Climate Friendly Park Workshop
Contact: Gregg Bruff, 906-387-2607, ext. 208
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore superintendent Jim Northup announced that the lakeshore will be hosting a “Climate Friendly Parks Workshop” on July 19 in Munising.
During the workshop, which will be jointly conducted by the National Park Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, what is currently known about climate change and the potential impacts to our area will be discussed, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from park operations and visitation will be calculated, and options discussed for how the national lakeshore can reduce its own “carbon footprint”.
“The National Lakeshore, largely as a result of the efforts of Chris Case and Gregg Bruff, has been recognized for years as a leader within the entire national park system in environmental leadership and sustainability,” Northup said. “But we will have to do more, and share what we are learning with our partners and neighbors who are interested in being a part of this important effort.”
“There is nothing regulatory or punitive about this workshop,” Northup added. We are hosting it to help improve our own operations and share what we are learning with our key partners, all of whom have been invited to join us.
“We are deeply concerned about the potential impacts of global climate change on Lake Superior and the ecological integrity of the national lakeshore,” Northup said. “Scientists are no longer debating whether climate change is occurring, or whether human activity is a major contributing cause. Those issues have been largely settled. In fact, most researchers are no longer discussing how we can mitigate or prevent these problems, but rather are focused on how we can simply adapt to the changes that are now almost inevitable,” Northup added.
“These topics are being discussed by national and international leaders and are appearing on the front pages of virtually every publication in the nation. The challenges we face are not just about melting glaciers and diminishing penguin habitat in far away places. Virtually every region of the world, including our own, has already or will be impacted in various ways. The potential impacts to the Great Lakes Region and our own area are significant,” according to Northup.
“As a unit of the national park system, one of our primary legal responsibilities is to maintain the ecological integrity of parks by such means as will leave them unimpaired for future generations,” Northup said. “This will become increasingly difficult if not impossible as climate and the distribution of vegetation, insects and other wildlife changes. There will be impacts on everything from our ability to access boat ramps and docks to public health, and it behooves all of us to learn as much as we can about what is going on.”
“In addition, as of the nation’s premier conservation agencies we have an obligation to serve as role models and do everything we can to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from our own park operations and visitation”, Northup said, “and that is largely what this Climate Friendly Parks Workshop is all about.”
For more information about the workshop, contact Gregg Bruff at 906-387-2607, extension 208.