National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy
December 9, 2013
Mark Shaffer, National Climate Change Policy Advisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, will describe how this new strategy is being implemented by federal, state and tribal governments to reduce negative impacts from a changing climate on natural resources, economies, and communities that depend on plants, animals, and ecosystems. He will discuss the role for DOI and its partners and engage the audience in discussing what is needed to overcome challenges.
Mark Shaffer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Climate Change Policy Advisor
Video will appear here.
Olivia Ferriter: Good afternoon and welcome. I'm Olivia Ferriter with the Office of Policy Analysis, US Department of the Interior. This is one of our monthly policy seminars. Today, we are very pleased to feature Mark Shaffer from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Mark is the service's National Climate Change Policy Advisor. He has a lot of experience over the years. He has worked for a number of different NGOs. He is a Biodiversity Conservationist. Today you're going to hear about the role that he had, in the development of the National Fish Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy. He was one of the primary authors and coordinators for this. I believe we have some of his colleagues here with us as well. After he talks, we'll have a little bit of time for question and answer, so thank you. Mark? Mark Shaffer: Thanks, Olivia. A pleasure to be here. Thanks, everybody, for turning out on a lousy day. We're going to give you a fairly brief presentation, on the National Fish Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy. I want to save a lot of time for discussion. I don't mean to start the presentation by correcting my colleague, Olivia, but there was no primary authors for this strategy. It was a team effort. I've joked with friends that I was more like a Hollywood producer, than a principal investigator, so this is very much a collective effort. A bit of background on the strategy. This was requested in report language that accompanied the 2010 Interior, and Related Agencies Appropriation Bill. Unlike most federal adaptation strategies that I'm aware of, this was requested by Congress. That's, a significant point about the strategy. That report language required the Department of the Interior and CEQ, to develop a strategy. Obviously Fish and Wildlife is the primary wildlife agency for the department, took the lead in doing that. I'm going to speak in a moment about the partnerships, that we developed in creating this strategy, but just to tell you what it is. It's a very general framework for coordinated action by multiple entities, that can at least start of the next five to 10 years to help us reduce the impacts of climate change, on our living resources, and hopefully thereby help the communities and people that depend on those, resources. The strategy development, I mentioned that this was done in response to report language. There had also been a number of calls for action, for developing an adaptation strategy for living resources. GAO had made one or two statements to that effect. It was the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, which is a major of wildlife NGO, who had called for a strategy. There had been a number of major entities that said, "We need a strategy to help our living resources, deal with climate change." Also, we're beginning to see impacts on living resources already. Many of you in this room are aware of that. Maybe know of some examples yourselves. It's clear, things are happening in the natural world. This is a sufficiently large scale problem both, in terms of its impact and the things it's impacting that we're going to have a real need for coordination, not just across agencies, but cross levels of government. That's particularly true with regard to wildlife, because of the constitutional division of authority over Wildlife, Fish and Wildlife Resources. Fish and Wildlife Service was asked to take the lead. They're working with CEQ. But the first thing we did was invite our colleagues at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, if they would co-lead development of the strategy with us; in large part because the agencies have such similar mandates. They administer part of the Endangered Species Act; we administer part of the Endangered Species Act. As President Obama noted in the State of the Union address. They administer salmon until they get to the mouth of the river and then we administer it, salmon. There are a lot of good reasons to invite NOAA in, and I want to recognize Roger Griffis from NOAA. I may get the exact title wrong, but at least he is the climate change advisor to the National Marine Fisheries Service, and it's been a real pleasure working with our colleagues at NOAA. We also invited the state wildlife agencies, to co-lead development of this strategy. For those of you who work on wildlife issues, in the United States, unless the federal agencies and the state agencies are rowing in the same direction, we are not going to get very far. I want to recognize the Dario Palmary, from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. She's here today. It was a real pleasure working with them as well. We set up an intergovernmental steering committee to oversee the development of this strategy, which included representatives from 15 federal agencies, five state Fish and Wildlife directors. Representatives from two major Inter-Tribal Natural Resource