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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion covers the portions of the western Skeena Mountains. The mean annual temperature for the ecoregion is approximately 0.5°C with a summer mean of 11°C and a winter mean of -11°C. Mean annual precipitation exhibits a strong gradient from 1200 mm in the west to 600 mm in the east. The ecoregion is a vertically stratified complex of ecosystems, ranging from low-elevation forests of interior western red cedar and western hemlock; to mixed stands of lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, and alpine fir in its subalpine sections; and to discontinuous cover of alpine tundra vegetation of low-growing heather, sedge, and mountain avens. The Skeena Mountains lie between the more rugged and massive coastal ranges to the west and the somewhat more subdued Omineca Mountains to the east. The Skeena Mountains are composed of folded, stratified Mesozoic sediments of uniform resistance. Extensive glaciers exist in the main ranges above 2000 m asl. Delta Peak in the northern portion of the ecoregion and Shedin Peak in the southern portion of the ecoregion are heavily glacierized. Soils developed on steeply-sloping veneers and blankets of colluvial and morainal deposits range from Gray Luvisolic and Dystric Brunisolic soils in the region's montane zone to Brunisolic and Podzolic soils in the subalpine zone, and to Regosolic and Sombric Brunisolic soils in alpine areas. Isolated patches of permafrost occur in the alpine zone. Characteristic wildlife includes moose, woodland caribou, mountain goat, grizzly and black bear, beaver, wolf, red fox, marten, hare, and grouse. Forestry dominates land use at lower elevations. Hunting, recreation, and tourism are also important in the ecoregion. There are no major settlements within this ecoregion.

This ecoregion is part of the Montane Cordillera ecozone.