Friday, August 26, 2016

Interior secretary: ‘What do the next 100 years look like?’

Glacier National Park’s disappearing glaciers provide a great way to alert the nation to the effects of climate change, Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Thursday while visiting here as part of her tour for the National Park Service’s centennial birthday. Jewell met with park representatives at Logan Pass to hike the Hidden Lake Overlook trail and discuss the effects of climate change both within the park as well as on a global scale. “I’ve been going all around the country to celebrate the breadth and depth of the national parks,” Jewell said. “Their biggest threat is how do we fulfill our obligation given to us 100 years ago without impairing them? What do the next 100 years look like? Right now, we’re doing a good job impairing them with climate change.” Dr. Dan Fagre, research ecologist and climate change research coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey, pointed along the ridgelines surrounding Logan Pass to express the severity of climate change. When the park was first established, there were 150 active glaciers. Today, there are only 25. “Glacier is a model,” Jewell said. “I think the fact that this is Glacier National Park, and it may not have glaciers anymore is an incredible opportunity to tell the story. This provides not only a great opportunity for scientific research, but a chance to tell a story that captivates the nation. That is exactly what needs to be done.” Interpretive ranger Teagan Tomlin sees Glacier as an opportunity to reach out to the public about warming climates and the trickle-down effects. More than 50 percent of research done within the park relates in some way to climate change...more

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