At a Glance: Logging Activity in Washington State

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A comparison of satellite images of Mt. Rainier in 1984 and 2010 shows the effects of logging on the landscape.

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory.

  • Panoramic view of Mt. Rainier: Deathgleaner/Wikimedia Commons
  • Logging and regrowth in Washington State: NASA Earth Observatory image created by Robert Simmon

Video design and production by STScI
Text by STScI, based on stories from the NASA Earth Observatory: 
Music courtesy of APM

Stars shine behind Earth. Text, at-a-Glance, Logging Activity in Washington State
Mount Rainier. Text, Crops have long been grown and harvested in the forests near Mount Rainier in the U.S. state of Washington.
These crops are not the kind that end up as food on our plates, but the wood that becomes houses, furniture, paper, and other products made from trees.
1984. This satellite image shows one region of the forest in 1984.
Deep greens show dense, mature forest.
Red-brown patches show places that have been cleared of trees.
Light green shows where grasses or young trees have started to grow back.
1984 and 2010. Comparing this image to another taken in 2010 reveals a patchwork pattern of change over 26 years.
Recently Cleared in 1984, Regrowth in 2010. Text, Some areas that were logged in 1984 had grown back by 2010
Meanwhile, some new areas have been cleared.
A few areas contained mature, dense forest in both 1984 and 2010.