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North Cascades Human Impact

The habitats and ecosystems in the North Cascades ecoregion are largely intact, but a number of human activities pose risks to its biodiversity. These include:

  • Alterations of rivers and streams. These changes, including hydropower dams, impede salmon migration and alter riparian and wetland functions.
  • Past forest management practices. These and related land uses have disturbed ecosystem functions.
  • Dispersed residential and recreational development. This is particularly key at lower elevations of the ecoregion.
  • Invasive plants and animals. The introduction and spread of invasive species are disrupting ecosystem processes, especially along the transportation corridors of roads and railways.

The dominant land uses in the North Cascades—forestry, recreation, and conservation—give us ample opportunity to address these risks and find solutions.


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

View the more general description of this ecoregion in North America

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