Adaptation of Cultural Heritage in North Carolina Memo

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Adaptation of Cultural Heritage in North Carolina Memo

Federal and State Adaptation of Cultural Heritage in North Carolina
You are the climate adaptation expert on the North Carolina Climate Adaptation Task Force and have been approached by the Governor to write a memo describing climate vulnerability and solutions for adaptation of cultural and historical resources, particularly in states that have coastal resources. Coastally-located cultural resources, such as historic buildings and structures, archeological sites, cultural landscapes, ethnographic resources, and museum collections are the record of the human experience and can connect one generation to the next. The state is faced with persistent sea level rise, subsidence, erosion, flooding, and storm surge, damaging many cultural heritage sites under state and federal protection. While the Governor needs to understand how to adapt cultural resources to climate impacts, you recognize that there may be too many resources to protect. This means the state will need to prioritize some resources over others – but how?

Both the state and the National Park Service (NPS) are charged with preserving cultural resources so that they can be enjoyed by present and future generations. The NPS recognizes climate change as “the greatest threat to the integrity of our national parks that we have ever experienced”.* In response, the NPS has taken an active role in addressing the risks from climate change. Indeed, in 2014 the NPS signed Climate Change and Stewardship of Cultural Resources,** a policy memorandum outlining the NPS position on responding to climate change and its potential effects on cultural resources, emphasizing the stewardship, and preservation program mandates. This memorandum includes the following major points: Adaptation of Cultural Heritage in North Carolina Memo
–        Cultural resources are primary sources of data regarding human interactions with environmental change; and changing climates affect the preservation and maintenance of cultural resources;
–        As the cultural resources often cannot change or have capacity to respond with the environment around them, a focus for climate change adaptation shifts to the states and federal systems for management and planning;
–        Prioritize climate adaptation according to vulnerability and historical significance of cultural resource, and;
–        Cultural resources hold an essential role in climate change communication.
Considering the four points above, identify one example of a cultural resource that is vulnerable to climate change in the United States and describe the implications for preservation. Should the resource be preserved over others? How should the governor prioritize the resource over other resources? Express your critical opinion about the adaptive capacity of the cultural resource: Does the cultural resource as socio-economic system have the capacity to respond to climate change impacts? Does the resource depend exclusively on human management? Identify at least one alternative approach for prioritizing adaptation of cultural resources.
This memo should be between 800-1200 words, including footnotes and references.

7 Scholarly Sources in addition to the ones below.
*National Park Service, “National Park Service Climate Change Response Strategy” (2010)(Page 1) available: https://www.nature.nps.gov/climatechange/docs/NPS_CCRS.pdf.
** National Park Service. “NPS Policy Memorandum 14-02, Climate Change and Stewardship of Cultural Resources.” Available at: https://www.nps.gov/policy/PolMemos/PM-14-02.htm.
See also: National Park Service, “Cultural Resources Climate Change Strategy” (2017).
https://mylearning.nps.gov/library-resources/cultural-resources-climate-change-strategy/

Adaptation of Cultural Heritage in North Carolina Memo

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