Skeena

Regional Overview

The Skeena region is located in the northwestern portion of British Columbia. It is situated between the Yukon Territory to the north, the Central Interior Plateau to the east, and the Alaskan panhandle to the west. Major cities in the Skeena region include Prince Rupert, Smithers, Terrace, Kitimat, and Atlin.

The Skeena region has a very diverse geography and landscape, featuring mountain ranges, glaciers plateaus, coastal islands, fjords, estuaries, and numerous lakes and rivers.  Special features of the region include the Coastal, St. Elias and Skeena Mountain ranges, the Yukon and Stikine plateaus, the Skeena estuary, and the Inside Passage. Due to the complex geography and landscape, the vegetation of the regional varies considerably across the region and contains temperate rainforests to low- elevation and alpine forests.

The Skeena region is rich with the indigenous history and culture of 33 First Nations.

Activities and Trends

Predominant natural resource industries in the region include forestry and mining. Other activities such as commercial fisheries, hydroelectric power, transportation, tourism, and recreational activities such as fishing and hunting also occur in the region. Recently, liquefied natural gas development, energy pipelines, and marine transportation have also been increasing in the region.

In recent years, the Skeena region has experienced several major wildfire disturbances, including numerous large-scale wildfires. Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency of these events in the future and increase summer drought. Further research and planning are needed to increase the region’s resilience to climate change. 

Work Underway

The Skeena Sustainability Assessment Forum (SSAF) and North Coast Regional Stewardship Forum (NC RSF) are currently undertaking the primary cumulative effects projects in the Skeena region. These projects are in partnership with multiple First Nations and the Province of B.C. under the Environmental Stewardship Initiative.

Skeena Sustainability Assessment Forum

Currently, the SSAF is establishing a process for collecting trusted data and designing and implementing environmental assessment and monitoring protocols. Protocols are currently in development for the following values:

  • Aquatics
  • Wetlands
  • Moose
  • Medicinal Plants.

Assessments are underway for the Grizzly Bear value, based on the Provincial Assessment Protocol for Grizzly Bear in British Columbia.

For more information, please visit the Environmental Stewardship Initiative website.

North Coast Regional Stewardship Forum

The NC RSF is undertaking two projects that support both habitat restoration projects on the landbase and longer-term value based assessment and monitoring of cumulative effects:

  1. The North Coast Cumulative Effects Project aims to conduct the assessment and monitoring of three key values:
    • Estuaries
    • Food Security/Access to Resources
    • Salmon.
  2. The North Coast Ecosystem Restoration Project aims to support habitat restoration on the landbase.

For more information, please visit the Environmental Stewardship Initiative website.