Front Porch Blog

Radio Interview: Environmental Concerns for Shenandoah National Park

A babbling brook.

A fall ridge view in the park.

Appalachian Voices’ Virginia Director Tom Cormons was a guest yesterday on a public radio program focused on the impacts of climate change on Shenandoah National Park. A new report from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council focuses on impacts to the park and other special places in Virginia. Tom joined the report’s lead author, Stephen Saunders, and park service Ecologist Jim Schaberi on the program.

You can listen to the program here or here.

According to the report, temperatures in the park are likely to increase by about 4 to 8 degrees this century, depending on how much action is taken to curtail greenhouse gas emissions. And predictions for the park–including, potentially, the loss of up to 97% of native brook trout, the extirpation of other species, and the replacement of deciduous tree species with pines–hold true for the surrounding mountains as well. Both Saunders and Cormons emphasized that whether the most severe impacts of climate change on our mountains occur will depend on how effective we are at reducing greenhouse gas pollution. Cormons highlighted climate change as an example of how the biggest environmental issues facing the region’s mountains relate to energy policy. He called for listeners in the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding areas to oppose the massive proposed $6 billion Old Dominion Electric Co-Operative coal plant. Rural electric co-op ratepayers in the Valley and elsewhere would be on the hook to pay for the plant that would consume mountaintop removal coal and emit as much carbon dioxide annually as about two million cars.

Appalachian Voices' Executive Director, Tom holds a degree in law from UCLA and has a life-long appreciation for Appalachia's mountains and culture. An avid hiker and whitewater rafter, his latest pleasure is in sharing with his kids a deep respect and appreciation of nature.


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