Climate Change

Whitebark Pine Trees in Crater Lake National Park Under Attack From Blister Rust, Pine Beetles

The country's largest lakeside stands of whitebark pine trees, at Crater Lake National Park, are being assaulted by a duo of forces that are slowly decreasing the numbers of these majestic and beneficial pines, according to a new study.

Report: Climate Changes Could Batter Acadia National Park Economically, Environmentally

The latest of a running series of reports outlining how climate change could reshape national parks portrays economic and environmental impacts lashing at Acadia National Park and its surrounding communities. While the report's authors hope to catch the attention of Congress, they acknowledge that a groundswell of public concern might be necessary to convince politicians to act.

Study Says Climate Change Could Make Yosemite National Park Hotter Than Sacramento

By the end of the century, climate change could drive typical temperatures in Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Death Valley and other national parks in California more than 7 degrees hotter than they were in the later half of the 20th century, according to a new study.

Warmer, Drier, Crowded, Grizzly-less, And With Lots of Thistle: the Yellowstone of The Future?

“The snow tips the balance,” remarked Doug Smith, senior wildlife biologist and leader of the Yellowstone Wolf Project, about his research findings on winter wolf predation in Yellowstone National Park.

Study Shows that Dirty Snow Reduces Colorado River Runoff

Human-produced dust, mostly from grazing and farming, settles on mountain snowpacks in the Upper Colorado River basin and significantly reduces runoff. Eliminating this "dirty snow" phenomenon, which impacts national parks as well as the regional economy, would require a huge reduction in soil-disturbing activities.

Creating Power at Zion National Park...Sustainably

Zion National Park, which receives quite a bit of sunshine throughout the year, is turning more of those glorious rays into energy to help reduce the park's carbon footprint.

Leigh Welling Appointed To Oversee National Park Service's Climate Change Response Program

Dr. Leigh Welling, who for some time has worked on climate change issues for the National Park Service, has been appointed to oversee the agency's Climate Change Response Program

Climate Change Report Carries Foreboding Forecast for Shenandoah National Park, Historic Jamestown

Imagine Shenandoah National Park without its autumnal showcase of colors, or a sign along the Virginia coastline noting that the site of the Jamestown colony is offshore and under water. Both scenarios could be realized in less than a century if human-influenced climate change isn't slowed, according to a report.

Lecture Series Explores The Climatic Changes Confronting Grand Teton National Park

Climatic changes are confronting the natural and historic resources of Grand Teton National Park, and an upcoming lecture series explores how those might alter the park's appearance.

Loons Employed To Help Biologists Better Understand The Birds and Great Lakes Botulism

Avian botulism has been a problem at some units of the National Park System located along the Great Lakes. Biologists working to better understand the spread of the disease are turning to loons to help with their research.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Agrees Whitebark Pine Trees Might Need ESA Protection

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials announced Tuesday that the agency will take a closer look at whether whitebark pine trees, a key food source for some grizzly bear populations as well as birds and squirrels, need protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Melting Ice Patch Near Yellowstone National Park Reveals Ancient Hunting Weapon

National parks, long treasured as providing glimpses into our past, are proving to be better time capsules than we might have imagined just a decade ago. Proof lies in a 10,000-year-old hunting weapon found below a melting ice patch near Yellowstone National Park.

Surprising Coral Reef Found At Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument

A surprising discovery along the mangrove-rooted shores of Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument has raised questions about whether some coral reefs can tolerate higher water temperatures brought on by climate change.

Battle Against Mountain Pine Beetles Launched at Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Mountain pine beetles, Kurt Repanshek photo.
They're inventorying trees at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, with an eye out for trees that are infested with mountain pine beetles.

Democrats Introduce "Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act" To Help Wildlife Cope With Climate Change

With some impacts of climate change already evident, and others projected, wildlife will need a means to move across the landscape to cope with the changes. With that in mind, two Democratic congressmen have introduced legislation to identify and protect wildlife corridors across the country.

Climate Change Continues To Melt Glacier National Park's Icons

Glacier National Park is suffering from heat stroke, a malady that could melt all of its rivers of ice within a decade and send impacts not only through the park's landscape and wildlife but also through Montana's economy.

Bark Beetle Battles Continue This Year At Rocky Mountain National Park

If you're planning a visit soon to Rocky Mountain National Park, you might want to read the following carefully and look at your calendar. Park crews plan to be spraying trees around the park through most of May in an ongoing battle against bark beetles.

Is The American Pika Really On The Road To Extinction Due to Climate Change?

