Level IV: (10k) Deschutes/John Day Canyons
The Deschutes/John Day Canyons ecoregion consists of very steep to precipitous canyonlands containing the Deschutes and John Day Rivers. Deeply cut into the basalt, the canyons fragment a lightly populated portion of the Umatilla Plateau. Canyon depths up to 2,000 feet (600 m) create drier conditions than on the plateau above.
Sparse bunchgrasses, Wyoming big sagebrush, and cheatgrass grow on the rocky, colluvial soil. Riparian vegetation in narrow reaches is often limited to a band of white alder at the water line, with some mockorange, western clematis, and chokecherry; broader floodplains and gravel bars are dominated by introduced species, such as reed canarygrass, sweetclover, and teasel.