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The ecology of the bunchgrass 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 Bunchgrass Zone covers less than one percent of the total area of British Columbia. In spite of its small size, the zone supports a rich diversity of ecosystems and a wide variety of plants and wildlife, including many rare and endangered species. The dry and relatively mild low-elevation climate of the Bunchgrass Zone, together with an abundance of productive agricultural land, makes this one of the most populated and most developed areas in the British Columbia interior.

The Bunchgrass Zone consists mostly of narrow fingers of land centred on the major river valleys of the Okanagan, Thompson, and Fraser river basins. These include the Okanagan Valley from Summerland south to the United States border, the Thompson River Valley from Kamloops to Spences Bridge, the Nicola River Valley, and the Fraser and Chilcotin river valleys south of Riske Creek to north of Lillooet. In these locations, the zone occurs from the valley bottom up to elevations of approximately 900 m on the valley slopes.

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Updated October 17, 2008