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Did you know that there are rainforests located in the interior of British Columbia?
Take a stand for rare and unique old growth ecosystems that still remain in British Columbia's inland temperate rainforest. Now and for future generations, before it's too late.
INLAND TEMPERATE RAINFOREST
Located within British Columbia's interior wetbelt, the inland temperate rainforest supports globally significant biodiversity and contains substantial carbon stores. It represents one of only three inland temperate rainforests on Earth (Russian Far East and Siberia are the others), and it is the last one that is still intact enough to be able to continue its ancient ecological functions and processes.
Stretching in a long strip from Prince George to central Idaho, there are numerous conservation values and unique biological features of this rare ecosystem. As coastal air masses collide with the interior mountains, the rugged and often steep terrain brings about substantial amounts of precipitation, often in the form of snow. Heavy autumn rains, spring snow melt, rivers, streams, and waterfalls add to the high moisture content of the inland rainforest, where ancient cedar and hemlock trees help to hold and maintain humid conditions which contribute to a unique community of vegetation and diverse ecosystem.
Of important note, BC's inland temperate rainforest still contains "primary forests", which represent natural areas of long environmental continuity. Some of these places remain unaltered by people since the last ice age! Such forests have been subject to millennia of natural evolutionary processes, and are often older than the tree stands they contain. Ancient forests, including those in the inland rainforests, have been found to be associated with high levels of biodiversity and rare species.
One unique feature of the inland temperate rainforest is the diversity and abundance of lichen species it contains. Some arboreal (tree) lichens are only found in the wettest and oldest parts of the rainforest (>250 years old). Some of these lichens are the required food of endangered southern mountain caribou.
Unfortunately, scientists report that BC's inland temperate rainforest is at risk of collapsing - see article which describes the study showing the Red-Listed Ecosystem Status of the Interior Wetbelt and Inland Temperate Rainforest of British Columbia, Canada. A map of the study area is shown below.