Posted on February 1, 2016 by Bob Berwyn
Some populations likely to blink out because of global warming
Climate change may push pikas out of some western national parks, but they are expected to survive in others, where global warming won’t hit quite so hard, scientists said in a new report.
The tiny mammals are common residents of the alpine zone in the West, but warmer and drier conditions will shrink their habitat in some regions in the coming decades. The study concluded that warmer temperatures in Rocky Mountain National Park will cause habitat suitability and connectivity to decline, making that population “highly vulnerable to extirpation.” Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: climate change, Environment, global warming, national parks, pika, wildlife | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A fracking boom near national parks has already degraded air quality and fragmented wildlife habitat around some of the country’s most cherished public lands. @bberwyn photo.
Agency acknowledges potential for adverse impacts to park values
The recent surge in fossil fuel exploitation on public lands near national parks has raised serious concerns about air quality, wildlife and scenic values — to the point that the National Parks Conservation Association outlined threats in a report a few years ago.
Now, the National Park Service wants to tackle some of the concerns by updating drilling regulations. The proposal would revise current rules that are 36 years old, predating the modern fracking area. The agency hopes the update will give the fossil fuel industry more certainty, improve the agency’s ability to protect park resources and the values for which the parks were set aside, and protect visitors from potentially adverse impacts associated with fossil fuel development. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, national parks, oil drilling, public lands, Uncategorized | Tagged: fracking, National park fracking rules, national parks, oil and gas drilling, public lands | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 6, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Light pollution is a growing challenge
Night skies over Arches National Park. Photo courtesy NPS.
FRISCO — The National Park Service says that recent surveys show that efforts to protect nighttime skyscapes from light pollution are valued by park visitors.
A new study, published Sept. 4 in Park Science, suggests that almost 90 percent of visitors to Maine’s Acadia National Park interviewed for the study agreed or strongly agreed with the statements, “Viewing the night sky is important to me” and “The National Park Service should work to protect the ability of visitors to see the night sky.” Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, national parks, public lands | Tagged: Dark Skies, Environment, light pollution, national parks, night skies, public lands | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 30, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A week in Provence …
A Sunday cycle through the forests of Porquerolles Island.
Porquerolles beach time.
The last rose …
FRISCO —I’m not quite ready to move to Provence for year, but one could definitely tarry here for a few weeks or months, at least. There’s plenty to explore, and not just vineyards. Just off the shore of Hyéres is a group of car-free islands that have been set aside as a national park. It’s rare to find much undeveloped land along the Côte d’Azur, so taking the ferry across to Porquerolles was a chance to see what the area looked like before it was completely over-developed for tourism. More info later in a travel story, but for now, a few postcards.
Filed under: Europe, Morning photo, photography, Travel | Tagged: France, national parks, Porquerolles island, Travel, travel photography | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Can the National Park Service protect coastal assets from rising sea levels? Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force.
Study says $40 billion in park assets at risk
FRISCO — Researchers are only a third of the way through their efforts to catalog how rising sea level threatens national parks, but they’ve already documented risks to more than $40 billion worth of park assets.
“Many coastal parks already deal with threats from sea level rise and from storms that damage roads, bridges, docks, water systems and parking lots,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said in a prepared statement. “This infrastructure is essential to day-to-day park operations, but the historical and cultural resources such as lighthouses, fortifications and archaeological sites that visitors come to see are also at risk of damage or loss.” Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Environment, extreme weather, global warming | Tagged: climate change, global warming, national parks, public lands, sea level rise | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Souvenirs featuring the Confederate battle flag won’t be sold in national park stores.
‘Any stand-alone depictions of Confederate flags have no place in park stores …’
FRISCO — The national debate over the Confederate battle flag has spurred the National Park Service to remove souvenirs and other items featuring the flag from national park bookstores and gift shops. Continue reading
Filed under: national parks, politics | Tagged: Charleston murders, Confederate battle flag, history, national parks, public lands | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 4, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Snowmobile use in Yellowstone National Park will once again be studied by the National Park Service.
Public comments wanted
FRISCO — The National Park Service wants to keep a close eye on how motorized winter activities are affecting Yellowstone National Park, and the agency want to be in a position to respond if they need to.
To that end, the park is taking public comments on a draft Winter Use Adaptive Management Plan aimed at continually improve the management of winter use in the park using the best available science and public input. The draft plan will be available for public review and comment at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/wuamp until August 21, 2015. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, national parks, public lands | Tagged: adaptive management, national parks, public lands, snowmobiles, Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone winter use | Leave a comment »