National Park Service
The National Park Service is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all national parks, many national monuments, other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior; the NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management, while making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment. As of 2018, the NPS employs 27,000 employees who oversee 419 units, of which 61 are designated national parks. National parks and national monuments in the United States were individually managed under the auspices of the Department of the Interior; the movement for an independent agency to oversee these federal lands was spearheaded by business magnate and conservationist Stephen Mather, as well as J. Horace McFarland. With the help of journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather ran a publicity campaign for the Department of the Interior.
They wrote numerous articles that praised the scenic and historic qualities of the parks and their possibilities for educational and recreational benefits. This campaign resulted in the creation of a National Park Service. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that mandated the agency "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Mather became the first director of the newly formed NPS. On March 3, 1933, President Herbert Hoover signed the Reorganization Act of 1933; the act would allow the President to reorganize the executive branch of the United States government. It wasn't until that summer when the new President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, made use of this power. Deputy Director Horace M. Albright had suggested to President Roosevelt that the historic sites from the American Civil War should be managed by the National Park Service, rather than the War Department.
President Roosevelt issued two Executive orders to make it happen. These two executive orders not only transferred to the National Park Service all the War Department historic sites, but the national monuments managed by the Department of Agriculture and the parks in and around the capital, run by an independent office. In 1951, Conrad Wirth became director of the National Park Service and went to work on bringing park facilities up to the standards that the public expected; the demand for parks after the end of the World War II had left the parks overburdened with demands that could not be met. In 1952, with the support of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he began Mission 66, a ten-year effort to upgrade and expand park facilities for the 50th anniversary of the Park Service. New parks were added to preserve unique resources and existing park facilities were upgraded and expanded. In 1966, as the Park Service turned 50 years old, emphasis began to turn from just saving great and wonderful scenery and unique natural features to making parks accessible to the public.
Director George Hartzog began the process with the creation of the National Lakeshores and National Recreation Areas. Since its inception in 1916, the National Park Service has managed each of the United States' national parks, which have grown in number over the years to 60. Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States. In 1872, there was no state government to manage it, so the federal government assumed direct control. Yosemite National Park began as a state park. Yosemite was returned to federal ownership. At first, each national park was managed independently, with varying degrees of success. In Yellowstone, the civilian staff was replaced by the U. S. Army in 1886. Due to the irregularities in managing these national treasures, Stephen Mather petitioned the federal government to improve the situation. In response, Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane challenged him to lobby for creating a new agency, the National Park Service, to manage all national parks and some national monuments.
Mather was successful with the ratification of the National Park Service Organic Act in 1916. The agency was given authority over other protected areas, many with varying designations as Congress created them; the National Park System includes. The title or designation of a unit need not include the term park; the System as a whole is considered to be a national treasure of the United States, some of the more famous national parks and monuments are sometimes referred to metaphorically as "crown jewels". The system encompasses 84.4 million acres, of which more than 4.3 million acres remain in private ownership. The largest unit is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. At 13,200,000 acres, it is over 16 percent of the entire system; the smallest unit in the system is Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, Pennsylvania, at 0.02 acre. In addition to administering its units and other properties, the National Park Service provides technical and financial assistance to several "affiliated areas" authorized by Congress.
The largest affiliated area is New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve at 1,164,025 acres. The smallest is Benjamin Franklin National Memorial at less than 0.01 acres. Although all units of the Nat
United States National Forest
National Forest is a classification of protected and managed federal lands in the United States. National Forests are forest and woodland areas owned collectively by the American people through the federal government, managed by the United States Forest Service, a division of the United States Department of Agriculture; the National Forest System was created by the Land Revision Act of 1891, signed under the presidency of Benjamin Harrison. It was the result of concerted action by Los Angeles-area businessmen and property owners who were concerned by the harm being done to the watershed of the San Gabriel Mountains by ranchers and miners. Abbot Kinney and forester Theodore Lukens were key spokesmen for the effort. In the United States there are 155 National Forests containing 190 million acres of land; these lands comprise 8.5 percent of the total land area of the United States, an area about the size of Texas. Some 87 percent of National Forest land lies west of the Mississippi River in the mountain ranges of the Western United States.
