Coalition Member Gary Davis recently served as a panelist for the session Parks in Peril: National Parks in a Changing Climate at Outdoor Retailer, a business-to-business outdoor sports show for those working in the industry. Several hundred people participated in the session, which included a lively discussion focused on the evolving role of science in guiding park stewardship.
Gary, who has a 50-year career of scientific research in national parks, has worked as a park ranger, research scientist, aquanaut, and photographer. During the panel session, he addressed the importance of national parks as home to some of the most rare and fragile ecosystems on the planet. As such, they are especially vulnerable to climate change. Changing temperatures, rising seas, and new fire regimes all impact our national parks and we must figure out a way to manage these impacts.
Gary also conveyed to fellow panelists and attendees that national parks should not be portrayed merely as victims to climate change – they have the potential to help resolve climate change and can be part of the solution. National parks are society’s last, best places to learn how nature’s systems work. They might be the key to discovering how to resolve climate change and improve human wellbeing.