Learning Center

eDNA Sampling at High-Elevation Lakes

Fisheries biologist scoops  water sample

In 2020, Olympic National Forest, in partnership with Olympic National Park, U.S. Geological Survey, and Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, completed eDNA sampling at 20 high-elevation lakes in order to collect provide baseline information about these ecosystems.

Types of Mustelids on the Olympic Peninsula

River Otter (Lontra canadensis).There are 8 species of mustelids that make their home on the Olympic Peninsula and within Olympic National Forest: short-tailed weasel, long-tailed weasel, spotted skunk, striped skunk, mink, Pacific marten, Pacific fisher, and river otter.

Sensitive Beetle Species Spotted for the first time on Olympic Peninsula

Close up of a Bellers Ground Beetle on foliageForest Service Wildlife Biologist Karen Holtrop and partners documented the first known site of the Beller’s ground beetle (Agonum belleri) on the Olympic Peninsula in June 2018. Partnerships are critical to conduct this work.

Pollinator Habitat at Home

Bee and butterfly on a flowerWant to improve pollinator habitat around your home? Plant a pollinator garden! Get some tips from a Forest Service botanist about how to create pollinator habitat at home: Provide a pollen and nectar source, Provide a water source, Provide shelter, Provide nesting sites, and use pesticides only as an absolute last resort. 

Improving Pollinator Habitat at Home (.pdf)

Olympic National Forest History

Trail Maintenance, Corrigenda G.S.Olympic Forest Reserve was established in 1897 and transferred to the Forest Service as Olympic National Forest in 1907. Mt. Olympus National Monument, established in 1909, was designated as Olympic National Park in 1938 by Franklin D. Roosevelt. View historic highlights

Olympic native seed collection & propogation 

Flowers from Olympic NF seeds, blooming at Forest Service nursery in MedfordDid you know the US Forest Service collects native plant seeds? Saving and growing seed from native plants helps us restore areas that have been disturbed or that need rehabilitation. Cheryl Bartlett, Olympic National Forest Botanist, explains her seed collection projects.

Nature notebook

Recently laid northwestern salamander eggs a bit early this year.jpgBetsy Howell shares wildlife sightings from around the forest and gives tips on what to look for depending on the season.

What signs of wildlife can you spot? Tag us @OlympicForest.

Emerging fungal pathogens threaten wild salamanders

Long-toed salamander, by Jasmine Budrow.The Pacific Northwest is rich in many salamander species which are crucial in the process of forest carbon cycling. 

Salamanders are at risk from a number of threats, including habitat loss, wildlife trade, invasive species, and, most recently, fungal pathogens. (July 2016)

What does a wildlife biologist do?

Wildlife biologists monitor changes in our environment and are often the first to recognize changes.

Historic High Steel Bridge preservation & maintenance by forest engineers

The historic High Steel Bridge was erected by the Simpson Logging Company in 1929.

Roosevelt Elk habitat enhancement & remote camera monitoring

Olympic National Forest has long been working to improve elk foraging habitat on the forest.

Return of the Fisher King

Photo of a Fisher by Betsy Howell.Pekania pennanti, or the Pacific fisher, disappeared from Washington State early in the last century. This housecat-size member of the Weasel family was trapped for its fine fur and suffered from the loss of the old growth forests it prefers; it now resides on the Washington State endangered species list. Learn more about the Olympic peninsula fisher & it's reintroduction to the forest.

US-UK Pacific Northwest tree seed-collection tours 

Man climbs high into the tree canopy to collect seeds.Andrew Bower, US Forest Service Geneticist, collaborated with Royal Botanic Gardens Kew scientist Michael Way in a joint US-UK seed collecting expedition September 2016 for genetic conservation of several Pacific Northwest conifer species.

Bower previously accompanied representatives from the United Kingdom Forestry Commission’s Bedgebury Pinetum, Westonbirt Arboretum, and the Oxford University Harcourt Arboretum on a seed collecting tour in the Pacific NW for propagation and long-term genetic conservation.

Climate Change

Swallowtail butterfly in the grassLand management has been traditionally based on the precept that future environmental conditions will mirror past conditions. Today we can no longer assume that precipitation will fall in the same amounts and during the same time of year as in the past. 

This case study provides a place-based example of how agencies and groups can work together.


The Great Washington State Birding Trail - Olympic Loop

Front of the GuideThe Great Washington State Birding Loop is a self-guided driving tour using a custom map with information on each site about habitat, access, bird species, best season(s), and amenities.

Laugh and Learn!

Laugh and Learn icon.Laugh and learn with this interactive tour with the Olympic Habitat Development Study.


Outdoor Safety

The 10 essentials, crime prevention tips, information about hypothermia and more.