Pennsylvania is taking proactive steps in adapting to the potential effects of climate change by participating in a pilot program to protect natural resources.
“Climate change has occurred since our planet formed,” said Greg Czarnecki, the climate change research coordinator for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The DCNR is particularly interested in how climate change could impact Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests. Czarnecki says it’s happening already.
“On infrastructure, particularly in terms of flooding. We’re also seeing changes in our recreation season. Because of a lot less snowpack, we have fewer opportunities for winter recreation like skiing and snowmobiling,” he said.
A new climate change adaptation and mitigation plan identifies 123 action steps to make Pennsylvania more resilient to potential rising temperatures and more frequent severe weather events.
“We’re going to begin a pilot project in the South Mountain area, which is going to include Micheaux State Forest, Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Caledonia State Park and King’s Gap State Park,” said Czarnecki.
Set to begin in a few months, the plan could include adding more electric vehicles to the DCNR fleet and redesigning bridges to accommodate more frequent flooding.