Whitman Mission National Historic Site

About the Park

The 1847 Whitman “Massacre” horrified Americans and impacted the lives of the peoples of the Columbia Plateau for decades afterwards. The circumstances that surround this tragic event resonate with modern issues of cultural interaction and differing perspectives. Whitman Mission National Historic Site includes the original mission site, a mass grave where Marcus and Narcissa Whitman are buried, the Whitman memorial shaft, and a Visitor Center with a small museum. The park is located in southeastern Washington, seven miles west of Walla Walla off of Highway 12. Other sites of interest are located in Walla Walla and the surrounding area.


Whitman Mission National Historic Site has committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 17.5% below 2007 levels by 2016. The Climate Friendly Parks Action Plan identifies steps that Whitman Mission National Historic Site can undertake to reduce GHG emissions and mitigate its impact on climate change. The plan presents the park’s emission reduction goals, and associated reduction actions to achieve the park’s goals. Strategies and action plan items were developed by working groups at the North Coast & Cascade and Upper Columbia Basin Climate Friendly Parks Workshop.

Emissions Profile

GHG emissions result from the combustion of fossil fuels for transportation and energy (e.g., boilers, electricity generation), the decomposition of waste and other organic matter, and the volatilization or release of gases from various other sources (e.g., fertilizers and refrigerants). 

In 2007, GHG emissions within Whitman Missions National Historic Site totaled 88 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E). This includes emissions from park and concessioner operations and visitor activities, including vehicle use within the park. For perspective, a typical single family home in the U.S. produces approximately 12 MTCO2 per year (U.S. EPA, Greenhouse Gases Equivalencies Calculators – Calculations and References, Retrieved; Website: http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html). Thus, the combined emissions from park and concessioner operations and visitor activities within the Park are roughly equivalent to the emissions from the electricity use of seven households each year.

The largest emission sector for Whitman Mission National Historic Site is energy, totaling 59 MTCO2E, followed by transportation 22 MTCO2E, and waste with seven MTCO2E.  Energy consumption includes stationary combustion on site, along with emissions from electricity purchased from the local utility.  Of the total emissions from transportation, 11 MTCO2E resulted from park operations, and 11 MTCO2E resulted from visitor vehicle use.  Whitman Mission National Historical Site is a small, remotely located park, and has little paved area, and as a result emissions are much lower than in many other national parks. 

The graph below, taken from our Action Plan, shows our baseline emissions in 2007 broken down into sectors.



Whitman Mission National Historic Site has committed to reduce GHG emissions from the park to 17.5 % below 2006 levels by the year 2016 by implementing emission mitigation actions identified by the park.

To read more about what we are doing at Whitman Mission National Historic Site about climate change, check out our Action Plan!