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America’s national parks in a hotter world

New York Times, May 19, 2021

By Zoë Schlanger

For generations, the core mission of the National Park Service has been absolute conservation. Instructions to preserve iconic landscapes unchanged are inscribed in the founding documents of many parks. But what happens when climate change makes that impossible?

Park managers have been asking themselves that question for a while now. Caught in the reality of the climate crisis, they’ve mostly had to improvise. But late last month the service published new guidance for park managers in the era of global warming.

The document, essentially a tool kit for the new world, aims to help park ecologists and managers confront the fact that, increasingly, they must now actively choose what to save and what will vanish.

The new guidelines represent a major shift for the Park Service and, for people who work in conservation, the change is a brutal one. You can read more here.

“There’s definitely a sense of loss, but also “a sense of urgency.”

-- Abraham Miller-Rushing, the science coordinator at Acadia National Park

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