"National parks cutting their carbon footprint" is the title of the article I found in the Philadelphia Enquirer. The article discusses how "un-green" our parks are: from the amount of fuel used to get people around the parks and operate the snow plows, to the amount of waste, such as plastic water bottles, granola wrappers and banana peels, generated by the visitors. The Mount Rainer, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks produce more than 30,800 metric tons or carbon annually. This is the carbon footprint of approximately 2700 average American homes.
The National Park Service has partnered with the EPA to make park operations carbon-neutral by 2016, which happens to be the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the National Park Service.
Chip Jenkins, the superintendent of the North Cascades National Park Complex says that the national parks are the "canary in the coal mine"; the parks are indicators of things to come that will affect the rest of the country. I believe that he is right, because drastic climate changes will affect the fragile ecosystem of the parks first.
I was surprised how much of a carbon footprint the parks have. When I think parks, carbon emissions are the last thing on my mind. I think this is a great effort, and I think that anything that carries the "green" label should be carbon-neutral.