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Nature's Beauty

Glacier National Park: The Crown of the Continent, Part 2 of 2

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With its alpine scenery and deep valleys of ancient forests, the park is home to over 1,100 plant species and a diversity of wildlife. Seventy-one species of mammals inhabit this wondrous paradise, including mountain goats, black bears, lynx, wolverines, wolves, moose, Rocky Mountain elks, white-tailed deer, river otters, and porcupines. There are also almost 300 species of birds. The reserve is inhabited by 23 species of fish and a few species of reptiles, the western painted turtle, and two species of garter snake, as well as amphibians. Another interesting inhabitant in the reserve are the wolves.

Although most famous for its amazing mountains, Glacier National Park is also home to many lakes. The park consists of more than 130 named lakes. The largest, Lake McDonald, sits in a U-shaped valley that was sculpted by mighty glaciers. For thousands of years, the glaciers have been the most important feature of the landscape at Glacier National Park. The glaciation that shaped the magnificent summits concluded about 12,000 years ago with the last ice age, while the smaller alpine glaciers, apparent on the mountainsides, were created around 7,000 years ago.

As long-term average temperatures rise, the glaciers begin melting faster than new snow can accumulate. The melting causes the glaciers to shrink and retreat, which has scientists and environmental conservationists very concerned. The loss of glaciers will not only dramatically affect the natural aesthetics of this spectacular sanctuary, but it will also have a detrimental effect on the park ecosystems as well as many other irreversible consequences.

Rising temperatures also threaten the existence of alpine meadows and wildlife habitats at higher elevations. As the natural balance of the ecoclimate is upset, forests die, wildfires increase, and habitats are destroyed.

There is one very simple and permanent solution to climate change, and it starts with the food on our plates: Adopting a vegan diet is not only delicious and good for your mind, body, and soul, but it is also the most effective solution to halt global warming, thereby protecting our amazing planet and preserving its precious wonders of nature, such as Glacier National Park.

All information concerning the scientific evidence of climate change and its solution is in Supreme Master Ching Hai’s Book, “From Crisis to Peace.”

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