Alaska has 12 percent of all National Forest lands. The U. S. Forest Service manages all of the United States National Grasslands, around half of the United States National Recreation Areas. There are two distinctly different types of forests within the National Forest system; those east of the Great Plains in the Midwestern and Eastern United States were acquired by the federal government since 1891, may be second growth forests. The land had long been in the private domain and sometimes logged since colonial times, but was purchased by the United States government in order to create new National Forests; those west of the Great Plains in the Western United States, though established since 1891, are on lands with ownership maintained by the federal government since the U. S. acquisition and settling of the American West. These are lands that were kept in the public domain, with the exception of inholdings and donated or exchanged private forest lands. Land management of these areas focuses on conservation, timber harvesting, livestock grazing, watershed protection and recreation.
Unlike national parks and other federal lands managed by the National Park Service, extraction of natural resources from national forests is permitted, in many cases encouraged. However, the first-designated wilderness areas, some of the largest, are on National Forest lands. There are management decision conflicts between conservationists and environmentalists, natural resource extraction companies and lobbies, over the protection and/or use of National Forest lands; these conflicts center on endangered species protection, logging of old-growth forests, intensive clear cut logging, undervalued stumpage fees, mining operations and mining claim laws, logging/mining access road-building within National Forests. Additional conflicts arise from concerns that the grasslands and forest understory are grazed by sheep, and, more rising numbers of elk and mule deer due to loss of predators. Many ski resorts and summer resorts operate on leased land in National Forests. List of U. S. National Forests United States National Grassland National Forests of the United States topics State forest National Forest Management Act of 1976 Protected areas of the United States USDA Forest Service USDA Forest Service - The First Century 100 Years of Federal Forestry
Puget Sound is a sound along the northwestern coast of the U. S. state of Washington, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, part of the Salish Sea. It is a complex estuarine system of interconnected marine waterways and basins, with one major and two minor connections to the open Pacific Ocean via the Strait of Juan de Fuca—Admiralty Inlet being the major connection and Deception Pass and Swinomish Channel being the minor. Water flow through Deception Pass is equal to 2% of the total tidal exchange between Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Puget Sound extends 100 miles from Deception Pass in the north to Olympia, Washington in the south, its average depth is 450 feet and its maximum depth, off Jefferson Point between Indianola and Kingston, is 930 feet. The depth of the main basin, between the southern tip of Whidbey Island and Tacoma, Washington, is 600 feet. In 2009, the term Salish Sea was established by the United States Board on Geographic Names as the collective waters of Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Strait of Georgia.
Sometimes the terms "Puget Sound" and "Puget Sound and adjacent waters" are used for not only Puget Sound proper but for waters to the north, such as Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands region. The term "Puget Sound" is used not just for the body of water but the Puget Sound region centered on the sound. Major cities on the sound include Seattle, Tacoma and Everett, Washington. Puget Sound is the third largest estuary in the United States, after Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Virginia, San Francisco Bay in northern California. In 1792 George Vancouver gave the name "Puget's Sound" to the waters south of the Tacoma Narrows, in honor of Peter Puget, a Huguenot lieutenant accompanying him on the Vancouver Expedition; this name came to be used for the waters north of Tacoma Narrows as well. A different term for Puget Sound, used by a number of Native Americans and environmental groups, is Whulge, an anglicization of the Lushootseed name x̌ʷə́lč, which means "sea, salt water, ocean, or sound".
The USGS defines Puget Sound as all the waters south of three entrances from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The main entrance at Admiralty Inlet is defined as a line between Point Wilson on the Olympic Peninsula, Point Partridge on Whidbey Island; the second entrance is at Deception Pass along a line from West Point on Whidbey Island, to Deception Island to Rosario Head on Fidalgo Island. The third entrance is at the south end of the Swinomish Channel, which connects Skagit Bay and Padilla Bay. Under this definition, Puget Sound includes the waters of Hood Canal, Admiralty Inlet, Possession Sound, Saratoga Passage, others, it does not include Bellingham Bay, Padilla Bay, the waters of the San Juan Islands or anything farther north. Another definition, given by NOAA, subdivides Puget Sound into regions. Four of these correspond to areas within the USGS definition, but the fifth one, called "Northern Puget Sound" includes a large additional region, it is defined as bounded to the north by the international boundary with Canada, to the west by a line running north from the mouth of the Sekiu River on the Olympic Peninsula.
