The Okanagan-Kettle subregion straddles the Canada–USA border between the Cascade Range on the west and the Monashee Mountains and Kettle Range to the east. It has been identified as a key area for maintenance and restoration of north–south and east–west wildlife habitat connectivity. At the northern extent of the shrub-steppe communities of the Columbia Plateau Ecoregion and Great Basin, it is an important area for north–south movement of shrub-steppe habitats and species; and as the central area between two major mountain ranges, it is important for maintaining movement of large carnivores and their prey.
The analysis and connectivity maps we present in this report build on previous work by the Washington Wildlife Habitat Connectivity Working Group (see WHCWG 2010, Washington Connected Landscapes Project: Statewide Analysis). In this connectivity assessment of the Okanagan-Kettle subregion, we relied heavily on the WHCWG statewide analyses to establish a regional context for finer-scale analyses using both focal species and landscape integrity approaches.
The audience for this work is broad (see WHCWG 2013, British Columbia–Washington Transboundary Habitat Connectivity Scoping Report). The regional context—understanding how this subregion fits within the broader landscape of Washington and southern British Columbia—helps to inform managers and planners from First Nations, Tribes, provincial, state, and federal entities about key areas to focus habitat connectivity maintenance, restoration, and finer-scale planning. The analyses within the Okanagan-Kettle subregion provide more specific guidance to those involved in land management within the study area, including conservation organizations, stewardship organizations, First Nations, Tribal, provincial, municipal and state planners, and individuals and companies managing private and crown lands.
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