The Ten Geographic Regions of Cascadia
Beyond the hundreds of watersheds, the 75 ecoregions, for ease of use, we have shrunk these areas into 10 different geographic regions that share similar topography, flora, fauna, and similar cultural preferences.
The ten regions of Cascadia come from open source GIS data, cartographic explorations of ecoregion and bioregion mapping by David McCloskey and the Cascadia Institute, and simplified for ease of use into broader boundaries by Ryan Moothart from Towards Cascadia.
Together, Cascadia currently has a combined population of 18.3 Million.
For each region, would be nice to list:
Alternative Name (Indigenous Name?)
Major Rivers / Watersheds
Ecoregions (they are listed below, would be nice to figure out which go to which. The Eco Region map of Cascadia by McCloskey is labelled so we could just use that.
Interesting Fact or Notable Features: Largest River, Highest Point, Historical? Or cool geographical facts about each.
Anything else you’d like
A list of the Ecoregions of Cascadia:
Olympic Chehalis/Willapa Cowlitz/Lewis Columbia Gorge Yakama Okanagan Kettle Highlands Salish Sea Mountain Valleys West Coast Icefields/Fjordland/Sunshine Coast Lillooet Kamloops/Nicola Plateau Fraser Plateau Chilcotin/Nazka Plateau Kwakiutl Anahim/Tweedsmuir Bella Coola/Coastal Gap Nechako Plateau Fraser Basin Bulkley Takla-Stuart/Babine Lakes Lower Skeena Nass Skeena-Nass Tlingit Archipelago Stikine Iskut Stikine Plateau Taku Glacier Bay/Fairweather Alsek Tatshenshini Kluane/St. Elias/Yakutat St. Regis/Bitterroot Palouse Coeur d'Alene/ Spokane Blackfoot/Clark Fork Flathead Kutenai/Kalispell Pend Oreille/Selkirks Kootenay Lakes/Kokanee Columbia Plateau Shuswap/Monashee Highlands Columbia Icefields Thompson/Clearwater Highlands Cariboo/Quesnel Highlands Fraser Headwaters Cape Mendocino/Mattole Upper Eel Trinity Redwood/Humboldt Siskiyou/Klamath Shasta Klamath Lakes /Modoc Rogue/Umpqua Coos/Coquille Siuslaw/Dunes and Lakes Alsea/Siletez Willamette Deschutes/High Level Desert Chinook/Tillamook Snow Cap Plateau Yellowstone Tetons Lost Rivers Bannock Owyhee/Shoshone Sun Valley/Wood River Snake River Plain Boise/Payette Sawtooths Lemhi/Challis Malheur Ochoco/John Day Nez Perce-Wallowa/Grand Ronde Salmon Nez Perce-Clearwater/Selway Walla Walla/Umatilla
1. Cascade Plateau
Alternative Name: Columbia Plateau
Approximate Population: 1.96 Million
Largest City: Spokane
Other Notable Cities: Bend, Yakima
Tribes: Shuswap, Lilloeet, Ntlakapamux, Okanagan, Kutenai, Sandpoil, Kalispel, Spokan, Flathead, Coeur D'Alene, Walla Walla, Yakama, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Cayuse, Nez Perce, Umatilla, Tenino, Molala
Highest Point: Red Mountain (9,560 feet) in the Wallowas is the highest point in Baker County. A clear day at the top of Marys Peak, at 4,097 feet, affords views to the Pacific Ocean to the west and Cascade peaks to the east, according to the Forest Service.
Notable Features: The Cascadia Plateau is home to the largest fungi in the world - aptly named the ‘Humongous Fungus’ with one honey mushroom estimated to be aged 2200 years old, and covering more than 3.5 square miles in the Malheur National Forest.
2. Columbia Mountains
Alternative Name: E’ lip chuck Cascadia, Fraser & Columbia Headlands
Approximate Population: 1.20 Million
Largest City: Kelowna
Other Notable Cities: Kamloops, Missoula
Westbank First Nation (Westbank)
Lower Similkameen Indian Band (Keremeos)
Upper Similkameen Indian Band (Keremeos)
Okanagan Indian Band (Vernon)
Upper Nicola Indian Band (Douglas Lake)
Highest Point: Mount Sir Sandford
Mount Sir Sandford was first summited by the prodigious mountaineer of the area Howard Palmer. At the turn of the 20th century, after the railroad was finished, more remote ranges such as these Selkirk Mountains in the Columbia range became accessible to climbers. Palmer attempted the summit a dozen times over the course of four years before ultimately hiring climbing guides from Switzerland and succeeding on 9am June 23rd 1912.
