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National Parks are increasingly being permanently altered by climate change and the Park Service (NPS) is now forced to reckon with it, according to an eye-opening story by Zoë Schlanger in The New York Times.Until recently, according to Dr. Abraham Miller-Rushing, an ecologist at Acadia National Park, “protected areas like the national parks were still being thought about as static places that could be preserved forever with the right techniques….We were being trained on how to keep things like they were in the past.” As a result, the Park Service recently publishednew guidance for park managers titled “Resist, Accept, Direct.”
Why This Matters: The mission of the National Park Service has been to protect America’s “Crown Jewels” from change, but that’s not possible anymore. The new guidance focuses on “how to plan for worst-case scenarios, decide what species and landscapes to prioritize, and how to assess the risk of relocating those that can’t survive otherwise .” The NPS recognizes that “it will not be possible to safeguard all park resources, processes, assets, and values in their current form or context over the long term.” Schlanger writes that the NPS is encouraging park managers to “think beyond resistance to change and begin considering transformation as the prevailing theme to be greeted and managed.” That is good advice for all of us.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer A condo collapse in Miami is prompting new conversations about the threats rising sea levels and flooding present to the nation’s infrastructure. Experts say that it’s too early to determine whether or not climate change contributed to the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers. But they also warn that as sea levels rise […]
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Louisiana loses almost a football field of land each day, caused by a combination of climate change-fueled sea level rise, reduced sediment flow from the Mississippi River, and the land gradually sinking. One area that’s not slipping underwater: Avery Island, the birthplace of Tabasco hot sauce that’s still the […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and part of the state Cabinet have approved a highway extension spanning a portion of the Everglades. The move rejects a 2020 recommended order from Administrative Law Judge Suzanne Van Wyk, claiming that the project was incompatible with continued efforts to establish protections in the region. Legal challenges are […]
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