Statistical data

Forest inventory

Montane Cordillera


The Montane Cordillera ecozone sits between the Pacific Maritime, Boreal Plains and Boreal Cordillera ecozones, in the south and central interior of British Columbia and the Alberta Foothills. With its extremely diverse topography and climate, the Montane Cordillera is the most complex of Canada’s ecozones. Several mountain ranges run north to south, and there are a number of interior plains, Canada’s only true desert, more than 11 000 lakes and seven major river systems, including the headwaters of the Fraser and Columbia rivers.

Vegetation varies widely, depending on elevation and exposure. The ecozone is 65.5% forested. The Montane Cordillera is a fire-dominated ecosystem. However, fire suppression has made it increasingly prone to catastrophic wildfire and insect infestation.

Forest area by classification (hectares) Footnote 1
Forest land 31,761,073.00
Other wooded land 659,704.00
Other land with tree cover 3,233,325.00
Forest type (forest land only) Footnote 2
Coniferous 86.1%
Mixedwood 6.0%
Temporarily non-treed 5.2%
Broadleaf 2.8%
Predominant tree genus (forest land only)—volume
Spruce 25.9%
Pine 26.0%
Fir 18.8%
Hemlock 5.6%
Douglas-fir 13.3%
Larch 1.5%
Cedar and other conifers 2.8%
Poplar 5.2%
Birch 0.9%
Other hardwoods 0.0%
Unclassified 0.0%
Land use (thousand hectares)
Agriculture 5,409.2
Conservation 9,869.5
Forestry 15,896.0
Industrial 48.2
Infrastructure 97.8
Recreation 1,177.3
Settlement 68.0
Unknown 14,919.0
Total 47,484.9