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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada

OKANAGAN RANGE

This rugged ecoregion incorporates the southeastern portions of the Cascade Mountains and Okanagan Range which are some of the warmest and driest mountain ranges in British Columbia. The mean annual temperature for the ecoregion is approximately 7°C with a summer mean of 15°C and a winter mean of -1°C. The mean annual precipitation follows a strong gradient moving from east (500 mm) to west (1000 mm) with up to 1200 mm falling at higher elevations. Subalpine forests dominate the ecoregion and are composed of Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, and lodgepole pine forests which occur between 1200 and 2000 m asl. Douglas-fir, occasional ponderosa pine, and pine grass parklands cover the major valley bottoms. The soils of the region vary from Humo-Ferric Podzols and Dystric Brunisols at the higher elevations, to Gray Luvisols and Eutric Brunisolic soils on the generally calcareous, colluvial, and morainal  deposits at middle elevations, to Eutric Brunisols and Dark Gray Chernozems at lowest elevations. The range of representative wildlife is wide and includes California bighorn sheep, mountain goat, mule deer, black bear, cougar, coyote, bobcat, grouse, California quail, waterfowl, and rattlesnake. Land use reflects ecological stratification. Grazing, forage production, orchards, water-oriented recreation, and tourism are common at lower elevations, woodland grazing, forestry, hunting, and recreation at higher elevations. E.C. Manning Park covers a portion of the ecoregion. The main communities are Keremeos and Hedley in the Similkameen Valley. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 3900.

This ecoregion is part of the Montane Cordillera ecozone.