The southern trench is an important transportation and communication corridor and a popular tourist and recreation area. Mining, forestry and agriculture are important sources of employment. Numerous towns and settlements dot the area, the largest being CRANBROOK, KIMBERLEY and GOLDEN. Archaeological surveys have shown that Indians have inhabited the trench for thousands of years. The first NWC explorers and trappers came into the region in the late 18th century, followed by settlers of European stock. The discovery of placer gold in the Kootenay Valley in 1864, the completion of the CPR main line (1885) and the opening of the Sullivan Mine at Kimberley (1910) helped spur population growth in the southern trench, as have recent economic diversification and improvements in the road system. The northern trench remains largely undeveloped and sparsely inhabited.
Author JOHN J. CLAGUE
Links to Other Sites
Kootenay National Park of Canada
This illustrated Parks Canada website describes the ecology, geography, and history of Kootenay National Park of Canada
Southern Rocky Mountain Trench
A description of the Rocky Mountain Trench from the Rocky Mountain Trench Society website.
Northern Wetbelt Forests of British Columbia
An impressive gallery of images depicting flora and fauna of BC forests. A website from the University of Northern British Columbia.
Rockies Mystery Solved by New Mountain-Creation Theory?
A news story about alternate theories regarding geological events that may have been responsible for the formation of the Rocky Mountains. From the National Geographic website.