• Dave Harmon, PW editor

Denali NP&Pres managers sent back to drawing board as permafrost melts

A single, mostly gravel road connects 600,000 visitors a year with the 6 million acres of Alaska’s Denali National Park and Preserve. Most visitors ride park buses to marvel at grizzly and black bears, wolves, caribou, moose, and Dall sheep—the “Big Five” wildlife species—and hope for a peek at North America’s tallest mountain—20,310-foot Denali—which is often shrouded by clouds.

But in recent years, the 92-mile-long Denali Park Road that provides park access has experienced slumps and slides—which require considerable maintenance and occasionally block the road—and scientists believe climate change is likely to blame. Road maintenance challenges are just one of the many effects that warming temperatures are having on Alaska’s national parks.

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