Notable Features: Kryptozoologists will rejoice around Lake Okanagan, an inland fjord like waterway purported to have a sea serpent like lake monster called the Ogopogo. Sightings began in 1872 (before the Loch Ness Monster gained notoriety) and have continued over time with video footage captured as recently as 2011. However the legend of the lake began before Ogopogo as, the First Nations of the area also tell of a frightening creature or spirit named Naitaka who lived at the bottom of the lake and threatened those who entered it. Chickens and small animals were taken and dropped overboard when crossing as offerings to Naitaka in hopes of a safe passage.
3. Fraser & Archipelago
Alternative Name: Ságh-a-lie Cascadia
Approximate Population: 0.33 Million
Largest City: Prince George
Other Notable Cities: Juneau, Prince Rupert
Highest Point: Mount Logan
Elevation: 5,959 m (19,551 ft)
Isolation: 624 kilometres (388 mi)
Due to active tectonic uplifting, Mount Logan is still rising in height. Before 1992, the exact elevation of Mount Logan was unknown and measurements ranged from 5,959 to 6,050 metres (19,551 to 19,849 ft). In May 1992, a GSC expedition climbed Mount Logan and fixed the current height of 5,959 metres (19,551 ft) using GPS.
Temperatures are extremely low on and near Mount Logan. On the 5,000 m high plateau, air temperature hovers around −45 °C (−49 °F) in the winter and reaches near freezing in summer with the median temperature for the year around −27 °C (−17 °F). Minimal snow melt leads to a significant ice cap, reaching almost 300 m (984 ft) in certain spots.
Notable Features: The 3,600 islands off the North Cascadian coast are known as Xhaaidlagha Gwaayaaior or “Islands at the Boundary of the World” to the indigenous population who’s oral history in the area can be traced back 7,000 years. Now shortened to Haida Gwaii or “Land of the Haida,” signs of their once significant extant can be seen in the still standing totems. Numerous totems can be seen all over the islands at now abandoned village sites, like the twenty six examples guarding the once thriving village of Ninstints. Thought to have a lifespan like that of humans, the totems are left to decay and decompose naturally. It is anticipated that most will be gone within the next ten years.
4. Klamath Mountain
Alternative Name: West Jefferson
Approximate Population: 0.86 Million
Largest City: Medford
Other Notable Cities: Eureka, Grants Pass
5. Olympic Peninsula
Alternative Name: N/A
Approximate Population: 1.09 Million
Largest City: Vancouver (WA)
Other Notable Cities: Olympia, Port Angeles
6. Puget Sound
Alternative Name: N/A
Approximate Population: 4.79 Million
Largest City: Seattle
Other Notable Cities: Bellevue, Tacoma
7. Salish Coast
Alternative Name: Fraser Delta
Approximate Population: 3.02 Million
Largest City: Vancouver (BC)
Other Notable Cities: Abbotsford, Bellingham
8. Snake River
Alternative Name: Southeast Cascadia
Approximate Population: 1.37 Million
Largest City: Boise
Other Notable Cities: Idaho Falls, Pocatello
9. Vancouver Island
Alternative Name: N/A
Approximate Population: 0.74 Million
Largest City: Victoria
Highest Point: Golden Hinde
The mountain is also affectionatly known by its alternative name "The Rooster's Comb", conferred by early alpinists because of the mountain's appearance.
Notable Feature: Canada’s second largest Douglas Fir now stands alone in a field, the rest of her neighbors being clear cut. “Despite the region’s booming logging industry (a staggering 99 percent of the old-growth Douglas firs in British Colombia have been cut down) a logger spared Big Lonely Doug from being felled in 2012. No one is quite sure why this particular mature tree was saved. Big Lonely Doug still stands tall, now a sad but majestic symbol of the disappearing old-growth forests of British Colombia, and the ongoing fight to save them.”
10. Willamette Valley
Alternative Name: N/A
Approximate Population: 2.95 Million
Largest City: Portland
Other Notable Cities: Eugene, Salem
Highest Point: Wy'east or Mount Hood
Wy’east features prominently in the history of native tribes who tell a story of how the volcano came to be. Two sons of the Great Spirit Sahale named Wy’east and Pahto were both in love with the same woman Loowit. They battled for her attention by shaking the ground and burning the forests. Enraged by their contest, Sahale immortalized the three spirits by turning them into mountains. He made beautiful Mount St. Helens for Loowit, proud and erect Mount Hood for Wy'east, and the somber Mount Adams for the mourning Pahto.