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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 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 […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Activists in Nevada are fighting to permanently protect a stretch of Mojave Desert with ecological and Native American cultural importance. The proposed site would be called Avi Kwa Ama National Monument and would encompass 594 square miles, including a Spanish Colonial Revival house that belonged to 1920s stars Clara […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Pedro Bay Corp., an Alaska Native group, has struck a blow to the controversial Pebble Mine project, which had promised to be the largest gold mine in North America. Located near Alaska’s famed Bristol Bay, development on the site threatened to damage the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world, […]
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