The center of the island consists of hilly terrain covered with forest. Puerto Rico's Carribean National Forest (locally known as El Yunque) is the only tropical rain forest in the US national forest system. It is one of the best protected and most accessible tropical rain forests anywhere. It is one of the oldest protected natural areas in the Western Hemisphere, having been set aside in 1876. The plant life, sustained by 15 annual feet of rain, is typical of the richness of tropical rainforests: more individual species of trees (142 types) grow there than in any other national forest, many of which are two orders of magnitude bigger in surface area.
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