Under this definition significant parts of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Strait of Georgia are included in Puget Sound, with the international boundary marking an abrupt and hydrologically arbitrary limit. According to Arthur Kruckeberg, the term "Puget Sound" is sometimes used for waters north of Admiralty Inlet and Deception Pass for areas along the north coast of Washington and the San Juan Islands equivalent to NOAA's "Northern Puget Sound" subdivision described above. Kruckeberg uses the term "Puget Sound and adjacent waters". Continental ice sheets have advanced and retreated from the Puget Sound region; the most recent glacial period, called the Fraser Glaciation, stades. During the third, or Vashon Glaciation, a lobe of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, called the Puget Lobe, spread south about 15,000 years ago, covering the Puget Sound region with an ice sheet about 3,000 feet thick near Seattle, nearly 6,000 feet at the present Canada-U. S. border. Since each new advance and retreat of ice erodes away much of the evidence of previous ice ages, the most recent Vashon phase has left the clearest imprint on the land.
At its maximum extent the Vashon ice sheet extended south of Olympia to near Tenino, covered the lowlands between the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. About 14,000 years ago the ice began to retreat. By 11,000 years ago it survived only north of the Canada–US border; the melting retreat of the Vashon Glaciation eroded the land, creating a drumlin field of hundreds of aligned drumlin hills. Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish, Hood Canal, the main Puget Sound basin were altered by glacial forces; these glacial forces are not "carving", as in cutting into the landscape via the mechanics of ice/glaciers, but rather eroding the landscape from melt water of the Vashon Glacier creating the drumlin field. As the ice retreated, vast amounts of glacial till were deposited throughout the Puget Sound region; the soils of the region, less than ten thousand years old, are still characterized as immature. As the Vashon glacier receded a series of proglacial lakes formed, filling the main trough of Puget Sound and inundating the southern lowlands.
Glacial Lake Russell was the first such large recessional lake. From the vicinity of Seattle in the north the lake extended south to the Black Hills, where it drained south into the Chehalis River. Sediments from Lake Russell form the blue-gray clay identified as the Lawton Clay; the second
Whatcom County, Washington
Whatcom County is a county located in the U. S. state of Washington. As of the 2010 census, the population was 201,140, it is bordered by Canada on the north, Okanogan County on the east, Skagit County on the south, the Strait of Georgia on the west. The county seat and largest city is Bellingham; the county was created from Island County by the Washington Territorial Legislature in March 1854. It included the territory of present-day San Juan and Skagit Counties, which were organized after additional settlement, its name derives from the Lummi word Xwotʼqom, meaning "noisy water."Whatcom County comprises the Bellingham, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Whatcom County's northern border is the Canada–US border with the Canadian province of British Columbia. Adjoining the county on the north are five of metropolitan Vancouver's suburbs, White Rock, Langley, and, in the central Fraser Valley, Abbotsford. Several shopping malls and other services in Bellingham and elsewhere in the county are geared to cross-border shopping and recreation.
The five crossing points are two at Blaine. The Whatcom County area has known human habitation for at least twelve millenia. At least three aboriginal tribes have been identified in the area: Lummi and Semiahmoo; this area was part of the Oregon Country at the start of the nineteenth century, inhabited both by fur prospectors from Canada, Americans seeking land for agricultural and mineral-extraction opportunities. Unable to resolve which country should control this vast area, the Treaty of 1818 provided for joint control. In 1827 the Hudson's Bay Company established Fort Langley near present Lynden. By 1843, the Provisional Government of Oregon had been established, although at first there were questions as to its authority and extent. During its existence, that provisional government formed the area north of the Columbia River first into the Washington Territory, into two vast counties: Clark and Lewis. In 1852, a portion of Lewis County was partitioned off to form Thurston County, in 1853 a portion of the new county was partitioned off to form Island County.
