National Parks and Climate Change Camille Homer

The first National Park was set aside in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant followed by the creation of the National Park Service in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson.
there are currently 59 National Parks in the U.s. Though they are protected landscapes, they are not protected against the Effects of climate change.

Climate change affects the parks by:

Creating early springs that changes seasonal biological events like flowering, migration, and reproduction.

Introducing invasive plants and pests due to warmer temperatures that can kill the natural vegetation and animal life.

Increasing the risk of wildfires.

These issues are big concerns for the National Park Service (NPS) whose management and staff have to adapt and plan for an uncertain future.

The following artwork featured in The Verge article "Welcome to the post-apocalyptic National Parks" by Alessandra Potenza were created by Hannah Rothstein showing what National Parks will look like if we let climate change get worse.

Why should we protect National Parks?

To Mitigate the effects of climate change, the NPS has created the Climate Change Response Program. This Project sets goals for the NPS to follow in order to reduce the effects of climate change.
The first goal is to use science to help manage climate change. NPS has teamed up with institutions and organizations to collect and analyze data to provide solutions for the park.
the second goal is to adapt to an uncertain future by remaining flexible in policies, actions, and management.
The third goal is to reduce the NPS carbon footprint. their goal of being a leader in reducing carbon has resulted in ideas such as waterless toilets and hybird cars being present in parks all across the nation.
The last goal is to educate the public about the effects of climate change. National parks can provide a firsthand experience to visitors who can see how parks are affected directly by climate change.

What can I do?

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." ~Margaret Mead
The NPS lists ways you can help while visiting a national park. Some include recycling while in the park, not idling in your vehicle, and giving feedback to the park on ways to improve.
They also list ways you can help while at home or at work such as turning of the lights and adjusting the thermostat, plant a tree, and encourage community actions.

For more ideas on how you can help, please visit the National Park Service Website through the following links:

In order to help not only national parks but the world as well, we need to take action now. It's possible to save our planet from further harm but we need to join together as a community to make that happen.

Works Cited

National Park Service. (2017, April 10). Adaptation Resources. Retrieved from Climate Change: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/climatechange/adaptationresources.htm

National Park Service. (2017, April 10). Advancing Spring Onset. Retrieved from Climate Change: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/climatechange/springonset.htm

National Park Service. (2017, April 15). At a Park. Retrieved from Climate Change: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/climatechange/atapark.htm

National Park Service. (2017, April 15). At Home. Retrieved from Climate Change: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/climatechange/athome.htm

National Park Service. (2017, April 15). Climate Change Response Program. Retrieved from National Park Service: https://www.nps.gov/orgs/ccrp/index.htm

National Park Service. (2017, April 10). Do my actions really matter? Retrieved from National Park Service: https://www.nps.gov/articles/climatequestion09.htm

National Park Service. (2017, April 15). NPS Climate Friendly Practices. Retrieved from Climate Change: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/climatechange/climate-friendly-practices.htm

National Park Service. (2017, April 15). NPS Responds. Retrieved from Climate Change: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/climatechange/response.htm

National Park Service. (n.d.). Parks to Inspire Generations. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from https://www.nps.gov/subjects/climatechange/futurevideos.htm

Potenza, A. (2017, April 14). Welcome to the post-apocalyptic National Parks. The Verge. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from http://www.theverge.com/tldr/2017/4/14/15295260/national-parks-posters-hannah-rothstein-art-climate-change

Wikipedia. (2017). List of National Parks of the United States. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_parks_of_the_United_States

Credits:

Created with images by Unsplash - "stone arch geology formation" • towersandy0 - "redwood tree grove" • eleephotography - "Capitol Reef National Park-14" • skeeze - "volcano halema‘uma‘u lava lake sunset" • eleephotography - "Yellowstone National Park" • luvqs - "scientist drugstore microscope" • Unsplash - "jungle everglades swamp" • agneseblaua - "sand footprint summer" • Seattle Municipal Archives - "Park ranger Kathy O'Gara in Discovery Park, 1982" • alans1948 - "crater_lake-04739" • Shawn Hinsey - "Sabino Canyon, Saguaro National Park" • Pexels - "landscape mountain mountain peak"

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