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Climate Change Impacts to National Parks: Responding to the Challenge. David Reynolds Natural Resources and Science Northeast Region. National Park Service. Mount Rainier NP. Long range effects of climate disruption…. infrastructure,. on park resources,. Kaloko-honoko Hau NHP.
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Natural Resources and Science
National Park Service
The focus of the discussion has shifted
from the evidence…
from Science……to Management
As stewards of our Nation’s natural and cultural heritage we have an obligation to act
NPS is undertaking a coordinated strategy that involves parks, regions, and national programs
Recent actions include:
While efforts to date are significant – the NPS is not yet positioned to assess the affects of climate change and prescribe management actions that are suitable for parks.
Mitigation = removing the cause of a problem. For CC, any action that reduces the concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere
Adaptation = an adjustment or coping strategy. For CC, actions that allow organisms or humans systems to endure or survive
NPS has ongoing efforts at parks to reduce GHG emissions and develop sustainable operations
Climate Friendly Parks w/EPA
Action for the Future Examples from the Pacific West Region
set 2016 target of carbon neutrality for park operations
As climate change causes shifts in weather, water availability, fire, invasive species, and other environmental conditions…
…will need to adapt to these new regimes.
Ecosystem resilience is a cornerstone for resource adaptation under climate change
Promote buffer zones and “species highways” for migration
Additionally, park infrastructure may need to be adapted to better perform or maintain functionality.
Planning & Implementation parks are requesting support to incorporate climate change into all park planning efforts
The NPS is ideally positioned to raise awareness on climate change and communicate solutions being implemented across the Service and Department
Some current examples:
Climate Change in National Parks - Monthly Webinar Series to link park employees with climate change scientists –
Talking Points w/FWS
An on-line program that helps people reduce their carbon footprint
Communication Strategy use the communication power of the NPS to engage park staff, partners, and the public in finding solutions
Next steps for the Northeast Region:
An example of a cooperative project is to work with USFWS, VA, MD U.S.COE, to incorporate Scenario Planning into the General Management Plan process at Assateague Island National Seashore
Types of Scenarios different purposes
Identify the Context or Focal Question
Build & Test Scenarios
List External Drivers
Decision makers, scientists, topical experts
Scientists, topical experts
Slide adapted from Holly Hartmann, University of Arizona