Central Interior features classic mountain
and plateau country. It sweeps in a wide band across the middle
of the province and contains some of the longest natural
lakes in BC, including Babine Lake and the dammed Ootsa Reservoir
north of Tweedsmuir Park.
Protected areas in this area are smaller than
Cassiar region to the north, since logging
occurred early on and foreclosed
the opportunity to preserve a vast wilderness, but they are still spectacular and
Hiking, horse-riding, and fishing are all popular in this region,
and the Babine Mountains offer all three, as well as being a favorite ski spot in the Bulkley
Valley. Nordic skiers and snowshoers enjoy the 26 km (16 mi) circuit
into Silver King Basin, while the nearby Babine River is known as the world's
greatest steelhead river and supports one of Canada's premier
salmon runs. The area is also a world-class rafting and river kayaking location.
Subboreal spruce is the predominant forest of the Central Interior Region, but
other common forest types include boreal white and black spruce,
Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir, white spruce, interior cedar-hemlock,
and black cottonwood riparian forests. A key feature of this region are the
rare stands of old-growth Douglas fir and pine.
The central interior is nourished by the waters of the
Skeena and Nass rivers, and contains the headwaters of the mighty Fraser river.
Exceptional wetlands are found in the area, which provide important waterfowl
nesting habitats for migratory birds, while the Stellako River near
Francois Lake supports endangered white sturgeon.
Important wildlife populations in this region include caribou,
mule deer, white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, moose, black and
grizzly bear, wolf, mountain goat, marten, and fisher.