“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Paradise in Pierce County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)

An Ancient Community

Mount Ranier National Park

An Ancient Community Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 14, 2009
1. An Ancient Community Marker
Photo Caption:
Old-growth forests also contain snags - standing dead trees - and “nurse” logs that provide shelter for a variety of plant and animal life. Nurse legs provide ideal places for young plants to sprout. Eventually, the snags and nurse logs decompose and become new soil.
Inscription. Enter an ancient forest and find yourself sheltered by giant trees reaching more than 200 feet into the sky. Western hemlock and western red-cedar, some as old as 850 years, are the dominant trees in Mount Rainier’s old-growth lowland forests. These large, old trees live together with others of different ages. This diversity creates a rich understory and canopy of vegetation, which provides habitat for a variety of animals.

Some of the last extensive stands of old-growth forest left in the United States are the lowland forests of Mount Rainier. Old-growth lowland forests can be found in many areas of the park including Ohanapecosh, Longmire, and Carbon River.
Erected by Mount Ranier National Park, National Park Service.
Location. 46° 47.148′ N, 121° 44.172′ W. Marker is in Paradise, Washington, in Pierce County. Marker can be reached from Paradise Valley Road, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Paradise Inn WA 98398, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Inspired to Preserve (approx. half a mile away); Changing Course (approx. 8.2 miles away); A Recovering Forest
Old Growth Forest image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 14, 2009
2. Old Growth Forest
(approx. 8.2 miles away); Kautz Creek Nature Trail (approx. 8.2 miles away); Traveling Over the Cascades: Past and Present (approx. 11.3 miles away); The Palisades are Clues to the Past (approx. 11.3 miles away); Packwood (approx. 12.8 miles away).
Regarding An Ancient Community. An Icon on the Horizon

Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning six major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems. A lifetime of discovery awaits.

Established on March 2, 1899, Mount Rainier is America's fifth oldest national park. Much of what we associate with national parks today (rustic architecture, museums, auto touring, and park rangers) has roots at Mount Rainier. The naturalists at Mount Rainier were some of the first in the National Park Service. From 1923 through 1939, they published a series of Nature Notes for park visitors. Topics included plants, wildlife, road and trail conditions, park regulations, safety cautions,
Old Growth Forest image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 14, 2009
3. Old Growth Forest
historical notes, along with inspirational poems, illustrations and anecdotes. At one time, over 600 copies of the notes were distributed in the park and mailed to other parks as well as to individual subscribers throughout the U.S. At least a dozen other national parks published their own editions of Nature Notes in the same era including: Acadia, Bryce/Zion, Crater Lake (visit Crater Lake's Web edition), Glacier, Grand Canyon, Hawaii, Hot Springs, Lassen, Mesa Verde, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, and Yosemite.

Frequency of publication at Mount Rainier ranged from bi-weekly to quarterly depending on season and staffing. Nature Notes were the responsibility of the park naturalist, assisted in summer by seasonal nature guides. Articles were also written by the Chief Ranger, Ranger-Naturalists and the Superintendent. Floyd W. Schmoe was Park Naturalist at the time Nature Notes were established. He supervised and developed the Nature Guide Department until he resigned in September 1928. C. Frank Brockman served as Park Naturalist from July 1929 to 1941. He later became a professor at the University of Washington and eventually published some of his Nature Notes in book form.

While we have learned much in the decades since the Nature Notes were first published, they remain an excellent source of information about the park's natural and cultural resources and are,
A Water Fall in the Forest image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 14, 2009
4. A Water Fall in the Forest
in themselves, a cultural resource. This special web collection includes text and images as they were originally published (including typographical errors) in the Nature Notes. It is the result of the enthusiasm and efforts of National Park Service volunteer RD Payne. Additional historical information was contributed by volunteer Bob McIntyre, Jr.

There are several hundred editions of the notes in the park's collection, all of which have been converted to the Web for your reading pleasure.
Source: National Park Service
Categories. Horticulture & ForestryNatural Features
Water Fall image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 14, 2009
5. Water Fall
Visitor Center Welcome Sign image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 14, 2009
6. Visitor Center Welcome Sign
Paradise Visitor Center-‘Of all the fire-mountains, which, like beacons, once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mount Rainier is the noblest in form.’ John Muir, conservationist, 1906
Entrance to the Mount Rainier National Park image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 14, 2009
7. Entrance to the Mount Rainier National Park
National Park Passport Cancellation Stamp image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 14, 2009
8. National Park Passport Cancellation Stamp
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington, established in 1899, is the fifth oldest national park. The towering mount, 14,410 feet high, contains the largest single mountain glacier system in the lower forty-eight states. Mountain meadows display a spectacular variety of colorful flowers in summer.
1999 National Passport Stamp image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 14, 2009
9. 1999 National Passport Stamp
Mount Rainier National Park celebrates its 100th anniversary in 1999. In 1899, the majestic, glacier-covered mountain, subalpine meadows, and dense forests drew visitors and supporters from throughout the Pacific Northwest. One hundred years later, those resources attract millions of global visitors. In its second century, the park faces modern challenges and pressures from increasing visitation an encroaching urban development. Protecting the mountain and its rich ecosystems while treasuring its inspirational values remains the park’s primary mission.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 346 times since then and 76 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A photo showing the entire marker. • Wide area view of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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