Fun in Hanford National Forest
If you’re a nature lover in Washington, Hanford National Forest is a definite “must-see” attraction. As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s first national monument, Hanford National Forest is protected since 2000 by Presidential Proclamation. Despite the harsh landscape, there is abundant wildlife; from the largest elk and mule deer to the pocket-sized western harvest mouse. There’s also a plethora of rare plants and spring wildflowers that defy the desert heat and wind.
In addition to the astounding array of wildlife and animal species, The Monument also serves as a reminder of the past. Plutonium reactors from WWII and the Cold War still dot the riverside. Plutonium from B Reactor was responsible for fueling the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan in 1945. These reactors are currently being dismantled to allow for the lands and water to be cleaned, but are still an important part of American history.
With so much to offer, a visit to the Hanford National Monument and forest is a great escape from the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life. You can explore, sightsee, hunt, fish, and see the extensive wildlife here firsthand!
Following these tips will help you get the most out of your wildlife watching experience:
- Research and learn more about the wildlife before your visit so you are better prepared and know what can be expected from each species.
- Visit early in the morning or just before sunset; these are typically the most active times for animals.
- Keep all noises to the absolute minimum to avoid scaring any animals away.
- Watch for wildlife in areas where two habitats meet or overlap. These areas have a variety of food and shelter options, so there is a greater chance that many types of animals will be present in these areas.
- Leave the dog at home!
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