ized by a very rugged and diversified topography, being, in fact, a vast complex group of ridges and mountains. Probably less than ten per cent of the railway belt is adapted to agricultural use of any kind.
Owing to its unsuitableness for agriculture, but a comparatively small portion of the railway belt has been alienated by the Dominion government. There were some alienations by the Province prior to the transfer. Outside of straggling areas along the railway line, and in many of the river valleys, the lands disposed of fall roughly into two regional blocks, aggregating some 150 miles in an east and west direction. One of these comprises the country between Sicamous and Kamloops, largely south of the line of railway; while the other is found from Agassiz westward. In the central dry region some 400,000 acres are under grazing lease.
The country is essentially a forested one, with the tree flora exhibiting many species largely absent east of the continental divide. Characteristic among these may be mentioned the Douglas fir, and the western species of cedar, hemlock, white pine, yellow pine, tamarack (local), together with some others restricted to the vicinity of the coast.
Climatically, the railway belt may be roughly divided into three regions, on the basis of precipitation. The coast region is characterized by a humid atmosphere and heavy rainfall, and again in the Gold and Selkirk ranges an abundant fall of rain and snow occurs. Between these lies a sub-arid region, locally known as the " dry belt."
The types of forest growth present are related very largely to this difference in annual precipitation, those tree species requiring at least a fair amount of moisture being absent from the intervening dry region. Within each broad regional type much variation is, of course, encountered, in keeping with the effect of the varied topography on moisture conditions.
Regional Types.—The lodgepole pine-spruce type of the east slope continues on the seaward side of the divide, with both species here reaching a greater development. Westward, gradually an inclusion of Douglas fir, hemlock, cedar and western white pine appears, but these are of minor importance till the summit of the Selkirks is reached.
From the Selkirk divide to somewhat west of Adams and Shuswap lakes the so-called "wet belt " extends, with a precipitation of 56 inches at Glacier in the Selkirks, and 35 inches at Griffin lake in the Gold range, as compared with 25 inches at Donald. Here, for the first time, typically, western white pine appears commonly, and cedar, hem-lock and Douglas fir attain commercial importance. These are all species whose development is favoured by a plentiful supply of