The pitch and bark of subalpine fir was a very important medicine in the
Interior. The Secwepemc called the tree the medicine plant. They chewed the pitch to clean
their teeth. People also chewed the pitch of all true firs for enjoyment.
groups made large temporary baskets from sheets of bark that they stitched together with
spruce roots. They used the baskets for cooking or soaking hides. They also collected
boughs to use for bedding and as flooring in sweat lodges.
The Carrier people used the wood to make roofing shingles and burned the rotten wood to
make a substance for tanning hides.
Subalpine fir is currently harvested for lumber, plywood veneers, boxes, and pulp.
Subalpine fir does not live long because of its susceptibility to
wood-rotting fungi, especially Indian paint fungus and bleeding conk fungus. Between 120
and 140 years of age, many trees become infected and die.