• Olympic: Three Parks in One

    Olympic

    National Park Washington

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  • Olympic Hot Springs Road Closed

    The Elwha Valley's Olympic Hot Springs Road is closed to public entry beyond the Altair Campground during removal of the Glines Canyon Dam. Olympic Hot Springs is not accessible from the Elwha.

A Rare Haven

brown owl with spotted and streaked markings sits on lichen draped branch of old growth tree

Northern spotted owls, which depend on old growth forest, are listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

Many wildlife species evolved in a Pacific Northwest where thousands of square miles of lowland forests covered what is now cities, farms, roads, and commercial timberlands. As little as five percent of the original lowland forest may be left. There are few places left for old-growth dependent species. Places like Olympic are essential for their survival and some research indicates even remaining preserved areas may not be large enough to keep some threatened species from declining.

The Old Growth Community
Species like spotted owls, marbled murrelets, northern goshawks, fisher, Cope’s giant salamanders, Vaux’s swifts, and many smaller, less charismatic amphibians, insects, small mammals, and plants are closely associated with these beleaguered islands of habitat. Humans too, have few places to experience the scale and humility these forests offer.

Did You Know?

dam with water flowing

Removal of two dams on the Elwha River is the second largest ecosystem restoration project in the National Park System.