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National Fish, Wildlife, Plants Climate Change Adaptation Strategy - open for comments

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In an unprecedented collaborative effort, federal, state, and tribal partners with input from many other diverse groups from across the nation are working together to develop a common strategy to respond to these challenges. The National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy will provide a unified approach—reflecting shared principles and science-based practices—for reducing the negative impacts of climate change on fish, wildlife, plants, and the natural systems upon which they depend.


The public review draft is here:




Comments due by 5 March 2012.



News release:




David T. Eisenhauer (FWS)


John Ewald (NOAA)


Laura MacLean (AFWA)



National Strategy Proposed to Respond to Climate

Change’s Impacts on Fish, Wildlife, Plants


Public encouraged to review and provide comments


WASHINGTON – In partnership with state, tribal, and federal agency

partners, the Obama Administration today released the first draft national

strategy to help decision makers and resource managers prepare for and

help reduce the impacts of climate change on species, ecosystems, and the

people and economies that depend on them.


The draft National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy,

available for public review and comment through March 5, 2012, can be

found on the web at www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov


The strategy represents a draft framework for unified action to safeguard

fish, wildlife and plants, as well as the important benefits and services

the natural world provides the nation every day, including jobs, food,

clean water, clean air, building materials, storm protection, and



“The impacts of climate change are already here and those who manage our

landscapes are already dealing with them,” said Deputy Secretary of the

Interior David J. Hayes. “The reality is that rising sea levels, warmer

temperatures, loss of sea ice and changing precipitation patterns – trends

scientists have definitively connected to climate change – are already

affecting the species we care about, the services we value, and the places

we call home. A national strategy will help us prepare and adapt.”


Congress called for a national, government-wide strategy in 2010,

directing the President’s Council on Environmental Quality and the

Department of the Interior to develop it. CEQ and Interior responded by

assembling an unprecedented partnership of federal, state and tribal fish

and wildlife conservation agencies to draft the strategy. More than 100

diverse researchers and managers from across the country participated in

the drafting for the partnership.


The partnership is co-led by Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,

the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric

Administration, and the New York State Department of Environmental

Conservation, representing state fish and wildlife agencies.


The strategy will guide the nation’s efforts during the next five years to

respond to current and future climate change impacts such as changing

species distributions and migration patterns, the spread of wildlife

diseases and invasive species, the inundation of coastal habitats with

rising sea levels, and changes in freshwater availability with shifting

precipitation and habitat types. The strategy does not prescribe mandatory

activities that agencies must take nor suggest regulatory actions; rather,

it provides a roadmap for decision makers and resource managers to use in

considering climate change implications to their ongoing wildlife and

habitat management activities.


Elements of the draft strategy include:

Descriptions of current and projected impacts of climate change on

the eight major ecosystems of the United States, the fish, wildlife and

plant species those ecosystems support and the vital ecosystem services

they provide;

Goals, strategies, and actions to reduce the vulnerability and

increase the resilience of fish, wildlife, plants and the communities that

depend on them in the face of climate change;

Collaborative strategies and actions that agriculture, energy,

transportation and other sectors can take to promote adaptation of fish,

wildlife and plants, and utilize the adaptive benefits of natural

resources in their climate adaptation efforts; and

A framework for coordinated implementation of the strategy among

government and non-governmental entities from national to local scales.


"For more than a century, state fish and wildlife agencies have been

entrusted by the public to be good stewards of their natural resources. To

do that, we constantly are called upon to address threats to our natural

resources,” said Patricia Riexinger, Director of the Division of Fish,

Wildlife and Marine Resources for the New York State Department of

Environmental Conservation. “Today's pressures on fish and wildlife and

their habitats are exacerbated by climate change and together they

emphasize the need for increased conservation and science-based

management. The strategy is our nation's insurance for managing healthy

and robust ecosystems in uncertain future conditions."


“This strategy provides a framework for safeguarding America’s fish,

wildlife and plant resources and the valuable services they provide over

the long-term,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for

oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA is committed to

working with federal, state, tribal and local government agencies,

non-government organizations and the public in this process because we all

have important roles to play in preparing all regions of our nation in a

changing climate.”


Leading the development of the strategy is a Steering Committee that

includes government representatives from 16 federal agencies, five state

fish and wildlife agencies and two inter-tribal commissions. The Steering

Committee includes representatives from the California, Washington,

Wisconsin, New York and North Carolina fish and wildlife agencies to

ensure that all 50 states’ fish and wildlife concerns are considered. The

Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is providing staff support for

developing the strategy.


Public comments can be submitted online through the strategy website via a

special link. Written comments may be submitted via the U.S. mail to the

Office of the Science Advisor, Attn: National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants

Climate Adaptation Strategy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N.

Fairfax Drive Suite 222, Arlington, VA 22203. In addition, there will be

five public information sessions in various locations around the country

and two webinars to provide details and encourage dialogue on the strategy

and its development. To register for these meetings and for more

information on the public comment process, visit


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