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Birch

Birch (Betula), genus of trees and shrubs of birch family (Betulaceae). About 50 species are found in Arctic and northern temperate regions worldwide

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Resource Use

Since prehistoric times, the inhabitants of what is now Canada used vegetation and animals for food, clothing and shelter. They fashioned implements and ornaments from MINERALS and, after the arrival of Europeans, used furs for trading.

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Rock slide

A rock slide is a type of landslide occurring when a mass of rock moves quickly downslope.

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Peat

Peat, living and partially decomposed organic matter, consists principally of decayed brown mosses, Sphagnum plants, sedges and other semiaquatic plant remains.

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Medicinal Crops

About a third of the world's estimated 400 000 species of higher or vascular plants have probably been used for medicinal purposes by indigenous societies, generally in a raw or minimally processed form.

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Potato Wart Disease

Potato wart disease, also called potato canker, is a fungal disease of potato sprouts, eyes and stolons. The disease is caused by the soil-borne fungus, Synchytrium endobioticum. Potato wart disease poses no danger to human health or food safety, but it can impact local economies as the disease can reduce yield and effect economic regulations, such as potato exports. (See also Agricultural Economics.)

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Comet

Comet, astronomical body orbiting the SUN, which appears for a few weeks as a faint, luminous patch moving slowly, from night to night, relative to the background of stars. The comet may also have a luminous tail pointing away from the sun.

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Climate Change

Climate change occurs when long-term weather patterns begin to shift. These periods of change have occurred throughout the Earth’s history over extended periods of time. However, since the Industrial Revolution the world has been warming at an unprecedented rate. Because of this, the current period of climate change is often referred to as “global warming.” Human activities that release heat-trapping greenhouse gases, such as the burning of fossil fuels, are largely responsible for this increased rate of change. The implications of this global increase in temperature are potentially disastrous and include extreme weather events, rising sea levels and loss of habitat for plants, animals and humans. In Canada, efforts to mitigate climate change include phasing-out coal-fired power plants in Ontario and instituting a carbon tax in British Columbia.

(This is the full-length entry about climate change. For a plain-language summary, please see Climate Change (Plain-Language Summary).)

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Resource Towns in Canada

Resource towns are small, isolated communities built around resource-based industries and transportation. They include mining towns, mill towns, railway towns and fishing villages. Resource development has long been a key factor in shaping the settlement and growth of communities. Some scholars have argued that all Canadian urban growth depends on the production of natural resources. (See also Staple Thesis.) Resource towns have been important agents in this production process. Because they depend on single industries, the economies of resource towns are often unstable.

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Lagomorpha

Lagomorpha, order of mammals containing 2 families: the rabbits and hares (Leporidae), and the small, lesser-known pikas (Ochotonidae).

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Crab Apple

Crab apple (genus Malus) is a deciduous tree that differs from the orchard apple in bearing smaller, often acidic or astringent fruits.

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Sweet Apple

The sweet apple (Malus pumila) is a cultivated species of the rose family and Canada's most important tree fruit crop.

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Insect

Insects are small invertebrates (more than 75% of known species are less than 6 mm long) with 3 pairs of legs, 1 or 2 pairs of wings (or lacking wings) and a segmented body.

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Polar Bear

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is the largest living species of bear. They are found throughout the circumpolar Arctic. In Canada, this means polar bears live in parts of the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Manitoba,Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. Polar bears are both culturally and economically significant to the Inuit. As climate change continues to reduce their sea ice habitat, polar bears are increasingly threatened.

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Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project

The Trans Mountain Expansion is a project to build about 980 km of new pipe, most of which will run parallel to the existing Trans Mountain oil pipeline. The new line will carry diluted bitumen, or “dilbit,” from Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, British Columbia. The expansion will increase the pipeline route’s overall capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day.

The project’s first owner, Kinder Morgan Canada, sold it to the Government of Canada in 2018. The Trans Mountain Expansion has been a focus of environmental and economic debates, as well as political conflicts. The $12.6 billion project is now under construction.

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Fraser River Lowland

The Fraser River Lowland is a triangular area in southwestern British Columbia. The eastern apex of the triangle is at Hope, about 160 km inland from the Strait of Georgia. From here, the lowland broadens to the west to a width of about 50 km. The international boundary between British Columbia and Washington State crosses the southwestern part of the lowland. The Coast Mountains form the northern boundary of the delta-lowland. The Fraser River Lowland is the largest area of level land with suitable agricultural soils in coastal British Columbia.