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Lava Beds National Monument Environmental Factors

Lava Beds National Monument is situated in a region well suited for outdoor recreation and is renowned for its scenic resources and recreational opportunities. Lava Beds is a component of a recreational complex that offers public facilities, including six national park units, national forests, Scenic Byways, vast man-made and natural lakes, state parks, and several major rivers, all within a 200 mile radius The vast majority of the monument is overlaid with volcanic rock, most of which erupted within the past 40,000 years from various vents associated with the Medicine Lake shield volcano. Many of these lava flows were distributed downstream by lava tubes, which eventually emptied, forming an intricate system of lava tube caves. The monument has the greatest concentration of lava tube caves in the continental United States.

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Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer.