The Quietest Square Inch

Quietest Place2, Hoh Rainforest, Olympic Natl Park, Smithsonian

Olympic National Park, Hoh Rainforest, WA

Gordon Hempton has spent three decades traveling around the U.S. looking for its quietest corners. The acoustic ecologist thinks he’s finally found it, in a far-flung corner of Washington State.

According to Crosscut, Hempton has dubbed the spot in the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park the “quietest square inch in the United States,” with less noise pollution than any other spot in the American wilderness.

While the effects of light pollution are increasingly recognized and in response so-called dark sky reserves are popping up all over the world, from Jasper National Park to Scotland’s Galloway Forest to New Zealand’s Aoraki Mackenzie, so far, few people are talking about quiet reserves, though by some estimates, noise pollution affects more than 88 percent of the contiguous U.S.

That’s where Hempton’s writing, research, and activism comes in. He hopes to protect the nation’s quiet starting with that “One Square Inch of Silence” he found in the Hoh Rainforest. He is hoping to create a law that would protect the quiet by prohibiting air traffic overhead.
Courtesy of:  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/

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