Montane Cordillera Ecozone (CEC)
- This article is about an ecozone and should not be confused with articles covering the physiographic regions covering the same area, which are the Canadian Rockies, Columbia Mountains, and portions of the Thompson Plateau.
The Montane Cordillera is an Ecozones of Canacookies in south-central British Columbia and southwestern Alberta, Canada (an ecozone is equivalent to a Level I ecoregion in the United States). A rugged and mountainous ecozone spanning 473,000 square kilometres, it still contains "two of the few significant agricultural areas of the province", the Creston Valley and the Okanagan Valley. Primarily a mountainous region, it consists of rugged ecosystems such as alpine tundra, dry sagebrush and dense conifer forests. The interior plains are encircled by a ring of mountains. The area has a mild climate throughout the year, with typically dry summers and wet winters.
The corresponding name in the United States for this ecozone, where it is classed as a Level I ecoregion by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, which is identical though differently-named than the CEC system, is the Northwestern Forested Mountains ecoregion.
It contains the headwaters for the Fraser and Columbia rivers and many of their tributaries, notably the Thompson and Kootenay. Within the ecozone are also found dozens of provincial parks and seven national parks:
- Banff National Park
- Glacier National Park
- Jasper National Park
- Kootenay National Park
- Mount Revelstoke National Park
- Waterton Lakes National Park
- Yoho National Park
- "Human Activities in the Montane Cordillera Ecozone". Environment Canada. Retrieved 2008-01-31.[dead link]
- "Montane Cordillera". Evergreen Native Plants Database. Retrieved 2008-01-31.[dead link]
- "Montane Cordillera Ecozone". Parks Canada. Retrieved 2008-01-31.[dead link]
- Bernhardt, Torsten. "Montane Cordillera". Canada's Ecozones, Canadian Biodiversity project. McGill University, Redpath Museum. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Terrestrial Ecozones of Canada". Teacher Resource Centre. Parks Canada. Retrieved 2008-02-13.[dead link]
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