Gifford Pinchot National Forest: Background information when reading Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain

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Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain

Stories

by Lucia Perillo

Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain by Lucia Perillo
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  • First Published:
    May 2012, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2013, 224 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Beverly Melven

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Print Review

The Gifford Pinchot National Forest is featured in a few of the stories in Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain. Several characters maintain trails and clear brush, and these serve as interesting metaphors for dealing with life's hurdles. But of course, a national park is more than just a metaphor.

Mount St HelensNamed for the first Chief Forester of the U.S. Forest Service, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest is located in the Cascade mountain range in Southwestern Washington State. It has gone through several name changes, but was first set aside in 1897 and is therefore one of the oldest national forests in the United States. It currently encompasses 1.3 million acres ­ which now includes the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. In the USA, a National Monument is a protected area similar to a National Park except that the President of the United States can declare an area to be a National Monument without the approval of Congress.

Ape CaveBesides being a place of recreation, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest accommodates cattle grazing; timber, mushroom, Christmas tree and berry harvesting; archaeological digs and geological investigations. Several endangered and threatened species, including the spotted owl and coho salmon, make the forest their home. The national forest also provides essential habitat to the bald eagle, gray wolf and grizzly bear.

Points of interest include Ape Cave, the longest known lava tube in the continental United States and the Big Lava Bed, a 500-ft deep lava field that originated from a crater. Opportunities for hiking, camping, horseback riding, berry picking, fishing and wildlife viewing abound.

Images:
Top: Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Bottom: Entrance to Ape Cave

Article by Beverly Melven

This article was originally published in July 2012, and has been updated for the May 2013 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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