National Park Service


Date of this Version



Published in Weber, Samantha, and David Harmon, eds. 2008. Rethinking Protected Areas in a Changing World: Proceedings of the 2007 GWS Biennial Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites. Hancock, Michigan: The George Wright Society.


On San Juan Island, Washington, forests are an important component not only of the landscape of the island but also of San Juan Island National Historical Park. Although the forests of the island were manipulated during the historic military time period (1853 to 1871), significant and widespread alterations occurred during the post historic period of 1872 to 1966 (Agee 1984). During that time, patches of forest were cleared for agriculture in both the American and English Camps. Following the park’s establishment in 1966, many of these fields were abandoned and dense Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) stands became established. In addition, the island has a history of fires and windstorms that impact the forest stand development.