The looming volcanic mound of MOUNT ST HELENS erupted on May 18, 1980, its blast wave flattening 230 square miles of surrounding forests, creating a massive mudflow that sent an avalanche of debris down the river valleys and killed 57 people. Since then, the forests and animals have re-emerged through the scarred landscape (despite minor eruptions in 2004 and 2005), with the surrounding privately managed forests especially well recovered. The mountain itself is protected within Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument, managed by the Forestry Service, and accessed via three entry routes (though the peak itself is not accessible by car).

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