Fairy Tale Forest
Photograph - Digital Capture Watermark Not On Actual Prints
Forest at Sol Duc Falls in Olympic National Park, Washington
Olympic National Park is a United States national park located in the state of Washington, in the Olympic Peninsula. The park has four basic regions: the Pacific coastline, alpine areas, the west side temperate rainforest and the forests of the drier east side.
U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt originally created Mount Olympus National Monument in 1909. It was designated a national park by President Franklin Roosevelt on June 29, 1938. In 1976, Olympic National Park became an International Biosphere Reserve, and in 1981 it was designated a World Heritage Site. In 1988, Congress designated 95 percent of the park as the Olympic Wilderness. The western side of the park is mantled by a temperate rain forest, including the Hoh Rain Forest and Quinault Rain Forest, which receive annual precipitation of about 150 inches (380 cm), making this perhaps the wettest area in the continental United States (the island of Kauai in the state of Hawaii gets more rain).
As opposed to tropical rainforests and most other temperate rainforest regions, the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest are dominated by coniferous trees, including Sitka Spruce, Western Hemlock, Coast Douglas-fir and Western redcedar. Mosses coat the bark of these trees and even drip down from their branches in green, moist tendrils.
Valleys on the eastern side of the park also have notable old-growth forest, but the climate is notably drier. Sitka Spruce is absent, trees on average are somewhat smaller, and undergrowth is generally less dense and different in character. Immediately northeast of the park is a rather small rainshadow area where annual precipitation averages about 16 inches.
June 10th, 2012
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