Location: South Fork Hoh
At first glance Olympics flat valley rain forests may have the appearance of a finely manicured garden. Interwoven, forested animal trails lead to lanscaped grassy meadows and sword fern hedges. They lead to maple glades, alder flats and many, many blowdowns. These rain forest gardens may not exist without the help of Olympics ½ ton mammalian landscapers, the Roosevelt elk. They browse on young trees and shrubs modifying the rain forest understory. Researchers have installed elk exclosures in Olympic National Parks rain forest to keep elk out of an area and see how elk browsing affects vegetation patterns. This exclosure was erected in 1980.
Do you see a difference between the vegetation inside and outside the fence?