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Canadian Rocky Mountains: People in the Ecoregion

Archaeological records date human habitation back at least 11,000 years. The ecoregion is an ancestral home to the Kalispel or Pend Oreille, who retain a small reservation near Usk.

The first European to pass through the region was mapmaker and fur trader David Thompson. Missionaries followed trappers and fur traders, who in turn were followed by miners. Hard rock mining, first for gold and later for lead and zinc, began in the 1850s and continued for a century. Timbering began in the late nineteenth century and continues in the heavily forested ecoregion.

Much of the ecoregion is managed by federal or state agencies. The Colville and Kaniksu National Forests are major landholders. Private lands in the region are found mostly in the fertile river corridors.

Tourism has grown rapidly in recent decades. The abundant recreational opportunities—hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, fishing, hunting—have led to a boom in retirement and vacation homes.


For details of this ecoregion within Washington, click a subheading in the left column.

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