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Top 10 Features of the Chilcotin Ark

  1. Largest temperate icefield in the world

The Silverthrone, Waddington and Homathko glacier complex forms the largest temperate icefield in the world

  1. 12 of the 16 biogeoclimatic zones of British Columbia

These 12 biogeoclimatic zones are Sub-Boreal Pine – Spruce, Sub-Boreal Spruce, Mountain Hemlock, Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fir, Montane Spruce, Bunchgrass, Interior Douglas-Fir, Coastal Western Hemlock, Interior Mountain Heather Alpine, Coastal Mountain Heather Alpine, Boreal Altai Fescue Alpine and Ponderosa Pine. This creates a high level of ecological variation throughout the Chilcotin Ark, making the environment suitable for the many wildlife species that reside here.

  1. All 3 alpine biogeoclimatic zones of BC meet in the Chilcotin Ark

These are Coastal Mountain-Heather (windward side Coast Mountains), Interior Mountain-Heather (lee side Coast Mountains south BC) and Boreal Mountain Fescue ( North BC mountain ranges, most south in Chilcotin Plateau)

4. Most northerly extension of montane grassland in North America

This is the Bunchgrass Zone, south of Williams Lake and north of Lillooet

5. Influenced by 3 major climate regimes

These are Maritime Polar, Marine Tropical and Continental Arctic, further contributing to the ecological variation of the Chilcotin Ark. This is the only place in North America the three climate regimes meet, having a huge effect on ecosystems throughout the Chilcotin Ark.

6. 11 out of 29 big game species of North America

These 11 species are woodland caribou, grizzly and black bear, Rocky Mountain elk, California Bighorn sheep, mountain goat, Canadian moose, black-tailed deer, mule deer, white-tailed deer and cougar. Other species of significance including beaver, bald eagle, wolverine, grey wolf, bobcat, Canadian lynx, coyote, white pelican and trumpeter swan are also found in the Chilcotin Ark. This shows a high biodiversity of wildlife.

7. Home of one of the most isolated wild horse populations in North America

Located in the Nemiah Valley, and culturally very important to the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation of the Tsilhqot’in

8. 4 of the major river systems in BC have their source in the Chilcotin Ark

These are Kleena Kleene River, Chilcotin River, Homathko River and Dean River. They are fed into by many creeks and other rivers, and all support the fish ecosystems from mountain top to ocean.

9. Home of the healthiest white bark pine population in Canada

The white bark pine if found all over the Chilcotin Ark in sub-alpine. This is an uncommon and endangered 5 needle pine growing near or above tree line in western North America that thrives in the Chilcotin Ark.

  1. Largest water storage in western North America

The Chilcotin Ark has the highest concentration of alpine lakes, river systems and temperate icefield in western North America