
www.britannica.com (©2013 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.)

Early Economy
Source: http://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/news/northern-development
Source: http://ss9geography.wikispaces.com/Western+Cordillera
Source: http://ss9geography.wikispaces.com/Western+Cordillera
Some of BC's Main Economical Activities
BC produces over half of Canada's sawn lumber. In 1997, their timber harvest was 16.8 million cubic metres. Their history of commercial logging went back all the way to 1858, where they built sawmills on the southwestern coast and on Vancouver Island. Nowadays, Logging industries are spread our across the region and also into the interiors plateaus because of key transportation route improvement.
The most valuble fishery is usually for the salmon species. When the fish migrate to their spawning point near the river mouth, large fishing vessels catch them where they concentrate. With improved boats and longer ranges, they concentrated the fish into a few plants which captured them in large numbers near Prince Rupert and Vancouver.

Other fish that are captured at the shore are cod, herring, and oysters, which are increasing steadily, and reaching $110 million in harvest values.
British Columbia is well known for its diversity of outdoor recreation, such as sportfishing, hiking, skiing, and more! In 2000, tourism generated $4.5 billion and more than 111 800 jobs. Many parks with spectacular views and beautiful sceneries are located in the eastern mountains. Some examples are Yoho National Park, Kootenay, and Mount Revelstoke.

On July 1987, British Columbia established a national park reserve called Gwaii Haanas on the Queen Charlotte Islands. This rain forest has a large diversity of plants and animals, and holds a unique Native Indian heritage, specifically the Haidas, in which their
totem poles tell a lot about their history.
Mining doesn't take up much of the labour force in BC, but they got almost $3 billion out of sales and exports. Coal, natural gas and copper take up two-thirds value of mineral shipment. Other minerals include oil, gold and zinc.

Coal was first mined in the 19th century, near today's city of Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island. They were used by train smelter until they changed to diesel fuel. The sedimentary rocks in northeastern BC carried coal, petroleum, and natural gas, and were transported by pipes to markets in southwest BC and the northwest states of the US.
BC produces about 5% of Canada's total agricultural products. They cash receipts' total was around $2 million. Farming began to support the trading posts in the mid-19th century. The agriculture around the Peace river region and Fraser Valley grew because of the demands from growing cities like Vancouver and Victoria. In 1890, fruit and vegetable growing was established in the Okanagan Valley, and beef ranching in the Cariboo region.

Today, the Okanagan Valley is one of Canada's main fruit-growing regions. The Peace river area is largest piece of cultivated land, and is used for growing 90% of the wheat in BC.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Greater_Vancouver/Abbotsford/Kelowna

Some other animals who live in the forests are mountain lions, lynx, bobcats, bighorn sheep, ducks, owls, and many more. In the Northern areas, there are animals like moose, wolves, snowy owls, arctic foxes, and bald eagles. (Source: "What animals live in the Cordillera?" The Cordillera (Andrew, Griffin, Mader 2004, p.14)
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