The effects of climate change are happening now, and all our national parks are suffering. Their lakes and rivers are drying up, glaciers are melting, beaches are eroding, and historic structures and artifacts are crumbling. Wildlife that live in parks are being forced to seek refuge in new, more developed areas putting tremendous pressure on centuries-old migration patterns.
National parks don’t exist in isolation. They are part of larger ecosystems and landscapes that include other public and private lands, but harmful activities on these surrounding lands are increasingly affecting the land, water, wildlife, and visitor experiences, within national park boundaries.
Previous administrations made oil and gas development a priority over conservation and lands protection. And many in Congress continue to work to make their goals a reality, attempting to weaken standards that protect national parks from oil drilling within their boundaries.
Congress must protect our national parks and surrounding lands against all threats by pushing for stronger public lands policies and funding. They must defend our nation’s air, climate and water laws and hold polluters accountable to those laws to reduce pollutants that harm our communities and parks and accelerate the climate crisis.
There is no time to waste. Congress must step up and work across the aisle to protect our health, communities, and parks and all they stand for.