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 Ecozone, as defined by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), is an ecozone 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. Archived from the original on March 21, 2004. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Montane Cordillera". Evergreen Native Plants Database. Archived from the original on December 16, 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Montane Cordillera Ecozone" (PDF). Parks Canada. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 5, 2011. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- 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. Archived from the original on March 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-13.
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