Gifford Pinchot National Forest
1,312,000 acres. Located in southwest Washington state
The Gifford Pinchot National Forest, first known as Columbia National Forest, was renamed in 1949 after the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service. This picturesque blend of woods, wildlife, and scenic beauty owes much of its land formation to receding glaciers.
Snowcapped mountains, rock projections, and alpine vegetation provide homes to several threatened and endangered species like the Chinook salmon, the northern spotted owl and the marbled murrelet. Forest features create strong images: Hat Rock, Shark Rock, Badger Lake and Craggy Peak. The highest mountain, Silver Star, nearly reaches 4,400 feet. Interesting geologic elements like lava tubes and ice caves remain from ancient Mount St. Helens eruptions, and activities like fishing and camping are available.
The Need for Trees
Within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, the Mt. Adams Ranger District faces serious challenges. Fires have weakened the mixed conifer forests which were then attacked by western spruce budworm and root diseases. That has left the area even more vulnerable to fire and windstorms. In 2007 many trees were felled by winds, increasing fuel load and setting the stage for bark beetle infestation.
What We Are Doing
Helping replant 20,000 native species -- ponderosa pine, Douglasfir, and western larch -- after reducing fuel loads will leave this area much less susceptible to drought and disease, restoring wildlife habitat and watershed.