The U.S. Forest Service has declared Mount St. Helens, in Washington state, a ‘geological area.’ This designation is reserved for outstanding earth formations or geological features. The region is thereafter given protection from encroachment by roads or other improvements, and from vandalism. Mount St. Helens is the 15th area in U.S. national forests to be named a geological area. Among the others are Madison River Canyon, Montana, and the Red River Gorge, Kentucky. The designation applies for an indefinite period.