The Washington Territory was formed as a separate governing entity in 1853. In 1854, that legislature carved several counties out of the existing counties, including Whatcom County on March 9, 1854, with area taken from Island County; the original county boundary was reduced in 1873 by the formation of San Juan County, again in 1883 by the formation of Skagit County. A Nooksack chief is the namesake of Whatcom County, taken from the word in the Nooksack language for "noisy water."In 1855 the settlers erected a blockhouse west of Whatcom Creek, to protect against forays from the aboriginal inhabitants who were attempting to defend their homelands. That year the Treaty of Point Elliott was signed, which assigned the Lummi and Semiahmoo peoples a greatly-restricted reserved area; the short-lived Fraser Canyon Gold Rush caused a short-term increase in the county's population, which swelled to over 10,000 before the bubble burst. In 1857 the federal government began the field work necessary to establish the national border between the United States and Canada, agreed on as the forty-ninth parallel in this area, which would mark the north line of Whatcom County.
As the work moved east, several of the workers chose to remain in the area as settlers. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,503 square miles, of which 2,107 square miles is land and 397 square miles is covered by water; the county includes Lake Whatcom. Physiographically, Whatcom County is an extension of the Fraser Valley or "Lower Mainland" area of British Columbia the lowland delta plain of the Fraser River. At some periods in the past, one of the Fraser River's lower arms entered Bellingham Bay near Bellingham via what is now the mouth of the Nooksack River. A small part of the county, Point Roberts, about 5 square miles, is an extension of the Tsawwassen Peninsula, bisected by the Canada–US border along the 49th parallel; the highest point in the county is the peak of the active volcano Mount Baker at 10,778 feet above sea level. The lowest points are at sea level along the Pacific Ocean. Mount Baker National Recreation Area Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest North Cascades National Park Ross Lake National Recreation Area Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Birch Bay State Park Lake Terrell Wildlife Refuge Larrabee State Park Lookout Mountain Lummi Island Stewart Mountain Lake Whatcom Watershed Interstate 5 connecting with Seattle, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego and points south.
SR 20 connecting US 101 and Sidney, British Columbia with Newport, Washington via the North Cascades Highway. Farthest north highway thru the Cascade Mountains in USA. Note that this highway does not connect to most of Whatcom County – Instead, a person would have to travel south to Sedro-Woolley in Skagit County to connect to Highway 20. Alaska Marine Highway connecting Alaska highways to the Interstate Highway System. Okanogan County – east Skagit County – south San Juan County – southwest Metro Vancouver – north Fraser Valley Regional District, British Columbia – north Cowichan Val
Wenatchee National Forest
Wenatchee National Forest is a U. S. National Forest located in Washington. With an area of 1,735,394 acres, it extends about 137 miles along the eastern slopes of the Cascade Range of Washington, USA from Okanogan National Forest to Gifford Pinchot National Forest; the forest is located in Chelan and Yakima counties. There are six designated wilderness areas within Wenatchee National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. All of them lie in neighboring National Forests. Alpine Lakes Wilderness Glacier Peak Wilderness Goat Rocks Wilderness Henry M. Jackson Wilderness Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness William O. Douglas Wilderness Nearly two miles long and accessible only by hiking or horse trails, Waptus Lake is the largest Alpine lake in the National Forest. Drained by the Waptus River, it is notable for its views of Summit Bears Breast mountains; the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests are managed together as the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest with headquarters in Wenatchee, Washington.
There are local ranger district offices located in Chelan, Cle Elum, Methow Valley, Naches and Wenatchee River. The first forest supervisor of Wenatchee National Forest was Albert H. Sylvester, who named over a thousand natural features in the region. A 1993 United States Forest Service study estimated that the extent of old growth in the Forest was 318,800 acres. Wildfires are not uncommon in the National Forest. In September 2012, a severe lightning storm ignited hundreds of fires, the largest of which were located southwest of the city of Wenatchee and east of Blewett Pass. Significant wildfires occurred again in the Chiwaukum and Entiat Mountains. A lightning strike near Jolly Mountain on August 11, 2017 burned more than 38,000 acres and forced significant evacuations. Media related to Wenatchee National Forest at Wikimedia Commons Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest U. S. Forest Service
The Cascade Range or Cascades is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It includes both non-volcanic mountains, such as the North Cascades, the notable volcanoes known as the High Cascades; the small part of the range in British Columbia is referred to as the Canadian Cascades or, locally, as the Cascade Mountains. The latter term is sometimes used by Washington residents to refer to the Washington section of the Cascades in addition to North Cascades, the more usual U. S. term, as in North Cascades National Park. The highest peak in the range is Mount Rainier in Washington at 14,411 feet; the Cascades are part of the Pacific Ocean's Ring of Fire, the ring of volcanoes and associated mountains around the Pacific Ocean. All of the eruptions in the contiguous United States over the last 200 years have been from Cascade volcanoes; the two most recent were Lassen Peak from 1914 to 1921 and a major eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.
Minor eruptions of Mount St. Helens have occurred since, most from 2004 to 2008; the Cascade Range is a part of the American Cordillera, a nearly continuous chain of mountain ranges that form the western "backbone" of North America, Central America, South America. The Cascades extend northward from Lassen Peak in northern California to the confluence of the Nicola and Thompson rivers in British Columbia; the Fraser River separates the Cascades from the Coast Mountains in Canada, as does the Willamette Valley from the upper portion of the Oregon Coast Range. The highest volcanoes of the Cascades, known as the High Cascades, dominate their surroundings standing twice the height of the nearby mountains, they have a visual height of one mile or more. The highest peaks, such as the 14,411-foot Mount Rainier, dominate their surroundings for 50 to 100 miles; the northern part of the range, north of Mount Rainier, is known as the North Cascades in the United States but is formally named the Cascade Mountains north of the Canada–United States border, reaching to the northern extremity of the Cascades at Lytton Mountain.
Overall, the North Cascades and Canadian Cascades are rugged. The southern part of the Canadian Cascades the Skagit Range, is geologically and topographically similar to the North Cascades, while the northern and northeastern parts are less glaciated and more plateau-like, resembling nearby areas of the Thompson Plateau; because of the range's proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the region's prevailing westerly winds, precipitation is substantial on the western slopes due to orographic lift, with annual snow accumulations of up to 1,000 inches in some areas. Mount Baker in Washington recorded a national record single-season snowfall in the winter of 1998–99 with 1,140 inches. Prior to that year, Mount Rainier held the American record for snow accumulation at Paradise in 1978, it is not uncommon for some places in the Cascades to have over 500 inches of annual snow accumulation, such as at Lake Helen, near Lassen Peak. Most of the High Cascades are therefore white with ice year-round; the western slopes are densely covered with Douglas-fir, western hemlock and red alder, while the drier eastern slopes feature ponderosa pine, with some western larch, mountain hemlock and subalpine fir and subalpine larch at higher elevations.
Annual rainfall is as low as 9 inches on the eastern foothills due to a rain shadow effect. Beyond the eastern foothills is an arid plateau, created 17 to 14 million years ago by the many flows of the Columbia River Basalt Group. Together, these sequences of fluid volcanic rock form the 200,000-square-mile Columbia Plateau in eastern Washington and parts of western Idaho; the Columbia River Gorge is the only major break of the range in the United States. When the Cascades began to rise 7 million years ago in the Pliocene, the Columbia River drained the low Columbia Plateau; as the range grew, erosion from the Columbia River was able to keep pace, creating the gorge and major pass seen today. The gorge exposes uplifted and warped layers of basalt from the plateau. Indigenous peoples have inhabited the area for thousands of years and developed their own myths and legends about the Cascades. In these legends, St. Helens with its pre-1980 graceful appearance, was regarded as a beautiful maiden for whom Hood and Adams feuded.
Native tribes developed their own names for the High Cascades and many of the smaller peaks, including "Tahoma", the Lushootseed name for Mount Rainier, "Koma Kulshan" or "Kulshan" for Mount Baker, "Louwala-Clough", meaning "smoking mountain" for Mount St. Helens. In early 1792, British navigator George Vancouver explored Puget Sound and gave English names to the high mountains he saw. Mount Baker was named for Vancouver's third lieutenant, Joseph Baker, although the first European to see it was Manuel Quimper, who named it la gran montaña del Carmelo in 1790. Mount Rainier was named after Admiral Peter Rainier. In 1792, Vancouver had his lieutenant William Robert Broughton explore the lower Columbia River, he named Mount Hood after an admiral of the Royal Navy. Mount St. Helens was sighted by Vancouver from near the mouth of the Columbia River, it was named for Al