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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This high elevation, mountainous ecoregion is located in the southern section of the Hazelton Mountains in west-central British Columbia and is transitional between the adjacent coastal forest ecosystems to the west and the drier montane forests to the east. Two main ranges make up the ecoregion, the Telkwa Range to the north and the Tahtsa Ranges in the south. A number of prominent, elongated lakes (Morice, Tahtsa, and Kidprice lakes) run out from the Coast Mountains towards the Interior Plateau. The ecoregion is relatively wetter and warmer than in the interior ranges to the east. The mean annual temperature for major valleys is approximately 2.5°C with a summer mean of 11.5°C and a winter mean of -8°C. Mean annual precipitation is highly variable ranging from 1500 mm in the west to 600 mm at low elevations in the east. The ecoregion is characterized by lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, and alpine fir forests in the subalpine zone and by extensive areas of alpine vegetation. Folded Jurassic and Cretaceous sediments and volcanic rocks predominate. Intrusions of igneous rocks are more abundant in its southern section. The highest peaks support glaciers and range 2500-2800 m asl. Dystric Brunisolic and Humo-Ferric Podzolic soils are dominant in the subalpine zone. Dystric Brunisolic and Gray Luvisolic soils are associated with the low-elevation valley systems in moist montane regions where western red cedar and western hemlock forests grow. Isolated patches of low ice content permafrost occur in the northern portion of the ecoregion.  Characteristic wildlife includes wolverine, grizzly and black bear, mountain goat, woodland caribou, moose, and ptarmigan. Recreation, hunting, tourism, and forestry are important land uses. There are no major settlements, and the population of the ecoregion is approximately 900.

This ecoregion is part of the Montane Cordillera ecozone.