With climate change comes a variety of ethical issues, especially when it comes to the Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in California. Climate change brings extreme heat to certain areas around the United States, and California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range is not a stranger to the heat: not only are glaciers melting in these areas, but marshy areas and flowered plains are dying out and withering earlier in the summer. Most importantly, the extreme heat will start affecting the Giant Sequoia trees, leaving them withered and dry in about 100 years – unless we do something about it.
But should we? The National Parks Service duty is to the park and it’s well-being, but since humans are causing the global warming and climate change (on some scale), does this give the public and the National Park Service the right to alter the natural beauty of the parks by inserting irrigations systems for the trees in the future? And on top of that, with the water crisis that is starting to plague the western United States, should the National Parks Service take water from citizens of California, Nevada, and Arizona to water trees that will die naturally?
So we see this ethical dilemma: we are causing global warming, which will kill the trees, but should we let them die or try to save the Sequoia National Forest?
For more information, read this AP story.
2 thoughts on “National Park Spotlight: Sequoia & Kings Canyon”
You bring up an excellent point of debate that many of us think about… preservation vs. conservation, and how that fits in to the mission of the National Park Service. There is no easy answer or solution, especially when we are still struggling with the question (are humans the cause? contributors? or just bystanders?).