In my recent post "Haying is Done", a comment was posted about whether there was some sort of north vs. south rivalry in Bella Coola regarding where the climate and soil and best place to live is as far as soil and sun. Let me see if I can wade into this and straighten it out.
First of all understand that the average 'useable' width for human settlement and agriculture in the Bella Coola Valley is only around 2 km throughout the lower valley and a lot less as you progress east in the valley. Except for a few old glacial terraces such as parts of the Salloomt area and around Nusatsum and a few other benches a lot of the Bella Coola Valley is within the theoretically calculated 200 year flood zone from either the Bella Coola River or one of it's tributary streams. A number of areas have flood dikes as protection. Even some of the areas that look like they are higher (not the benches I referred to earlier) quite likely are the result of large alluvial fans built up over thousands of years and can be subject to unexpected stream channel changes over times. Unquestionably the best soil is naturally on the main flat part of the valley where it has been deposited by fluvial river action since the last glaciers retreated, there are many areas of beautiful growing potential, within this area.
The majority of human settlement in the lower valley is on the south side of the Bella Coola River, except for the Salloomt Road area and then east of the bridge over the Bella Coola River where the highway shifts to the north side and so does the area of habitation. If you have a piece of property towards the north side of the valley like the Salloomt Road area you get a lot more winter sun, but there are only certain sections of that area that are on benches and out of the potential flood zone. The drawback is that it's pretty dry from a forest fire hazard point of view, and a little harder to find water for wells. If you live on the south side of the Bella Coola River from west of Noosgulch River, then there is a lot of really nice places, many with good soil and some get decent winter sun - depending on whether you are in view of one of the 'notches' of the side valleys which comes in from the south, because then in the winter with the sun low on the southern horizon you will get a few hours of sun even on the shortest day as the sun traverses the sky across those drainage's.
If you live up tight against the mountains on the south side, you will most likely have a 2 month plus period of no sun, possibly a little difficulty getting satellite TV, but you will have a lovely summer climate from March to October.
There's pros and cons to everything, just do your homework and ask the neighbors around you. Grizzly
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