In its January 2012 issue, Smithsonian is featuring a look at the world famous site where, on May 18, 1980, a mountain exploded with devastating force.
Located 96 miles south of Seattle and managed by the U.S. Forest Service, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument provides outstanding recreation, research, and education opportunities — and has a key mission to protect the public in downstream communities.
The Mount St. Helens landscape is an endless source of fascinating discoveries. The repeated transformations of the blast zone provide a reminder not only of the power of Mother Nature but the inspirational optimism and resilience that are revealed in the cycles of native life. The landscape reveals something new each and every day, always changing, reforming, and unfolding secrets.
The story by Lyn Garrity takes a look at plant and animal life on the Monument three decades after the eruption.