Big Bend National Park: scorching heat waves

Big BendPhoto: Samuel Yu

The threat: Record heat and severe drought are searing Big Bend and the rest of Texas this summer. Such scorchers could become much more common if carbon dioxide pollution continues unabated. The bill would block the EPA from reducing heat-trapping greenhouse gases from power plants, motor vehicles, and other sources. (Secs. 429, 431, 453)

This summer’s Texas-size heat wave will fry visitors to the park that many value as “three parks in one” because of its mountain, river, and desert environments. In addition to an unpleasantly hot visit, the increased risk of forest fires due to the heat and drought has forced Big Bend to close some of its backcountry campsites, including Blue Creek and Lower Juniper Zones.