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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 Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer The earth is collapsing under Russia’s northeastern towns as global warming melts the permafrost beneath them. Permafrost occupies 65% of Russia’s landmass, making this massive thawing particularly destructive. “There isn’t a single settlement in Russia’s Arctic where you wouldn’t find a destroyed or deformed building,” said Alexey Maslakov, […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Heirs’ property is a type of land ownership whereby property is passed down without a will, and it’s one of the main reasons Black families in the US are losing their land. But the Mobile Basin Heirs’ Property Support Initiative announced yesterday could help families in Mississippi’s Mobile Bay […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer The White House announced Friday that President Biden will use his executive authority to restore protections for three national monuments drastically reduced during the Trump Administration. He will reestablish and increase the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, both of which are in Utah. The orders […]
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