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Middle Rockies Ecoregion: Chapter 5 in Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000

Professional Paper 1794-A-5

This publication is Chapter 5 in Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000, which is Volume A in Status and trends of land change in the United States--1973 to 2000, PP 1794. Volume A consists of 30 chapters. For access to other chapters, please visit PP 1794-A.
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Abstract

The Middle Rockies Ecoregion—characterized by steep, high-elevation mountain ranges and intermountain valleys—is a disjunct ecoregion composed of three distinct geographic areas: the Greater Yellowstone area in northwest Wyoming, southwest Montana, and eastern Idaho; the Bighorn Mountains in north-central Wyoming and south-central Montana; and the Black Hills in western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming (Omernik, 1987; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997). The ecoregion covers approximately 90,160 km2 (34,881 mi2), and its three distinct geographic sections are bordered by several other ecoregions (fig. 1). The Yellowstone section abuts the Montana Valley and Foothill Prairies and the Northern Rockies Ecoregions to the north, the Snake River Basin and the Central Basin and Range Ecoregions to the west, and the Wyoming Basin Ecoregion to the south and east. The Bighorn Mountains section lies between the Wyoming Basin Ecoregion to the west and the Northwestern Great Plains Ecoregion to the east, and it abuts the Montana Valleys and Foothill Prairies Ecoregion to the north. The Black Hills section is entirely surrounded by the Northwestern Great Plains Ecoregion. The Continental Divide crosses the ecoregion from the southeast along the Wind River Range, through Yellowstone National Park, and west along the Montana-Idaho border. On both sides of the divide, topographic relief causes local climate variability, particularly the effects of aspect, exposure to prevailing wind, thermal inversions, and rain-shadow effects, that are reflected in the wide variety of flora and fauna within the ecoregion (Ricketts and others, 1999).

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Middle Rockies Ecoregion: Chapter 5 in Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000
Series title:
Professional Paper
Series number:
1794-A-5
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Western Geographic Science Center
Description:
Chapter 5: 7 p.
Larger Work Type:
Report
Larger Work Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title:
Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000: Volume A in Status and trends of land change in the United States--1973 to 2000 (PP 1794-A)
First page:
69
Last page:
75
Country:
United States
State:
Idaho;Montana;South Dakota;Wyoming
Other Geospatial:
Rockies
Additional Online Files(Y/N):
Y