Bethel Ridge

Bethel Ridge approximately 6,000 feet elevation is located 24 miles northeast of Yakima in Yakima County, on the Naches Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.  It can easily be reached by Road 1500 off of Highway 12.   The actual panoramic site is in a pile of basalt rock west of the summit, which is now occupied by communications towers. 

In comparing the historic view with the modern, the forest appears denser over-all in the recent view. The right half of the 1936 image shows a forest pock-marked by repeated fires big and small.  Fires of all sizes coming at different times, not only promoted biological diversity, but made for natural fuel breaks where fires would generally self-extinguish.  The other factor that stands out is the patches of reddish colored trees, which are dead from mountain pine beetle attack.  This is a natural phenomenon whereby lodgepole pine is susceptible to mountain pine beetles, when it reaches a certain age.  Note how the pattern of attacked trees mirrors areas in the 1934 picture where the forest was in an early stage or recovery from the previous fire.  

 To the left is Rimrock lake, and Mt. Adams.  The Goat Rocks are to the right of Adams.  Mt. Ranier is on the right skyline. 

To the left is Rimrock lake, and Mt. Adams.  The Goat Rocks are to the right of Adams.  Mt. Ranier is on the right skyline. 

 The black and white comparison makes evident, just how much more varied the landscape was in 1936, than in 2012. 

The black and white comparison makes evident, just how much more varied the landscape was in 1936, than in 2012. 

  Funding for repeat image:  Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and Wenatchee Forestry Sciences Lab, of Pacific NW Research Station.  1934 image by George Clisby is from National Archives and Records Administration in Seattle, WA. 

Funding for repeat image:  Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and Wenatchee Forestry Sciences Lab, of Pacific NW Research Station.  1934 image by George Clisby is from National Archives and Records Administration in Seattle, WA.