Climate Change Mitigation & Facility Adaptation


PV installation at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area


Tackling climate change depends on sustainable practices. Throughout the National Park Service, the effects of climate change on natural and cultural resources are already visible. At Joshua Tree National Park, changes in climate are making the park inhospitable to its namesake species and Glacier National Park is rapidly losing glaciers. As stewards of our national cultural and natural treasures, the NPS is working to decrease its environmental footprint and begin to adapt to potential future conditions. These activities are reinforced by federal mandates and NPS initiatives, such as the Green Parks Plan (PDF 2.5KB) and Climate Change Action Plan (PDF 4.75MB), that require agencies to become more sustainable and to track and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Friendly Parks
The Climate Friendly Parks (CFP) Program began in 2003 and continues as a partnership between the Park Facility Management Division and Air Resources Division of the National Park Service. The CFP program provides the tools and technical support for parks to assess and decrease emissions as well as educate staff and visitors about climate change.

The goals of the CFP Program are to:

  • Measure park-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;
  • Educate park staff and the public about climate change and demonstrate ways individuals and groups can take action to address the issue; and
  • Develop strategies and specific actions to address sustainability challenges, reduce GHG emissions, and anticipate the effects of climate change on protected resources.
The CFP program is one component of the NPS Green Parks Plan and includes over 100 member parks.

Facility Adaptation
As part of the Park Facility Management Division, it is the job of the Sustainable Operations and Climate Change Branch to ensure that parks consider the effects of climate change before building, renovating or making significant capital investments into NPS facilities. The branch is developing guidance and tools to assist park planners in identifying the risks posed by climate change to proposed projects, and to make educated and calculated adaptation, siting, construction, and repair and rehabilitation decisions.