Researchers Think They’ve Identified Parts of Yosemite National Park That Are Sheltered From Climate Change

by Matthew Memrick
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Yosemite National Park and climate change is a dangerous combination, but sheltered park areas can escape the conditions.

National Park Service research found areas of land in the park naturally protected from warming temperatures. According to ABC 7, the findings could help protect essential endangered plants and animals.

What We Know

  • Warming temperatures in certain Yosemite National Park areas are on the rise
  • These temps can protect endangered plants and animals at the park
  • Areas that are drought-resistant or out of direct sunlight are less impacted

Park Officials Find Shaded Areas Get Most Protection

Park official Nicole Athearn has studied the park’s climate change. She agrees with the idea that the more park officials learn, the better they can plan for the future.

“If we don’t manage these areas, these animals and plants will have no place to go,” Athearn told the TV station.

According to the NPS, scientists think that average temperatures in the park may rise by 6.7–10.3°F between 2000 and 2100.

Officials think the Yosemite National Park and climate change research could help other National Park sites. On one hand, areas more able to handle drought conditions or areas that can withstand direct sunlight are less impacted by the higher temps.

Some of the park’s key attractions, like the Firefall, have felt the effects of climate change. In the past, the setting sun will hit park waterfalls like El Capitan’s Horsetail Fall at just the right angle. When that happens, it creates the illusion that fire is spilling down to the ground. There wasn’t enough water for that natural occurrence in 2020. 

Additionally, National Park Service officials say identifying these areas can help protect them. They can relocate endangered animals like the Sierra Nevada Red Fox to safer, more strategic places in the park.

Athearn added, “if we’re going to protect these species long-term, we need to have a better understanding of how that action is happening.” 

Specifically, that also means finding out the areas where climate change happens faster and slower.

Woman Who Was Forced To Leave Nearby Yosemite Area Died Thursday

Sadly, a woman who lived at a trailer park outside Yosemite National Park for 30 years died last week.

Authorities reported former El Portal Trailer Park resident Toni Covington, 60, died at a rented employee dorm in the Yosemite Valley. The Fresno Bee reported that Covington lived at the mobile home park for over 30 years throughout her 41-year Yosemite career.

Recently, authorities forced residents of the now-closed mobile home park off the land without compensation. Before Christmas, the group got a letter telling them to remove or surrender their homes by March.

The National Park Service shut off power to a dozen mobile homes recently. The agency is turning the area into a campground.

Covington came to the park as a teen for a summer job. 

Outsider.com