Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
|17c. Black Hills Core Highlands||Level IV Ecoregion|
|Home||The Middle Rockies ecoregion
is characterized by individual mountain ranges of mixed geology interspersed
with high elevation, grassy parkland. The Black Hills are an outlier
of the Middle Rockies and share with them a montane climate, hydrography,
and land use pattern. Ranching and woodland grazing, logging, recreation,
and mining are common.
The Black Hills Plateau ecoregion is a relatively flat, elevated expanse covering the mid-elevation slopes and grasslands of the Black Hills. It includes areas of sharply tilted metamorphic rock and lower elevation granite outcrops. Competing uses, such as logging, farming and ranching, and tourist development, stress this ecosystem.
Area (square miles): 688
Surficial Material and Bedrock
Order (Great Groups)
Precipitation - Mean annual (inches)
Potential Natural Vegetation
Mostly ponderosa pine with white spruce, paper birch and aspen on north facing slopes, moist areas, and higher elevations. Understory: sedges, bearded wheatgrass, juniper, snowberry, Oregon grape, bearberry.
Land Use and Land Cover
Mining in the metamorphic areas. Recreation, hunting, timber production, woodland grazing. Pine and spruce forests, high meadows and granitic rock outcrops.