Park Newsletter September 2009

Olympic National Park to Host "An Evening in the Olympics"

Over 900 people attended "An Evening in Olympics," a special community event hosted by Olympic National Park on September 15. The free event included traditional songs and dances shared by the Klallam Dance Group, a presentation by noted Olympic Peninsula photographer Ross Hamilton, preview screenings of two "Northwest Stories" mini-documentaries about Olympic produced by Seattle PBS affiliate KCTS 9, and a screening of "The National Parks: This is America." Co-hosting the event were several of the park's partner groups, including the Friends of Olympic National Park, the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce, Discover Your Northwest and Washington's National Park Fund. Port Angeles is a small city of 20,000 inhabitants; audiences of this size are rare.

On Tuesday, September 15, Olympic National Park will host “An Evening in the Olympics,” beginning at 7 p.m. in the Port Angeles High School auditorium. The event will feature a screening of “The National Parks: This is America,” an introduction to the new Ken Burns documentary about the national parks, as well as a performance by the Klallam Dance Group and a presentation by noted Sequim photographer Ross Hamilton.

Burns’ documentary, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” tracks the history of the national park system, from its roots in the 1800s to its founding in 1916 to visitor experiences today. The film will present the national parks through the eyes of a diverse group of individuals and comment on the system’s place in the fabric of the country.

The area that is now Olympic National Park first came under federal protection when President Grover Cleveland designated most of the Olympic Peninsula's forested land as the Olympic Forest Reserve in 1897. President Theodore Roosevelt enhanced this by designating part of the reserve as Mount Olympus National Monument in 1909, in large part to protect the native herds of Roosevelt elk. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation establishing Olympic as a national park in 1938, cementing its status as a protected area for a diverse array of plants and wildlife.

More information about America's Best Idea

--Matthew Connolly, Intern

Smoke billows from the Constance Fire as it burns across a mountainside
The Constance Fire is one of five active fires that are part of Olympic's Heatwave complex.

Heatwave Complex Fires Burn in Olympic Wilderness

Lightning ignited twelve fires in Olympic National Park during June and July, five of which are still active. These fires are collectively referred to as the Heatwave Complex; none of them pose any immediate threat to life, safety and property and are benefitting the natural ecosystem.

The 628-acre Ten Mile fire continues to burn in the Duckabush area, while the 438-acre Constance fire continues to burn slowly in the Dosewallips region The east side of the Constance fire is being confined to prevent spread to Olympic National Forest and the Dosewallips Ranger Station.

The 324-acre Buckinghorse fire and the 140-acre Knife fire continue to smolder and creep in the upper Elwha Valley. Smoke has not been visible on the four-acre Sol Duc fire in the Seven Lakes basin for several days.

Firefighters continue to monitor these naturally-occurring and slow-moving fires, and are prepared to take action as needed.

Naturally caused wildfires have occurred in the Olympic Peninsula for thousands of years, and are an integral part of the area’s ecosystem. As they burn, these slow-moving fires create a diverse mosaic of forest canopy and fire-induced open land, providing a rich variety of habitat for the park’s plants and animals.

Additional information on the Heatwave Complex fires can be found at InciWeb.


Visitation Update
Through the end of July, Olympic recorded a total of 1,677,193 recreation visits. July's visitation alone represents a nine percent increase over July 2008.

Recreation visitation for the year is up 11 percent compared to the first seven months of 2008.

For more information, and monthly visitor use updates, check the National Park Service NPS Stats website.

Last updated: January 12, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

600 E. Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362


(360) 565-3130

Contact Us