The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, April 01, 1885, Page 95, Image 3

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HALF it century ago the term " Oiegou " whs UHed to
designate the whole watorshod of the mighty Col
umbia Eiver, including the present political divisions
of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and portions of British
Columbia and Montana; but it now signifies definitely
the State of Oregon, lying betweon the forty-second par
allel on the south and the Columbia Eiver and forty-sixth
parallol on the north, and extending from the Paoifio
Ocean eastward to Snake Eiver and the fortiotli Washing
ton meridian. On the north lies Washington Territory,
on the east is Idaho, south are Nevada and California,
while its western shore is swept by the waters of the vast
Paoifio. With a longth from east to west of 350 miles,
and a transverse width of 280 miles, the State embraces
nn area of 95,274 square milos, or 61,000,000 acres, of
extremoly diversified mountain, valloy, hill and plateau
lamia. The proportion of arable land is indefinite, be
cause much which is now classod simply as timber laud
will in future yeare be rendored fit for agriculturo, while
many square miles formerly deemed suitable for pastoral
uses only have recontly boon decidod fit subjects for the
Three ranges of mountains traverse the State from
' north to south, between which lie great valleys, or expan
sive plateaus, giving a diversity of soil, climato and re
sources ranging over a wide scale. From Southern Cali
fornia to Alaska the Coast Range runs parallel to the
ocean shore, its low summit ridge seldom (in Oregon)
. exceeding a score of milos from the water lino, to which
it gently slopes in some places, and in others projects
into the wator in bluffs and rocky hoadlauds, that give the
coast a rugged and forbidding aspect to the mariner.
Those mountains aro covered with a deuse growth of
timber from base to summit on both sides. Parallel to
this, about 100 miles furthor east, run tho Cascades, ex.
tending from the California line north into British Col
umbia. Those, also, are heavily timbered, with tho
exception of a series of lofty, snow-capped poaks, though
on the eastern slope the timber is not ho dense and does
not extend into the lower laud at the base. The Blue
Mountains occupy the eastern end of the State, being a
comparatively short range, extending from near the
southern line to a few miles across the border into Wash
ington Territory. A wealth of timber crowns this range
also, feeing henvier in the northern portion. The lower
levels of that portion east of tho Cascades, fully two
thirds of tho Stato, are generally devoid of timlor, except
along tho watercourses, while west of those mountains,
save numerous open spaces in tho valleys, tho country is
i one continuum forest, covering fully five-sixths of it
area. The cause of this is clear when the climatic condi
tions aro studied.
The forottt trees of Oregon embrace many of the most
commercially valuable kinds. The beat tnxt aro found
at medium elevations, accessible by 'ordinary logging
roads. Their value depends largely ujxm accessibility.
The tinilx-r is worth from to t-0 per aero, deluding
uihiii quantity and quality of trees. Standing timber, or
"stuinpago," ranges from 11 to $1.60 per thousand feet,
board measure. The priuuipal true found u Uio low
lands are fir, pine, codar, yew, ash, oak, maple, balm, or
oottonwood, alder and myrtle. On tho higher levels are
fir, pino, spruce, oedar, hemlock, larch and madrono. Of
the firs and pines there are soveral varieties, but tho most
oommon and generally diffused is tho uhivt Ihuyltwsii,
or Douglass fir, somotimes called " Oregon pine," which
is the main reliance of the lumWinon. This noblo tree
grows to the height of !I00 feet, with a perfectly straight
trunk, and it lowest limb is frequently 100 feet from tho
ground Specimens have been found eight foot in diam
eter and over 400 foot higlu Besides being used almost
exclusively in the Stato, it is shipiod in great quantities
to Sail Franeisoo, South American ports, Sandwich Isl
ands, Australia and China. It possesses great toughness
and durability, and is esiooially adapted to shipbuilding.
Planks and spars of any length up to 100 feet are easily
procurable. Tho oommon cedar is also well distributed
and out in quantity at tho mills. Tho white cedar, grow,
ing in great bodies in tho southern ooast region, is an
especially valuable tree, and is out in groat quantity,
chiefly for shipmout
The olimatio conditions aro varied, giving three, and
evon four, distinct climatio areas. Yet all are in their
way desirable, and oompare favorably with other regions.
It is well known that a wido difference in temperature
oxiHtH in oorrosponding latitudes on the Atlantic counts of
tho United States and of Europe, and the cause has lieeu
well established. Whilo along tho eastern shores of our
own country ooursos tho Arctio ocean current, bearing
down from the northern sea its icy waters, tho wostern
countries of Europo are wanned by the mighty Qulf
stream, which boar to their shores the thermal water of
the tropical ocean.
The Columbia Eiver region is in tho same latitude as
sunny France, Switzerland and xrtions of Italy, Spain
and Portugal It is subject to ocoauio influence very
similar to those of tho countries mentioned, and nwiosaar
ily ha a somewhat similar climate. All thi region i
near enough to tho Pacific Ocean to lx markedly affected
by iU current. By reference to any map whereon the
ocean current are shown, it will le een that tho great
Japan current (Kuro Siwo) that mighty stream of warm
waUr bear directly against the western shore of
America. The temperature of the winds blowing ovor it
is affected by it heat, and they carry their modifying
influence inland many hundred mile.
The average spring tenieralure of Western Oregon
is 52 degree; summer, 07; autumn, 0.'); winter, 2)1), or
52.75 degree for tho whole year. The thermometer sel
dom rise alxivo 'JO degree in tlm Itottiwt day in tlm
summer, and rarely fall below 20 degree iu the winter,
so that the most active outdxr Inlxir may Ixi performed
at all time of tho year and at all hours of tho tlay. .Con
sidering the thermometer' limited rango during the four
seasons, and the other condition eculiar to the locality,
a year would Iw mure prierly divided into two season
the wet oud the dry, the former hinting from the middle