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As a social entrepreneur, I am dedicated to finding innovative solutions for greening business. As a passionate supporter of National Parks and public lands, I work toward protecting these special places from the impacts of climate change and pollution.

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Join me on this site as I report from Yellowstone on the threats climate change poses toward our beloved national parks, and how Yellowstone and other parks are making a difference in sustainability.

"If we continue to increase our emissions of heat-trapping gases, a disrupted climate will cause the greatest damage to our national parks ever."
Stephen Saunders

"A climate disrupted by human activities poses such sweeping threats to the
scenery, natural and cultural resources, and wildlife of the West’s national parks that it
dwarfs all previous risks to these American treasures."
From NRDC Losing Ground Report

"Business is the only mechanism on the planet today powerful enough to produce the changes necessary to reverse global environmental and social degradation."
Paul Hawken
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01/12/11: "The End of the Wild," Emma Marris, Nature

01/06/11: Climate change threatens Sierra, delta, group says," Kelly Zito, San Francisco Chronicle

01/05/11"Environmentalists pick Snake Basin, Yellowstone among most threatened habitats by climate change," Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman

12/31/10"Yellowstone Grizzlies and the Betrayal of the Public Trust," Louisa Wilcox, NRDC Switchboard

12/26/10: "How a Tiny Beetle Could Decimate Yellowstone," Elizabeth Shogren, NPR

12/21/10: "Once upon a time, whitebark pine . . ." Matt Skoglund, NRDC Switchboard

12/21/10: "Climate Change's threat to the wolverine," Rebecca Waters, High Country News

12/08/10: "Silence of the Pikas, Part II," Wendee Holtcamp, Adventures in Climate Change and Bioscience

12/08/10: "Climate Change Response Strategy Released by NPS Alaska," Alaska Business Monthly

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  • Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth (Speaker's Corner)
    Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth (Speaker's Corner)
    by Larry J. Schweiger
  • Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming
    Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming
    by Anthony D. Barnosky
  • Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
    Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
    by Bill McKibben
  • Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change
    Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change
    by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity
    Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity
    by James Hansen
  • Climate Change: Simple Things You Can Do to Make a Difference (Chelsea Green Guides)
    Climate Change: Simple Things You Can Do to Make a Difference (Chelsea Green Guides)
    by Jon Clift, Amanda Cuthbert
  • Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis
    Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis
    by Al Gore
  • The Rough Guide to Climate Change, 2nd Edition
    The Rough Guide to Climate Change, 2nd Edition
    by Robert Henson
« Climate change is threatening some of the best-protected places on the planet | Main | Scientists discuss Yellowstone’s big three: climate change, invasives, land use »
Saturday
Jan152011

National Park Service honors Yellowstone concessioner with environmental award 

Jonathan Jarvis, the Director of the National Park Service, has called climate change the greatest threat our national parks have ever faced. “Climate change challenges the very foundation of the national park system and our ability to leave America's natural and cultural heritage unimpaired for future generations.”

In Yellowstone National Park—one of the best-protected places on the planet—the impacts of climate change have already begun to threaten the environmental health of the region. Xanterra Parks and Resorts, the park concessioner, decided to take an innovative approach to help protect Yellowstone. In 2009, it launched the beginning of a comprehensive campaign called, “For Future Generations,” aimed at encouraging guests to be active stewards of Yellowstone and all national parks.

The campaign received recognition recently when Xanterra received a 2010 Environmental Achievement Award from the National Park Service. This award recognizes federal agencies and their contractors  – including concessioners – that have demonstrated exceptional achievements in the categories “Protection of ecosystems,” “Alternative energy use,” “Reduction of solid waste and petroleum use,” “Design of sustainable buildings” and “Climate-friendly innovations.”

The most prominent component of Xanterra’s environmental initiative is the park’s newest gift store – located in the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and called “For Future Generations: Yellowstone Gifts.” The store emphasizes environmental impact through a sustainability scoring system the company developed and believes is the first of its kind for a retail operation. The company held a grand opening celebration for the store in January of 2010 featuring Larry Schweiger, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation as the keynote speaker.

Other components of the campaign include an innovative educational display for guest rooms with a plush animal toy, an educational brochure and a website on being a green guest in national parks. For employees, the “For Future Generations” campaign extends to training and awareness programs as well.

Xanterra’s environmental program in Yellowstone, called Ecologix, is widespread. Last year the company diverted 73 percent of its solid waste from landfills into other areas such as recycling, reusing and composting. Over the past nine years Xanterra has reduced its overall energy use by 14 percent and its water usage by 25 percent. 

For more information on Xanterra’s environmental initiatives in Yellowstone, visit the company's For Future Generations website.

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