Monday, June 9, 2008

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British Columbia

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Temperate forests tend to be found in midlatitude areas and are characterized by well-defined seasons with warm summers and cold winters, with precipitation that is sufficient for tree growth. The same regions of the world in which temperate forests occur are also home to large numbers of people. As a result, temperate forests constitute one of the most altered biomes on the planet. Only scattered remnants of the Earth's original temperate forests remain today, some of which still contain stands of trees that are in high demand for their valuable wood. The interior of British Columbia is a perfect example. Logging is a major industry in British Columbia, carried out almost exclusively in virgin forest, which is very rich in endemic biodiversity. This pair of satellite images of the Fraser River Valley in British Columbia shows the impact of logging and other human activities during a period of about 25 years, from 1973-1999. The heavy exploitation of the forest is evidenced by the "patchwork quilt" appearance that is typical of logged-over areas.
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