Glacier National Park in northern Montana covers more than one million acres of mountains, forests, meadows, lakes, and valleys in the Rocky Mountains. It lies on the border of Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park. Together, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is a World Heritage Site — places recognized as having outstanding value to humanity. Glacier National Park is home to more than 60 mammal species, such as grizzly bears, black bears, wolverines, gray wolves, moose, and lynx. More than 270 species of birds can be found in the park throughout the year. The impacts of climate change are dramatic. There were an estimated 150 glaciers in 1850, earning the park its name when designated the 10th national park of the United States in 1910. There were considered to be only 25 glaciers larger than 25 acres in Glacier National Park as of 2010. The glaciers are receding and disappearing at higher rates than models previously predicted. At the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015, 195 countries signed to enact a legally binding global climate deal to put plans and actions in place to limit global warming below 2°C. Regulations and policies to combat climate change are the most significant line of defense, but everyone can make lifestyle changes to do their part in the fight against global warming.
Photo and haiku: Samantha Oester