The Washington Trails Association has posted a good summary, on their Signposts Blog, of last night's forum at the University of Washington on climate change and its implications for access to our northwest national parks. If you missed the forum, check out the summary--and watch for a taped version of the forum on local public access television. (I've also encouraged the event's sponsors to make it available as a streaming video online, and if that occurs, I'll link to it here on this website.)
What followed... was a wide-ranging discussion of the future of national park roads, which is essentially the future of national parks themselves. More than one audience member raised the question of whether or not the private passenger vehicle ought to be allowed in national parks at all. Long-time members of WTA might remember that Mount Rainier National Park explored whether or not to require overnight park users to shuttle into the park via busses. WTA argued against that notion, pointing out that returning from a backpacking trip cold, wet, tired and hungry and having to wait for a bus would be at the very least uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. We would make the same argument today.... We welcome your questions and comments on how best to make these decisions. We also encourage you to provide
feedback via the first entry on Washington's Park and Forests Coalition's website.