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.
Changes in Winter Activity Schedule Announced
Budget uncertainties lead to changes in visitor services this winter. More »
Environmental factors include everything that changes the local environment. This includes natural forces like weather and human effects like non-biodegradable litter.
The environment around us is constantly changing.
Some environmental changes are visible, such as a landslide caused by heavy rains. Other changes are not as easy to see. For example, some geologic change, like sediments becoming sedimentary rock, is too slow for the eye to see. Occasionally, only the effects of environmental change are visible and we have to search to find the cause, as in the receding of glaciers caused by climate change.
Find out how National Park Service researchers are studying air quality at Olympic and other national parks.
These are just a few examples of the many natural forces that shape the land and influence ecosystems:
Plants and Animals
Insects eat plant material. Beavers dam streams. Roosevelt elk graze on shrubs and low-growing plants. Fungi and bacteria also play important roles, especially in the decomposition of plants or animals.
Humans influence their environment simply by being in a place. These are a few examples of how we influence Olympic National Park:
To reduce your personal impacts see:
Did You Know?
...that one criteria for the determination of a temperate rain forest is that the amount of moss and other epiphytes exceeds the weight of all the foliage (leaves and needles) per acre by at least two times.