Why mountains matter for North America
Policy brief presented at Rio+20
North America’s mountains are a primary source of fresh water. Other natural resources, such as coal and natural gas, are pillars of North American energy economies. The recreation and tourism industry – the lifeblood of many mountain communities – contributes significant revenues for state and province budgets. And for many, mountains provide solace and a spiritual connection, and are treasured as places to experience the wonders of nature. But a warming climate, human encroachment, and some business practices present severe challenges to these fragile ecosystems.
Photo (c) Richard Jones / Flickr
Author Aspen International Mountain Foundation and Telluride Institute
Publication year 2012