MOUNT DESERT ISLAND — Abe Miller-Rushing and Brian Henkel will discuss Acadia National Park’s Resist-Accept-Direct approach to managing the impact of climate change on the park in a free virtual discussion at 9 a.m. Friday, March 18, presented by Acadia Senior College.
Acadia National Park is measurably different than it was at its founding 105 years ago. Temperatures have warmed, rainfall has intensified, snowpack has diminished, and sea level has risen. These types of changes are likely to continue or even accelerate and they have dramatic but sometimes difficult to see impacts on the natural and cultural resources of the park. Management of those resources needs to take into account the changes already experienced and those anticipated in the coming decades. This is a significant shift in the traditional approach to management, which sought to preserve historic conditions.
The Resist-Accept-Direct framework, adopted by the National Park Service and Friends of Acadia, is an updated framework that helps managers understand where resistance to the impacts of climate change makes sense, where accepting those changes is the best alternative and where directing the change may be an option. This discussion will offer an overview of the changes in the park, near-term anticipated changes, the Resist-Accept-Direct framework and some examples of how that framework is applied.
Miller-Rushing is the science coordinator at Acadia National Park, where he has worked for 11 years. He oversees research in the park and helps to lead work to adapt resource management practices for changing climate conditions. His own research focuses on climate change ecology, phenology, citizen science and conservation.
Henkel is the Wild Acadia project coordinator. The Wild Acadia initiative is a collaboration between Acadia National Park and Friends of Acadia that takes a watershed-based approach to improving degraded ecological conditions in and around Acadia National Park. Within this collaboration, Henkel works with park staff and area partners such as university faculty, students, local towns and conservation nonprofits to collect data, assess resource conditions, plan and initiate projects and coordinate efforts of the park and stakeholders.
This free event is open to everyone and is part of Acadia Senior College’s winter Coffee Clash series.