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Old 06-11-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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The only thing dividing them from the Rockies of Idaho is Hells Canyon ... are the Blues considered part of the greater Rockies, like the Wasatch are? Or are they considered their own system?
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Under Mount Doom
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Interesting question.

Well, it depends upon what yardstick you use.

Geologically, they are related to the Klamath Mountains of Oregon and California, having been separated from them by the rise of the Cascades. A slight distinction would be the Wallowas, which seem to be a part of the larger Idaho batholith (a big reservoir of granite formed underground and eroded to the surface, like the Sierra Nevada).

Now, with respect to fish and wildlife, I would say they are closer to the Rockies than Pacific ranges, the Cascades fundamentally shift the climate so that it has a Rockes flavor on the east side. And the farther east you get, the stronger the connection, of course. That said, there is some spill over from the westside, and then again, they are just cool in and of themselves.
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Old 06-11-2011, 10:19 AM
 
38 posts, read 10,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlehead View Post
Interesting question.

Well, it depends upon what yardstick you use.

Geologically, they are related to the Klamath Mountains of Oregon and California, having been separated from them by the rise of the Cascades. A slight distinction would be the Wallowas, which seem to be a part of the larger Idaho batholith (a big reservoir of granite formed underground and eroded to the surface, like the Sierra Nevada).

Now, with respect to fish and wildlife, I would say they are closer to the Rockies than Pacific ranges, the Cascades fundamentally shift the climate so that it has a Rockes flavor on the east side. And the farther east you get, the stronger the connection, of course. That said, there is some spill over from the westside, and then again, they are just cool in and of themselves.
Yes, they are kind of an in-betweener place for sure! Personally I would say yes they are part of the Rockies because the ranges traditionally considered the Rockies all actually have different geological origins, and biologically, the Blue Mountains is considered the same province as the Middle Rockies of Idaho and Montana.
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Old 06-11-2011, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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I would go with the geology and call them separate. On an historic note, it has been estimated that 1/3 of the gold that went through the San Francisco Mint during the California gold rush actually was mined in the Blues.
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