Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Federal land agencies: Planning for damage from climate change

The government needs a comprehensive plan to address the potential damage of climate change on forests, parks and other federal lands, experts agree. Land-holding agencies such as the Forest Service, National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management have begun assessing the impact of climate change on public lands, but no comprehensive strategy exists for reducing greenhouse gas emissions or mitigating the harm of rising global temperatures. Interior would receive $40 million in the Obama administration’s 2010 budget to assess the impact of climate change on the nation’s lands, fish and wildlife. Armstrong said the funding request is an important endorsement of the need for scientific analysis to understand and address climate change. Some ecosystems adapt rapidly enough to react to climate change, while others cannot. Those differences make it difficult to predict the impact from climate change on public lands overall, said Abigail Kimbell, chief of the Agriculture Department’s Forest Service. Dominick DellaSala, chief scientist at the National Center for Conservation Science and Policy and president-elect of the Society for Conservation Biology, said Congress needs to set an aggressive national goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to specify agency steps to manage the impact of climate change on public lands. Subcommittee Chairman Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., said he will hold additional hearings and ensure that federal lands are included in climate change legislation. “I feel strongly that while our public lands are threatened by climate change, they are also critical in finding solutions to combat climate change,” Grijalva said...Federal Times

Here they come, polar bear or no polar bear.

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