Glacier National Park, located in Montana on the United States’ border with Canada, is a fitting focal point for public campaigns regarding climate change. The park, which was established in 1910, encompasses more than 1 million acres across two mountain ranges and contains one of the most pristine ecosystems (actually numerous ecosystems) in the United States. Glacier National Park is also included on the World Heritage List as a component of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, with the Water portion being located just across the border in Canada.
While the park is known for its natural beauty, the glaciers that formed the dramatic landscape have been retreating. Of the estimated 150 glaciers that existed in the mid-19th century, only 25 or so remain today and some estimate the glaciers will entirely disappear by the year 2030.
While climate change and the effects of a warming climate are no longer the subjects of scientific debate, in the United States they are still subject to extensive political debate. Under President Obama, the US signed on to the Paris climate agreement, the current US president has announced intentions to withdraw the US from this landmark international agreement while removing climate change data from government websites and installing cabinet members who agree with this new agenda.
Recently, Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook (and a vocal critic of the new US federal climate policy positions), arranged for a tour of Glacier National Park. Just before the tour was to commence, the Secretary of Interior, which oversees the National Park Service, ordered the park’s staff climate change experts to be removed from the Zuckerberg tour. (2001 satellite image of Glacier National Park is in the public domain.)
Interior Dept. ordered Glacier park chief, other climate expert pulled from Zuckerberg tour
By Lisa Rein
The Washington Post
July 20, 2017