Field staff perspectives on managing climate change impacts in parks and protected areas.
Keywords:adaptation, climate change, management, parks, perspectives
Within protected areas, the impacts of climate change have been the subject of discussion for over two decades. Reported impacts included changes to species and habitat distributions, sea level rise, glaciation and snow packs, hydrologic processes, and disturbance patterns. As part of a project to develop a long-term ecological change monitoring program for BC Parks that had a specific focus on climate change, a series of focus group interviews and an electronic survey of field staff were conducted. Field staff throughout the province reported observing a wide range of ecological and social impacts from climate change with projected increases in the future. Support for monitoring these impacts was strong as was invasive species removal. Findings illustrate the need for clarified policy and planning direction; habitat and species vulnerability assessments; education and experimentation with various mitigation and adaptation techniques; and implementation of a comprehensive monitoring program.
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