Sierra Club Hosts 700 Parties to Celebrate National Parks

The Sierra Club is partnering with PBS to promote The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, which premiers on Sept. 27, 2009 on PBS. The film is a six-part series of stunning cinematography that documents the history of the National Parks.
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This past weekend, Sierra Club activists from around the country hosted more than 700 parties to watch the new Ken Burns documentary series, The National Parks: America's Best Idea. After watching a one-hour preview of the new series, party attendees wrote letters to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asking him to make it a priority to protect America's national parks from global warming.

"The Sierra Club is proud to have played an important role in creating America's national park system," said Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope. "We want to preserve that legacy by protecting our parks from global warming. It's our job now to protect America's Best Idea for future generations."

Last week, Secretary Salazar announced that the Interior Department will be taking important steps to protect parks and other public lands from global warming. The Sierra Club celebrated this announcement, and called on the agency to move swiftly to limit stressors that will make it more challenging for plants and wildlife to survive climate change.

"Our parks are already beginning to show the impacts of global warming," said Pope. "We're seeing melting glaciers, worse wildfire seasons, and changes in habitat and food sources for wildlife like pikas, grizzlies, and bighorn sheep. The Park Service can play a key role in helping wildlife and plants in our parks adapt and survive these changes."

Through its Resilient Habitats campaign, the Sierra Club has been working to ensure that federal agencies like the National Park Service make it a priority to protect America's public lands and wildlife from global warming.

"In order to help wildlife move and adapt to global warming, we need to protect migration routes," said Pope. "We need to limit stressors like drilling, mining, and unchecked development, which will make it more difficult for wildlife to survive a changing climate. We need to enhance the capacity of forests, wetlands, and soils to store carbon and help fight global warming."

Founded in 1892 and with a long history of protecting public lands, Sierra Club is featured prominently in the Ken Burns series. For more about the documentary and National Parks, visit http://www.sierraclub.org/parks/.

For more about the Sierra Club Resilient Habitats campaign, go to: www.sierraclub.org/resilienthabitat

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