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Wilderness Protection

Last year nearly 40,000 overnight visitors in the Olympic Wilderness. At least 85% of these visitors come
Between May 1 and September 30. Many areas of the Olympic Wilderness are very fragile and cannot handle much human impact. Visitors to the wilderness can have many different impacts on the wilderness. Trampling vegetation, camping on vegetation, human waste, garbage, improper food storage, overcrowding and campfires can all have long-lasting impacts to the wilderness and to wilderness visitors.

Please take the time to learn more about how you can help protect your wilderness and preserve its wild character for future generations.
If you Leave No Trace of your stay in the wilderness, it will help preserve its wild character and prevent increased regulations or restrictions.

Resource Impacts Scenes like this were common years ago. The result has been large areas of bare ground, human waste concerns, piles or pits of garbage and tree damage. Please help prevent damage to these areas by Leaving No Trace.

Here are some examples of impacts that rangers encountered in 2001:

Over 2,000 lbs. of visitor garbage was packed out of the backcountry. This does not include the massive spring beach cleanup involving over 260 volunteers and the U.S. Coast Guard.
1,600 campfire rings were cleaned/dismantled
A total of 620 gals. of human sewage/compost were flown out of the backcountry.
Bears obtained human food at least 2 times in the East Fork Quinault River Valley last year. The area was closed to camping 2 separate times to try to prevent the bear from becoming habituated. Stewardship
As humans, we have the role of stewards of the Olympic Wilderness. If we embrace this role, we gain the insight of the land, we see the beauty in biology, and we watch nature's grace unfold among the processes of nature. With wisdom comes responsibility. As stewards, we must learn about Olympic's resources and begin to understand its capacity. Knowing nature's limitations will allow us to minimize our impact to its future.

Whether we are backpackers, park rangers, residents, researchers, volunteers, or other visitors, we have a responsibility. There is only one Olympic! What can you do to help?

Revegetation in Olympic National Park
Visitor use in many of the more popular wilderness sites has resulted in sprawling bare-ground campsites and a multitude of social trails. Park staff and volunteers work every year to revegetate impacted areas and stabilize erosion. This requires thousands of native plants and thousands of hours of work for propagation and planting.
Please stay on trails and within designated sites to help ensure the recovery of closed areas.

If visitors Leave No Trace of their stay, park managers may not need to revegetate as many high use areas, set additional quotas, or expand the reservation system.

You can help keep Olympic wild. Leave No trace for the future.

Recognizing Revegetation Projects

Logs or rocks are often used to delineate campsites and trail boundaries. Erosion matting made of wood fibers and transplanted vegetation indicate closed restoration areas. "Closed for Revegetation" signs and survey stakes branded with the words "CLOSED" indicate areas to avoid.
The successful recovery of these areas depends on your thoughtful use. Tread especially lightly when visiting any of these restoration projects sites: Deer Lake, Heart lake, Lunch Lake, Morgenroth lake and Sol Duc Park in the Sol Duc drainage; Grand and Moose Lake in the Hurricane area; Hoh Lake above the Hoh River valley; Lake Constance in the Dosewallips drainage; Sand Point in the Ozette coastal area; Upper Lena Lake in the Hamma Hamma drainage.

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