“To Preserve Unimpaired”: The Challenges of Climate Change Adaptation in Yellowstone National Park and Statue of Liberty National Monument

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Gordon Geballe
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Climate change is changing the face of America’s national parks. In order to protect the integrity of the natural and cultural resources it manages, the National Park Service itself must adapt its approaches to management and its traditional ways of thinking about resource preservation. In recent years, the National Park Service has updated its climate change policies in an effort to promote these internal adaptations, yet studies have shown that park rangers are not implementing adaptation projects due to structural and values-based limitations. Through comparing climate change adaptation efforts in Yellowstone National Park and Statue of Liberty National Monument, this essay demonstrates how different manifestations of climate change itself largely influence park managers’ ability to pursue the organizational and ideological transformations that are necessary to facilitate adaptation. In discussing these case studies, this essay also illustrates how climate change policies fail to stimulate proactive adaptation.