Jasper Alberta Subalpine
Jasper Alberta's Historical Timeline
Jasper National Park
Canada's Largest National Park
Jasper Park's subalpine is a great sweeping forest that curls around Alberta's mountainsides, fringed at treeline by stunted trees called krumholtz. Dark and wet, the mostly spruce mixed with pine and sub-alpine fir forest that stretches up from the montane is habitat for a limited number of animals. Pine martins, large cat-like weasels, and their larger cousin the wolverine roam the subalpine. In the winter, lynx, moose and caribou frequent the life zone, using their large paws and hooves to maneuver through the deep snow. Clark's nutcrackers, the boreal chickadee, winter wren, golden-crowned kinglet, varied thrush, yellow-rumped warbler and the dark-eyed junco also call Jasper Alberta's subalpine home.
In the past, forest fires have been known to engulf nearly all of Jasper Parks subalpine forests in a season or two. The last large Jasper Park Forest Fire was 1888-89 when almost 40% of Jasper Park's forests burned over the course of two summers. For years Parks Canada prevented forest fires from starting in Jasper. New research and a greater understanding of forest fire ecology has however changed attitudes and management styles. Seen as a process of rejuvenation rather than of destruction, forest fires in Jasper are now carefully managed in some parts of the park. Thus, "prescribed burns" return nutrients to the soil, helping to ensure a healthy ecosystem of diverse plant and animal species in Jasper.
Please watch Your Camp Fire, however. While fire is a natural part of the ecosystem, a poorly extinguished camp fire can quickly turn into a forest fire that puts lives and property at risk. Ensure your fire is completely out before leaving it.
Jasper fires - did you know that a small fire in a mossy area, even after being put out can smolder in the rich vegetation that grows in thick mossed areas for months underground?
A point for fires - did you know that Grizzly Bears thrive in areas of new growth after forest fires?