Bird-filled corridors of cottonwoods, boxelder, green ash, and bur oak line rivers in a semi-arid sea of grass. Ponderosa pine & other conifers grace mountain islands. Lightning strikes ignite fires in windy, drought-adapted plains.
Northeastern Mixed Woods
A glacier-created mosaic supports northern hardwoods mixed with conifers on poorer sites. Hardwoods: sugar maple, American beech, & yellow birch. Conifers: eastern hemlock, red & white pines, & spruce-fir. Wildlife ranges from Canada lynx to pileated woodpeckers.
Central Hardwoods Forests
This forest brews up a rich mixture of >70 hardwood species. Abundant rains, optimal temperatures & fertile soils nourish oaks, hickories & more. Stunning freshwater ecosystems are vital for mussels, fish & invertebrates.
Pacific Coastal Forests
From 300-foot tall redwoods to sugar pines with 2-foot long cones, magnificent forests prosper. Sitka spruce, western hemlock, western redcedar, Douglas-fir, redwood, sequoia, & silver fir all rely on a temperate rainforest climate.
Northern trees survive short, cold growing seasons. Caribou, lynx, moose, & timber wolves dwell here. Spruce, pine and fir dominate, with poplar and larch. Treeless areas dazzle with lakes, rivers & wetlands.
Northern Rocky Mountain Complex
Fire-shaped mountain ecosystems harbor wildlands big enough for grizzly bears, wolves, elk, moose and wolverines. Conifers include ponderosa, lodgepole & whitebark pines; western larch, Douglas-fir & Engelmann spruce. Hardwoods feature aspen & cottonwood.
Southeastern Mixed Forests
Atlantic coastal plain & Piedmont plateau shelter oak & pine diversity, including longleaf, shortleaf, loblolly, pitch & Virginia pines. Longleaf pine forests support rare wildlife, from red-cockaded woodpeckers to gopher tortoises.
Southern Rocky Mountains Complex
High elevations, short growing seasons, & seasonal droughts define forests of slow-growing conifers. Regional standouts include bristlecone pine, Colorado blue spruce, foxtail pine & Jeffrey pine. High-elevation snowmelt supplies critical water to people, wildlife & fish.