Less than a month after a conservation group expressed its displeasure with the Obama administration for not providing Endangered Species Act protection to the American pika due to the plight it might face due to climate change, a new study suggests the tiny mammals are more widespread than thought and seem to thrive in a temperature range greater than long thought possible.
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Millar&Westfall-pikas.pdf1.33 MB
Beever-Low-Elevation Pikas.pdf113.78 KB
Beever-Climate-Mediated Extirpations.pdf246.28 KB
Pikas-National Monuments.pdf1002.52 KB

Mount Rushmore National Memorial Drafting Plans to Fight Bark Beetles

How do you combat a tiny beetle that is killing acres and acres of lodgepole forest that long has served as a gorgeous backdrop to Mount Rushmore National Memorial? That's the puzzling question an interagency team of entomologists and foresters is trying to answer.

NRDC Sues To Have Fish and Wildlife Service Consider Whitebark Pine For Endangered Species Act Protection

It was more than a year ago when the Natural Resources Defense Council asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to see if the whitebark pine, a "stone" pine that grows in the very highest reaches of Yellowstone, Glacier, Rocky Mountain, Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, was eligible for Endangered Species Act protection. Inaction by the agency has prompted the conservation group to sue it to act on the request.

Obama Administration Draws Criticism for Declining ESA Protection To Pikas

A diminutive creature that struggles with warmer temperatures brought on by climate change will not receive Endangered Species Act protection for its predicament, the Obama administration has decided in a move that brought quick condemnation from some corners.
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USFWS-Pika_Finding.pdf170.73 KB

Voyageurs National Park Biologists Looking For a Few Good Moose to Collar For Climate-Change Studies

If all goes as expected, 14 moose that roam Voyageurs National Park soon will be wearing the latest in radio-collar technology. Not only will the collars track the animals' movements, but they're expected to shed some light on how the moose are reacting to climate change, as they'll also keep tabs on the air temperature wherever the moose roam.

Trees Killed By Pine Beetles Prompt Mount Rushmore National Memorial To Cancel July 4th Fireworks

Pine beetles have been in the news a lot in recent months. They've killed thousands of acres of pine forests in Colorado and Wyoming, forced removal of acres of hazardous trees in Rocky Mountain National Park, and now they're being blamed for cancellation of the annual Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Mudslide Closes Hurricane Ridge Road in Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park, which has been beaten and battered in recent years by powerful storms, lost a 100-foot section of roadway leading up to Hurricane Ridge when soil saturated by recent heavy rains spurred a mudslide.

NASA, National Park Service Team To Offer Climate Change Podcasts

While rising sea levels are a concern for some national parks, dropping lake levels are a concern for others. A unique partnership between NASA and the National Park Service examines these issues in two podcasts for your listening ease.

Grand Teton National Park Researchers Keeping an Eye on Pikas

Climate-driven change in mountain ecosystems is readily visible across the National Park System. In Glacier National Park rivers of ice are shrinking, in Rocky Mountain National Park bark beetles are ravaging forests, and in Yellowstone National Park atypically warm stream waters in summer are stressing fish. To better gauge the climate's impact on pikas in their park, Grand Teton National Park biologists are working to establish baseline data for these tiny creatures.

Could the Diminutive Pika Succeed Where the Polar Bear Failed In Battling Climate Change?

During my six-month internship with the Student Conservation Association, I had the opportunity to collect data for a field study on the habitat effects of climate change. Our crew of four searched for pikas while backpacking along the rocky slopes of California’s Eastern Sierra Nevada. We came to understand several traits of the pika that could make this elusive alpine mammal an important ally in the movement to stop climate change.

Endangered Species Coalition Lists 10 Species Endangered By Climate Change

A small turtle from the eastern U.S. A species of trout native to Glacier and North Cascades national parks. Grizzly bears. A prairie orchard. A coral. These are among the ten plant, fish, animal, and bird species listed in a new report as being the "hottest" species imperiled by climate change.
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hottestspecies.pdf1.92 MB

Olympic National Park Boosts Stream Flows to Help Salmon, But Might Not Be Enough

Reports on climate change and national parks often mention parks as valuable in helping wildlife species survive by providing environmental sanctuaries of sorts. But a case playing out at Olympic National Park demonstrates how parks might not always be able to provide wildlife with what they need during climatic changes.

Latest Climate Change Report Lists 25 National Parks Most At Risk

Another report on climate change and its impacts on national parks arrived Thursday, with a list of 25 parks most at risk. While it offered no real new recommendations beyond those that have been called for by previous reports, its authors voiced optimism that corporate America is becoming more concerned about climate change and would become a force in addressing the problem and its impacts.
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