Climate Change is National Parks’ Biggest Challenge
in 1916, Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act, which created the National Park Service as a way to manage the growing network of parks and monuments across the nation.
These places and the subsequent 409 additions to the National Park Service domain that have followed were set aside as safe havens from the rapidly industrializing world. But they’ve been unable to keep climate change — the most direct negative impact of the Industrial Revolution — out. Impacts are showing up on parks’ front doors and in more and more cases, inviting themselves in and rearranging the furniture. In some parks, climate change is adding new furniture to the rooms and throwing the old stuff out at a rate not seen in millennia (and likely longer than that).