British Columbia's Interior Forests
British Columbia’s interior forests are the most vast in the province. They stretch 1,200 kilometres (745 miles) from the dry ponderosa pine forest in the south to the western red cedar and hemlock of the Columbia region to the spruce and pine boreal forest along the Yukon border. The interior region covers 80 million hectares.
More than 80 per cent of B.C.’s forests are east of the Coast Mountains. While they contribute the most value to B.C.’s forest economy, only a fraction of one per cent is harvested each year. Interior forest management respects all values including community water supply, habitat for species such as woodland caribou and scenic vistas that attract visitors from around the world.
Twenty-two percent of B.C.'s 4.6 million residents live in the interior of the province, an area that includes Kelowna, Kamloops, Prince George, Vernon, Penticton, Fort St Joh, Cranbrook, and numberous other smaller communities.
Native trees include important commercial species such as lodgepole pine, white spruce, Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, western red cedar, and Douglas fir.
Protecting Interior Forests
Like all regions of the province, the Interior includes protected areas and special management zones that are designed to help maintain the province’s unique diversity.
The central part of the region includes Tweedsmuir, B.C.’s biggest provincial park with more than 981,000 hectares (2.5 million acres) of magnificent wilderness, and Wells Gray Park with Douglas fir, western redcedar and hemlock forests.
In the north, Muskwa-Kechika, which includes parks and management zones, is more than 6 million hectares (14.8 million acres) in size and has wildlife so diverse it is often called North America’s Serengeti, and Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park is one of the province’s most important habitats for woodland caribou.
Interior Forest Industry
The interior region typically produces structural building products from species such as spruce, pine, balsam and Douglas fir. The interior region produces more than 80 percent of B.C.’s softwood lumber.