Ecoregions of Washington

Introductory text

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(NOTE: maps and GIS files may differ. To make sure you are using the most current ecoregion data, download shapefiles of ecoregions)

GIS data (shapefiles, metadata and symbology):
Ecoregions of Washington poster

Map (available in PDF format):

Ecoregions denote areas of general similarity in ecosystems and in the type, quality, and quantity of environmental resources. They are designed to serve as a spatial framework for the research, assessment, management, and monitoring of ecosystems and ecosystem components. These general purpose regions are critical for structuring and implementing ecosystem management strategies across federal agencies, state agencies, and non-governmental organizations that are responsible for different types of resources within the same geographical areas. The approach used to compile this map is based on the premise that ecological regions can be identified through the analysis of patterns of biotic and abiotic phenomena, including geology, physiography, vegetation, climate, soils, land use, wildlife, and hydrology. The relative importance of each characteristic varies from one ecological region to another regardless of the hierarchical level. The Ecoregions of Washington map was compiled at a scale of 1:250,000, as part of the US EPA framework of ecological regions. Although there have been differences in conceptual approaches and mapping methodologies used by the USDA–Forest Service, USDA–NRCS, and US EPA to develop the most common ecoregion-type frameworks, collaboration on refinement of these frameworks is a step toward attaining consensus and consistency in ecoregion frameworks for the entire nation. Comments regarding this map should be addressed to James Omernik, U.S. Geological Survey, 200 SW 35th Street, Corvallis, OR 97333, (541) 754-4458, omernik.james@epa.gov; or Glenn Griffith, Dynamac Corp., c/o US EPA, 200 SW 35th Street, Corvallis, OR 97333, (541) 754-4465, griffith.glenn@epa.gov.

Literature Cited:

Thorson, T.D., S.A. Bryce, D.A. Lammers, A.J. Woods, J.M. Omernik, J. Kagan, D.E. Pater, and J.A. Comstock. 2003. Ecoregions of Oregon. (2 sided color poster with map, descriptive text, summary tables, and photographs). U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA. Scale 1:1,500,000.

McGrath, C.L., A.J. Woods, J.M. Omernik, S.A. Bryce, M. Edmondson, J.A. Nesser, J. Shelden, R.C. Crawford, J.A. Comstock, and M.D. Plocher. 2002. Ecoregions of Idaho. (2 sided color poster with map, descriptive text, summary tables, and photographs). U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA. Scale 1:1,350,000.

Pater, D.E., S.A. Bryce, T.D. Thorson, J. Kagan, C. Chappell, J.M. Omernik, S.H. Azevedo, and A. J. Woods. 1998. Ecoregions of Western Washington and Oregon (2 sided color poster with map, descriptive text, summary tables, and photographs). U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA. Scale 1:1,350,000.

Clarke, S.E. and S.A. Bryce. 1997. Hierarchical subdivisions of the Columbia Plateau & Blue Mountains ecoregions, Oregon & Washington. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-395. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR. 114p.


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