This region includes the following regional districts: the Regional District of Central Kootenay, the Regional District of East Kootenay. and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary. Summers in Kootenay & Boundary are generally hot and dry, and winters vary from mild to severe. Winter temperatures are slightly milder in the Boundary area. The average frost-free period is about five months long, with a slightly longer growing season in the western part of the region. Due to the region’s diverse topography, temperature and precipitation can vary greatly across small distances. While Creston gets around 649 millimeters of precipitation annually and Grand Forks 531 millimeters, the Slocan Valley receives closer to 1,300 millimeters. Precipitation falls relatively evenly throughout the year. Valleys are spread throughout the Kootenay & Boundary region, tucked between four mountain ranges. Most agricultural production takes place in these valleys where much of the land is privately owned. Crown land makes up about 91% of the region’s land base. Agricultural production is limited, mostly due to the mountainous topography and soil type and quality. Soils vary considerably throughout the region, from class 2 through 6. In 2016, close to 382,000 hectares were included in the Agricultural Land Reserve.