Monday, June 9, 2008

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Olympic Peninsula

United States of America
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On the slopes and the surrounding areas of Mt. Olympus in the Olympic Peninsula of the Pacific Northwest, one of the last remnants of temperate forests in the United States is quickly disappearing. Between 1971 and 2002, nearly half a million hectares (1.1 million acres), or almost 29 per cent of the forest covering the Peninsula, was clear-cut. That is an area equal in size to the Olympic National Park and its five adjacent wilderness areas.

The 1974 image shows the characteristic patchwork of purple and pink areas where clear-cutting has taken place. Light green patches signify regrowth in the forest areas. On a percentage basis, forests owned by Native tribes on the Peninsula were the most severely impacted during this period of time: 48 per cent of the forests on Native lands were clear-felled. In the 2000 image, clear-cutting is obviously still continuing, as is development to the north, west, and south of the national park. There is evidence of good regrowth of trees in forest reserve areas in preparation for the next clear-felling cycle.
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