The most obvious factor influencing the glaciers’ decline is gradually warming temperatures that result in more very hot days in the summer and fewer cold days in the winter. These warmer temperatures impact natural systems throughout the Crown.
The loss of glaciers diminishes water flow during the summer, which impacts native trout. Trout rely on the cold, clear glacial melt to keep stream temperatures cool during the summer.
Trout rely on the cold, clear glacial melt to keep stream temperatures cool during the summer.
Warmer, often drier conditions throughout forests in the Crown have led to increasing infestations of insects that kill trees and ruin forest views that Montanans have long enjoyed.
Mountaintop plants and wildlife
Warmer temperatures cause subalpine fir trees to expand into alpine meadows. Mountain goats now have fewer alpine meadows in which to graze. Some wildlife will move up in elevation as their habitat changes, but others, like those already living on mountaintops, have nowhere to go.