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Climate Change Shifts How We Protect National Parks

A cactus is pictured in Joshua Tree National Park in this undated photo.
Laura McVicker
A cactus is pictured in Joshua Tree National Park in this undated photo.
The National Parks Service has issued new guidance on how best to prioritize conservation efforts in the face of intensifying climate change.

As the accelerating effects of climate change become more apparent on our natural resources, the goal and scope of conservation is beginning to change.

For America’s national parks, that goal was absolute conservation.

Now, as rising temperatures transform the world’s ecosystems, the focus of conservation efforts has shifted.

The bleak reality now is that some things can be saved and some things can’t, that’s according to new guidance handed down last month to National Parks Service managers.

Gregor Schuurman is an ecologist and researcher with the National Park Service's Climate Change Response Program.

He joined Midday Edition on Monday with more on the new guidance.