http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Reve ... ional_Park
chugach mtn boy wrote:
James_W wrote: ... the only old growth inland rainforest on earth ...
Say what? I can think of a few others. Heck, there's even a little one in the East, isn't there--uncut parts of the west slope of GSMNP? And then we could assemble quite a list in central Africa ... and there's that river basin in South America, starts with an A I think ...
The park contains part of the world's only temperate inland rain forest. Steep, rugged mountains can be found in a warm, moist climate. A variety of plant and animal life is typical with stands of old-growth Western Redcedar and Western Hemlock, a forest type which is rapidly declining outside of protected areas. The park's inland rainforest also has an isolated population of banana slugs which marks the eastern boundary of their distribution in North America.
I see it even on the National Parks documents I have here.
By adding "temperate" I think you get closer to the truth, but I still think it's a slightly extravagant claim. I believe there is inland old growth rain forest around Mt. LeConte and in Cades Cove in the Smokies, and that is temperate. Might find some examples elsewhere, depending on what you count as "inland." None here in Alaska, I'll grant you--ours is all coastal.
As for the East (some, but not all, of which is old growth):
Appalachian temperate rain forests of the eastern USA
Temperate rain forests in the eastern USA are limited to areas in the southern Appalachian Mountains where orographic precipitation causes weather systems coming from the west and from the Gulf of Mexico to drop more precipitation than in surrounding areas. The largest of these forest blocks are located in western North Carolina, northern Georgia, and far eastern Tennessee, largely in the Pisgah, Nantahala, Chattahoochee National Forests and nearby Gorges State Park. In addition, small areas in the highest elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains also receive substantial rainfall, with Clingmans Dome, for example, collecting about 2000 mm of precipitation per year. Although the highest summits of the Green Mountains of Vermont, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and Mount Katahdin in Maine receive over 2000 mm of precipitation per year, some of these locations have alpine environments and whether or not temperate rain forests exist in these regions is subject to debate. It is possible for small blocks of temperate rainforest to exist along the slopes of these mountain ranges below the tree line where annual precipitation is sufficient for such forests to thrive.