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FOREST FIRES AND BRUSH DISPOSAL,   107

fir, while they still occur, form a less important component of the merchantable stand, which consists largely of spruce.

Probably no equally extensive forest region on the continent has suffered so severely from fire as has this district, it being estimated that 75 per cent of the forest has been burned over at least once during the last 50 years, destroying 100,000,000,000 feet of timber. The burns, however, all promptly re-stocked, showing that fire, by the removal of the dead vegetable covering, creates the conditions necessary to regeneration.

The forest of this region differs but little from the Douglas fir coast region, so far as conditions resulting from logging are concerned, and the only possible method of ensuring a good second growth of the most desirable species, is by destructive, clean logging, and disposal of the resultant slash and layer of dead vegetable material. Areas do occur, however, in which the amount of merchantable material consists of scattered trees, and here it will pay to make use of the remaining trees as a basis for a second crop.

Commercially, this region is second in importance only to the coast fir region, yielding about 300,000,000 feet in 1913. In the possibilities of future production, it probably excels the coast fir region, owing to its greater area of productive land, most of which is covered with an excellent young growth.

Between the Coast range and the Gold and Cariboo

Yellow

Pine   mountain ranges lies a plateau, having a general ele-

Region vation of 3,000 to 4,000 feet, cut through by the deep valleys of the Fraser, North Thompson, Okanagan, Nicola and Similkameen rivers, over which semi-arid conditions prevail. Similar conditions are found along the International boundary in the low valleys of the Kettle, Columbia and Pend d'Oreille rivers, and the two valleys of the Kootenay.

These valleys and the lower portions of the plateau possess a long growing season and very hot summers, which, with the limited precipitation (10 to 20 inches annually) effectually prevent the formation of denser forest types and restrict individual development.

On the valley floors and benches and lower slopes, in these districts, occur the only timberless lands in the province below timber line, not due to excessive moisture. These lands bear a good growth of nutritious grasses and a small amount of sage brush. They are not, however, extensive in area. On moist, bottom lands, on poor-soiled benches, and on the slopes, they yield an open to fairly dense stand of yellow pine, Douglas fir, tamarack and lodgepole pine, with a ground


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