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New & Noteworthy

Climate Change

Current science confirms that the planet is warming and the effects are here and now. The National Park Service is choosing to meet this urgent challenge head on with scenario planning and strategic collaboration. The Climate Change Response Program was created to lead the NPS response to critical issues related to climate change. This strategy features four integrated components: science, adaptation, mitigation, and communication.

A large part of the adaptation element is planning. Climate change considerations and responses must now be considered in all levels of NPS planning. As we think about the role of water resources as we provide support to parks in their planning processes, we must also consider possible climate futures and the impacts on those water resources.

Learn more about the NPS Climate Change Response Program.

Resource Stewardship Strategies

A Resource Stewardship Strategy serves as a bridge between desired conditions established in a park's General Management Plan and the measurable goals and tangible actions determined through strategic planning. The RSS identifies and tracks indicators and recommends strategies to achieve and maintain desired conditions of key natural resources and ecosystem functions. Importantly, the RSS is based on science and scholarship.

Learn more about the NPS Resource Stewardship Strategy program.

Natural Resource Condition Assessments

A Natural Resource Condition Assessment (NRCA) explores and documents the current conditions of important natural resources in a park. An NRCA is multi-disciplinary, focusing on ecological values. It offers a spatially explicit synthesis of existing scientific data to provide information of importance to park managers.

All levels of planning benefit from a NRCA because it provides up-to-date information on the condition of important natural resources. The NRCA itself does not recommend actions or strategies, nor does it define desired future conditions. Instead, it allows park managers and planners to have concrete, comprehensive, and current information on hand with which to prioritize and strategize more effectively in the protection of park resources.

Learn more about the NPS Natural Resource Condition Assessment program.

Last Updated: January 03, 2017