Temperate Rainforest: Past & Present
The Extent of the Original Temperate Rainforests
Originally found on almost every continent, only half of the world's coastal temperate
rainforests still stand. Half of those that remain are in North America. (Schoonmaker, von Hagen, & Wolf, 1997, p. 1). "Granted with permission from The Rain Forests of Home, P.K.
Schoonmaker, B. von Hagen, and E.C. Wolf, © Ecotrust, 1997. Published by Island Press,
Washington DC and Covelo, CA. For more information, contact Island Press directly at
1-800-828-1302, firstname.lastname@example.org (E-mail), or www.islandpress.org (Website)."
Locating the Ancient, Temperate Rainforest
The results indicate how scarce this forest (the northern, ancient, temperate rainforest)
actually is, occurring only in latitudes from thirty-two to sixty degrees north in a
narrow band between ocean and coastal mountains. Rainfall there exceeds 80 inches annually
and catastrophic wildfire is infrequent, in marked contrast to conditions farther inland. © 1996. Durbin, K. Oregon. In R. Kirk (Ed.), The Enduring Forests.
Seattle: The Mountaineers, p. 52.
The Extent of Present Temperate Rainforests
Temperate rainforest total only about seventy-five million acres worldwide, two-thirds of
it along North America's Northwest coast. Chile, New Zealand, and southern Australia are
the other major locations of temperate rainforest. © 1996. McNulty,
T. Washington. In R. Kirk (Ed.), The Enduring Forests. Seattle: The Mountaineers,
A Description of the Geology of the Present
North American Rainforest
The most westerly mountains form the Island Range, which creates Vancouver Island, the
Queen Charlotte Islands, and some islands off the Alaska coast. South from the Strait of
Juan de Fuca this ribbon continues on the mainland; it includes the Olympic Mountains and
the Coast Ranges which extend into California. The lowland east of these mountains is
substantially flooded by the sea, waters that include Puget Sound, the Strait of Georgia,
and a succession of other sounds and straits northward into Alaska. © 1996. Edwards, Y. British Columbia. In R. Kirk (Ed.), The Enduring
Forests. Seattle: The Mountaineers, p. 113.