Senators Udall And McCain Visit Estes Park To Discuss Climate Change Impacts In RMNP
On Monday morning, U.S. senators Mark Udall and John McCain came to Estes Park to learn about climate change in Rocky Mountain National Park and to hold a Field Hearing of the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee at the Town Hall board room.
The senators took a short hike into the meadow at Hollowell Park in Rocky Mountain National Park, looking for signs of global warming from bark beetle infestations to changes in wildlife habitat.
Rocky Mountain National Park has long been an indicator of how climate change is impacting not only the Rocky Mountains but national parks in general.
On the tour, the senators were shown dying pine trees infected by beetles spreading as temperatures warm in the Rocky Mountains.
The senators discussed what climate change means for Colorado’s parks, and how they are adapting to and mitigating the impacts.
A common misperception is that this is a crisis that is down the road,” McCain said. “Climate change is real. It’s happening now.”
“Our national parks are national treasures,” said Udall. “Our national parks are the canary in the coal mines when it comes to the on-the-ground effects of climate change.”
Both senators agreed that in addition to wind and solar power, nuclear power will be a deciding factor in eliminating climate change problems.
Udall said, “Mother Nature has the upper hand here and we need to take action.”
After the tour of Rocky Mountain National Park, the senators attended a Field Hearing of the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee at 12 p.m. at the Estes Park Town Hall board meeting room.
The meeting was open to the public and by the time the doors were opened to the public for the hearing, a long line had formed. The board room was packed with interested participants and it was standing room only in the lobby as those who didn’t fit in the board room, watched the hearing on television monitors.
At the hearing, McCain and Udall heard testimony from parks officials and scientists about how global warming is harming the park system.