Site C: Second-growth forest
This small area contains important habitat. The small stream before you provides a home for many fish, including coho salmon. Inside this small floodplain the huge-leafed skunk cabbage is a common sight, as well as the long, dark green-fronded sword fern. The trees here are indicative of the second-growth habitat (an area that has been logged or cleared before) which primarily makes up the ESA. The main tree is the red alder, which has very interesting roots. They have little 1-2-cm. nodules that contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which means that they can pull essential nitrogen right out of the air, rather than only getting it from the soil. This allows the tree to grow in the low-nitrogen soil present after deforestation, and when it dies, allows for the next stage of plants to grow in the now nitrogen-rich soils. The other dominant deciduous tree here is the paper birch, which is easily distinguished from the alder by its white, peeling bark. Behind you and farther down the stream, a big Grand fir is seen. It has long needles that are flattened to the branch. Sitka spruce, with hard, pointy, bluish needles is found further down the stream from here. On the other side of the path, Western redcedar, which has scale-shaped leaves and reddish, stringy bark, inhabits the riparian area.
The main shrubs here are red elderberry and Indian-plum, the former of which has distinctively warty bark, compared to the smooth bark of the Indian-plum. Other common shrubs are the vine maple, with leaves that have 7-9 equally sized lobes, and common snowberry, with its very round, one to two-lobed leaves. Farther up the trail, you will see large beaked hazelnut bushes, which have leaves very similar to the red alder, but has a more shrubby shape. See if you can also see the cascara tree, with shiny, oval, deeply veined leaves.