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The ecology of the sub-boreal spruce zone

Author(s) or contact(s): BC Ministry of Forests - Research Branch
Source: Research Branch
Subject: Ecology
Series: Brochure
Other details:  Published 1998. Hardcopy is available.


The Sub-Boreal Spruce Zone satisfies a familiar image of interior British Columbia as a place of cold winters and warm summers, deep snow cover and dense forests, varied wildlife, and clear lakes and rivers. Outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, and cross-country skiing flourish here, alongside lowland cattle ranching and intensive logging in upland areas.

The Sub-Boreal Spruce Zone occupies the gently rolling terrain of BC's vast interior plateau. Like a huge, tentacled ink blot, the zone spreads out across the highlands of the Nechako and Quesnel plateaus and the Fraser Basin, sending long, forested fingers into the valley bottoms of mountainous areas to the north, east, and west. With Vanderhoof and Prince George located close to its centre, the zone's irregular boundaries take in such areas as the lower slopes of the Rocky and Caribou Mountains; Ootsa and Eutsuk lakes on the west; Quesnel, Horsefly, Machete Lake, and Lac des Roches in the south; and Babine, Takla, and Williston lakes in the north. The area contains several major rivers, including the Skeena, Bulkley, Fraser, Babine, and Nechako and numerous large lakes, including Stuart, Francois, Burns, Trembleur, and the Nation Lakes.

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Updated October 17, 2008