33¢ Western Tiger Swallowtail
Pacific Coast Rain Forest
Nature of America
Issue Date: March 29, 2000
City: Seattle, WA
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine die cut 11.25 x 11.5
The Pacific coast rain forest is an area of pristine wilderness protected by the National Park Service. It lies on the Olympic peninsula of Washington state in the valleys of the Quinault, Queets, and Hoh rivers.
Between 140 and 167 inches (12 to 14 feet) of rain falls in this area each year. The temperature rarely drops below freezing during winter, and summertime highs are usually 80 degrees. The Olympic Mountains to the east protect the rain forest from severe weather.
Nearly every bit of space in the Pacific rain forest is inhabited by flora and fauna. Towering Sitka spruce and western hemlock trees, which can grow to 300 feet in height and 23 feet in circumference, dominate the landscape. Douglas fir, western red cedar, big leaf maple, red alder, vine maple, and black cottonwood trees can also be found in the forest. Mosses, lichens, and ferns are plentiful in the Pacific rain forest as well.
The rain forest is one of three distinct ecosystems of Olympic National Park. Glacier-capped mountains and over 60 miles of wild Pacific coast comprise the rest of this biologically diverse park. A distinct array of plants and animals developed on the Olympic Peninsula because of its isolated location near glacial ice, the waters of Puget Sound, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.