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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 47

Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island.

Area, 12,000 square miles; length, 300 miles; average breadth, 30 to 50 miles. Surface very mountainous and woody—flattens at both ends, and for part of its eastern side—most mountainous region in the interior—highest mountains (6000 feet) towards north of island—no "back-bone range," such as some describers say exists—width of arable valleys, from one to six miles—whole country full of lakes, streams, and waterfalls—(the water-power is generally some distance inland from the coast)—shores boldly picturesque—promontories, cliffs, harbours, coves, and beaches.

West coast, cut up by arms and inlets, margined by rugged mountains, bearing fir, hemlock, and cedar—here and there shore is skirted by lower wooded hills, among which, and along streams, small patches of open or wooded flat land are found.

No inlets on north and east coasts, but in other respects the above description applies also to them—near Johnstone's Straits, shore-line is even more continuously mountainous and abrupt than on west coast. Farther down east coast, and also in south-eastern part of island, the coast is lower, and the proportion of flat or gently undulating land, good for farming, increases, some of which is open or thinly timbered.

Prevailing timber—fir, near the coast—hemlock, inland—great cedars on the mountains—shrubs, berries, and flowers everywhere—grasses, sweet grass, reed meadow, bent spear—white clover, wild timothy, wild oats, broad-leaved rush, cowslip, &c.

Fern in the open lands, troublesome to farmers.