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New Guide Will Help National Park Service Protect Visitors, Treasured Public Lands from Climate Impacts

Washington, D.C. — A new guide issued by the National Park Service, in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation, provides guidance to Park Service planners and managers to help them prepare for and address the effects of climate change on America’s national parks and public lands to protect visitors and ensure these national treasures endure for future generations.

“America’s national parks, and the wildlife that call them home, are under growing threat from the rapidly changing climate” said Dr. Bruce Stein, chief scientist for the National Wildlife Federation. “This new guide will help Park Service planners and managers better understand the climate risks facing the resources they steward and develop innovative and effective adaptation approaches to protect these lands for future generations. We look forward to continuing to work with the National Park Service to ensure that a climate-smart approach to planning and management is applied to national parks across the country.”

National Park Service Associate Director for Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Dr. Ray Sauvajot said, “This important guide will help the National Park Service proactively address the challenges of climate change by considering plausible climate change scenarios and developing robust adaptation strategies. In so doing, park managers will help ensure that the values preserved in these iconic lands and waters can endure for the millions of Americans who enjoy them now, and into future generations.” 

Planning for a Changing Climate was developed as a collaboration between the National Park Service’s Climate Change Response Program and the National Wildlife Federation, and builds on the National Wildlife Federation’s widely used guide to Climate-Smart Conservation. The new National Park Service guide provides a planning approach for assessing how future climate change scenarios may pose risks to park resources, infrastructure, and visitor experiences, and helps planners craft climate-informed responses to these management challenges.  

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