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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion incorporates the mountainous portions of the Queen Charlotte Islands. The Queen Charlotte Ranges lie along the western side of the island and are the backbone of the islands with summits reaching 1067 m asl. The Skidegate Plateau lies to the east of these mountains. The ecoregion's climate is strongly maritime. The mean annual temperature for the area is approximately 8°C with a summer mean of 12°C and a winter mean of 3.5°C. Mean annual precipitation ranges from 2000 mm on the west flanks of the range decreasing to 1500 mm on the eastern flanks. The oceanic nature of the climate is expressed in the sloping bogs and stunted, open-growing western red cedar, yellow cedar, shore pine, and western hemlock forests on the outermost headlands along the west coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Better drained sites support complexes of western hemlock, western red cedar, and Sitka spruce. Red alder is common on disturbed alluvial sites. Lower elevations between sea level and 900 m asl are vegetated by western hemlock and amabilis fir with an understory of salal, Vaccinium spp., and mosses. Mountain hemlock is usually found above 900 m asl. Humo-Ferric and Ferro-Humic Podzolic soils develop on irregular, steeply-sloping, often unstable, colluvial and morainal deposits. Folisols, soils developed on upland surfaces but composed of organic material, are also present. Characteristic wildlife includes black-tailed deer (introduced), black bear, raccoon (introduced), otter, seabirds, shorebirds, and marine mammals. Important land uses are forestry, recreation, and tourism.  Much of the forest lands are under Tree Farm License. A national park covers much of the lower end of Moresby Island and adjacent offshore islands. Native subsistence activities are also important land uses. Mining has occurred sporadically throughout the ecoregion. Sandspit and Sewell Inlet are the main communities. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 2300.

This ecoregion is part of the Pacific Maritime ecozone.