Canyon Lake Community Forest

Andy Bach
Professor, Huxley College of the Environment, WWU


Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 4:30pm

Photo by Mark Turner (

The Canyon Lake Community Forest is managed as a nature reserve by Whatcom County Parks, but came to be through the hard work of a Huxley College student, Tommy Gaines. The Forest is an excellent place to view grouse, owls, pica, amphibians, and old- and new-growth forests, including 1000+ year old Yellow cedar trees.  The lake was formed by a landslide about 150 years ago, and still full of standing trees that were submerged when the creek was blocked. Landslides are still a hazard from the steep canyon walls, closing the access road in 2007, now requiring a 6 mile hike/bike to the trail head. The valley contains many Pleistocene-age alpine glacier features, Chuckanut Formation fossils, waterfalls, intact wetlands, subalpine meadows, and a unique view of Mt. Baker. 

Andrew Bach holds communication device while looking up to camera

Andrew Bach is a Professor of Environmental Geography at Western Washington University. Dr. Bach received his doctorate in geography from Arizona State University in 1995. Dr. Bach currently teaches Introduction to Physical Geography, Mountain Geography, Climatology, and two soils courses.

Dr. Bach's major research areas include geomorphology and pedogenesis, Quarternary studies and climate change in the western United States. Dr. Bach has researched the Ozette Region and Elwha River of the Olympic Peninsula, the Nooksack River watershed and Mt. Baker in Whatcom County, and the Potholes Coulee area of central Washington. Dr. Bach and students has been using pedogenesis and vegetation to examine how climate change is impacting the alpine to montane zones on Mt. Baker, where the Easton Glacier has retreated over 3 km over the last 100 years, exposing new land where forests are establishing and thriving.

Photo of Canyon Lake Hike by Mark Turner



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More Information

The Huxley Speaker Series is hosted by Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public.

Location & Time

Presentations are held each Thursday at 4:30 pm in the Academic Center West (AW-204) on the WWU campus in Bellingham, WA.


Complimentary parking for the Huxley Speaker Series is available in Parking Lot 12A after 4:00 on Thursdays during Winter quarter.


WWU is an equal opportunity institution.

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