In the Pacific northwest of the USA, what amounts to a temperate rainforest is dominated by needleleaf species such as Douglas fir, western hemlock, and other giants. This forest type is the center of a major controversy regarding timber operations in old growth forests.
On the windward (western) slopes of the Sierra Nevada at elevations between 4,000 and 8,000 feet, the tall western conifers are joined by the magnificent giant sequoia Sequoia gigantea. The congener of this sequoia, the redwood S. sempervirens grows along the northern California coast. Their closest relative is the Dawn Redwood, a deciduous conifer of the genus Metasequoia from China.