Cascadia Overview

Cascadia Partner Forum geographic scope and surrounding landscape.

Cascadia Partner Forum geographic scope and surrounding landscape (click to view a larger map image).

“The Cascades are unique on their own. Variety, of both landscapes and species, that is what the Cascadia represents on a larger scale.” Chris Tunnoch, Ministry of the Environment and Partner Forum leadership coucilmember

Cascadia is a term that has been used to define many regions that include the Cascade mountain range and surrounding communities.  For the purposes of the Cascadia Partner Forum, Cascadia is defined as a transboundary region shared between Washington and British Columbia that is centered around the Cascades mountains.  The geographic scope of the Cascadia Partner Forum is anchored in the south by Mount Rainier and stretches northward to just beyond Mount Truax.  The east and west boundaries allow for a scope that includes the foothills of the Cascade mountains, major river drainages, and nearby communities.  The defined scope of Cascadia for the purposes of this forum is robust enough to allow for ecological and social discussions important to the transboundary Cascades mountain region, while including portions of the critical linkages that the Cascades depend on to other large ecosystems.

The Cascade mountain range originates in Northern California and extends into southern British Columbia, spanning approximately 700 miles.  The portion within our Cascadia scope includes the range’s highest peak at 14,410 ft. on Mount Rainier.

Well known and significant rivers flow throughout Cascadia including the Fraser, Skagit, Methow, Wenatchee, and Yakima. The landscape is also dotted with man-made and natural lakes including Lake Chelan near Glacier Peak, Okanagan Lake near Kelowna and Harrison Lake near Welch Peak.

Land ownership in Cascadia is largely dominated by public ownership at the higher elevations and private in the foothills and lower elevations, with exceptions.    Major cities including Seattle and Vancouver lie just west of the Cascade mountain foothills, while key transportation routes from I-90 to Route 3 connect these cities through the Cascades eastward. 

Read an introductory report prepared by our Partner Forum 2013 fellows on the formation of the forum, defining the landscape, and the people and natural resources that make this place so special.

Fall hikers at Harts Pass on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.  Credit:  Mike Monroe

Fall hikers at Harts Pass on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Credit: Mike Monroe

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