National Parks Conservation Association Warns Global Warming May Exacerbate Wildfires in National Parks

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   September 24, 2007
Contact:   Mark Wenzler, NPCA, 202-223-6722, ext. 101


National Parks Conservation Association Warns Global Warming May Exacerbate Wildfires in National Parks

Press Statement by National Parks Conservation Association Clean Air Program Director Mark Wenzler

“The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today has an important opportunity to bring attention to the increasing threat of wildfire to our national parks. As discussed in the National Parks Conservation Association’s new report, Unnatural Disaster, global warming has escalated the risk of wildfire to national parks including Sequoia and Kings Canyon and Yosemite.

“Hot, dry conditions generated by global warming can cause highly destructive wildfires in the national parks. At Yosemite National Park, warming and drought have made the wildfire season longer and more damaging. Higher temperatures at Saguaro National Park are enabling invasive grasses to displace native plants and fuel wildfires, which used to be rare.

“Wildfires strain the budget of the already severely under-funded National Park Service, risk the safety of visitors and park staff, drastically alter natural ecosystems, and contribute harmful smoke to the atmosphere—making it harder to breathe in already polluted parks like Sequoia.

“Congress and the Administration should act now to slow or halt global warming. If we take meaningful steps now, future generations of Americans should be able to fully experience the shared history and natural wonders protected by our national parks. If we wait too long, much will be lost.” 

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