The winter, which is rapidly drawing to a close, has witnessed the completion of a type map which has been in the process of preparation for some time. This map gives a visual picture of the timbered areas of the Park as well as the extent and relation of the various forest "types" characteristic of the area.
In the study of the timber types and the correlation of the data it was necessary to thoroughly comb the Park for all information bearing upon this subject. Every trail in the Park was traversed. Likewise the most prominent ridges and river valleys, off the trails, were also traveled. In this manner many sections of the Park, seldom visited by man, was "explored". The information thus obtained, then, gives some very interesting facts concerning the magnificent forests of this superb National Park.
Of the 325 square miles within the present boundaries of Mt. Rainier National Park slightly more than 211 square miles supports some sort of forest cover. Of this area about 57 square miles are characterized by the famous flower meadows - the sub-alpine timber zone where grow the very symetrical and picturesque Alpine Fir and Mountain Hemlock. A narrow belt between the sub-alpine region and the barren areas of the upper mountain slopes known as timberline includes about 28 square miles while the various types of the more densely forested lower slopes makes up the majority of the balance. Several obscure timber types of small area are also included in this total.
Of the areas where no timber of any kind is present 52 square miles are occupied by lakes or glacial ice. Glacial ice occupies the lion's share, or nearly 50 square miles, of this area. Barren, rocky areas total slightly better than 27 square miles while forest fires, at various times in the past, have left their scars of burned timber over 27.35 square miles. The largest burn is the Stevens Canyon or Muddy fork burn. The date of this conflagration antedates the memory of the white man and the exact cause of its origin is consequently unknown.
The field work and compilation of the data was prepared by the Educational Department and the information will be included in the Park Encyclopedia.
Moose Trails of Isle Royal, East - American Forests; January 1931
|<<< Previous||> Cover <||Next >>>|