Big Basin after a wildfire

More extreme wildfires, drought, Sea Level Rise, and other effects of climate change are impacting state parks. These complex challenges call for interdisciplinary and creative approaches to build sustainable and resilient solutions. State Parks has been strategically and creatively working to help manage California’s natural and cultural resources and update facilities to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Here are some examples of what State Parks is doing to protect against climate change:

  • State Parks Wildfire and Forest Resilience Program: State Parks has been working across the state to better protect California’s State Park System from extreme wildfires like those experienced in recent years. Through the State Parks Wildfire and Forest Resilience Program, park districts have been busy using prescribed fires, also known as prescribed burns, to restore health to ecosystems that naturally depend on fire. This program also helps prepare park facilities and operations for wildland fires. Read about State Parks’ prescribed burns efforts.

  • Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategy: Also, in response to sea level rise, associated changes to the coastal landscape, as well as evolving science and state policy, State Parks has developed a Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategy to provide a framework to address the impacts of sea level rise in coastal state park units. The Strategy is designed to address the unique resources and needs of state parks in a holistic manner. Learn about State Parks’ Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategy.

  • Ecosystem Restoration Projects: In addition, park managers are undertaking ecosystem restoration projects in many state parks, including Malibu Creek State Park and McGrath State Beach. These restore ecosystems functions and increase habitat connectivity. This will also improve the quality and availability of public access and ensure resilience of park facilities to natural disturbances including flooding and fire. The department is also supporting landscape-scale sustainable restoration, protection, and stewardship efforts such as Redwoods Rising, which is a restoration and land management collaborative between State Parks, the National Park Service and Save the Redwoods League.