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British Columbia, Canada's westernmost province, is located on the Pacific coast of North America, and has a land and freshwater area of 95 million hectares. It is Canada's third-largest province and comprises 9.5 per cent of the country's total land area. The province is nearly four times the size of Great Britain, 2.5 times larger than Japan, and larger than any American state except Alaska. BC is 1.35 times bigger than Texas! There are only thirty nations in the world larger than British Columbia.

B.C.ís 7,022-kilometre coastline supports a large shipping industry through ice-free, deep-water ports. The province has about 8.5 million hectares of grazing land, 1.8 million hectares of lakes and rivers, and 950,000 hectares of agricultural land that is capable of supporting a wide range of crops.

The province is bounded by the U.S. states of Washington, Idaho and Montana in the south, Alberta on the east, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon on the north, Alaska on the northwest and the Pacific Ocean to the west. From south to north, B.C. stretches 1,200 kilometres, and from east to west as much as 1,050 kilometres. Its deeply indented, island-dotted coastline features an offshore archipelago in the north and a large island in the south.

British Columbia is characterized by mountainous topography, but also has substantial areas of lowland and plateau country. The province has four basic regions: a northwesterly-trending mountain system on the coast, a similar mountain system on the east, an extensive area of plateau and mountain country between the two, and a lowland segment of the continent's Great Plains in the northeastern part of the province.

The province is blessed with an abundance of waterways in the form of rivers, lakes, streams and swamps. Freshwater surfaces total 1.8 million hectares. Major river systems include the Fraser, Columbia, Skeena and Peace Rivers.

Approximately 21% (20.3 million hectares) of British Columbia is rock or consists of alpine barren icefields and glaciers.

Approximately 62% of British Columbia is forest land, with 48 million hectares, or 51% productive forest.

Approximately 5% (4.04 million hectares) of British Columbia is arable and grazing land consisting of 2.6 million hectares cultivated land; 10 million hectares open range; and 0.4 million hectares Alpine and sub-Alpine range.

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