Commissions; Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. We had a management team that included representatives from Fish and Wildlife NOAA, AQUA and in the beginning a tribal representative "Butch" Blazer, who subsequently got an appointment as an Assistant Secretary of USDA. He left the management team, and we have been pleased to have the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the management team, since then. The way the strategy was done, we formed technical teams along different ecosystem lines; forests, grasslands, oceans, and coasts. We composed these technical teams very deliberately, with researchers, managers, and policy people. Many strategies that you see are done by researchers. They tend to be a very good, but we wanted to make sure that the management perspective, and the policy perspective was in the development of the strategy, as well. We had fairly extensive public involvement, and we made strong efforts trying to make sure we did extensive tribal outreach, as well. This thing does not exist in a vacuum. There are three sectoral adaptation strategies at the federal level, at least that I'm aware of. One is called Freshwater Action Plan. EBA had the lead in pulling that together. There is this is Fish, Wildlife, and Plant strategy and then there's the National Ocean policy, which is much broader than climate change, but it did include a significant climate change component. You're seeing the development of these sectoral adaptation strategies, at the federal level. Particularly in this country, some of the early work on climate change adaptation, stemmed from the local state, regional, and tribal level. We've tried to build on that prior experience. I know having the states involved in this was great, because a number of states had already developed adaptation strategies, either for state government or for their natural resource entity, within the state government. What the strategy is? It's a very large, very comprehensive do-list, if you will, of the things that we need to be doing to help prepare ourselves, but also to the extent that we can Trust Resources that we work on to try and deal with, as best as possible with the current and projected impacts of, climate change. We organized it into seven major goals. These are things we think we need to achieve, if we're going to help Fish, Wildlife and Plants survive as best as possible. We list them here. One through seven. There's no particular order. I will say that we had five, six technical teams. They all went in to breakout. As they came back, we asked, what are your top goals? Conserving connect habitat was on everybody's lips, whereas some of the others may not have been quite as prominent. These are the goals that we think we need to achieve. Under these goals there are about 22 different strategies. There's more than 100 actions that we feel need to be taken. The strategy provides checklists of what needs to be done. By the way in the back of the room there's a short pamphlet version of the strategy, you're welcome to take with you. The full strategy is about 120 pages long. It's available on our website, which I'll show you on the closing slide, if you would like to see the full document. To give you some examples, anybody who has followed wildlife conservation knows that we have not put into conservation status, as much habitat as we need to, for species facing normal threats like land developments or invasive species, et cetera, et cetera, let alone climate changes, We know we are going to have to conserve additional habitat. Connecting habitat is going to be important, because things are going to move around. One thing we know for sure from the fossil record is when climate changes, species move. They don't always move in predictable directions. It's very important for us to not only conserve habitat, but try and connect it. I don't think anybody thinks we're going to build a wildlife corridor from Kansas City, to Canada. There are large regional areas in the country, where there are significant federal and state landholdings that could be better connected, either through additional land conservation or through changes in stewardship. I am thinking of areas like Yellowstone to Glacier. I am thinking about the Spine of the Sierra; some of the great National Parks there interspersed, with the National Forest. There's a lot of work to be to be done there. Managed species and habitats, that's a shorthand for, we have hundreds if not thousands of management plans for our trust resources. If we do things right, we manage things under the management plan. If you're not explicitly considering climate change in the management plan, chances are you're not going manage through that. There's a great deal of work to be done, to make sure that as we revise the management plans we have for our trust resources, we explicitly build in considerations in climate change. I'm not going to go through the whole list, but I did want to give you a couple of examples and we can get back into this in conversation, if you'd like. We tried to point out in the strategy that other sectors will have a big impact, good or bad, on Fish and Wildlife Resources. Obviously, the primary thing that controls the American landscape is not wildlife conservation. It's agriculture, and commerce, and energy, and water resources. What those sectors do, can either make it more or less likely that wildlife will adapt to the climate change. We tried to point out that natural habitats can be very useful, in reducing the impacts of climate change for some of those other sectors. The whole idea of ecosystem-based management, green infrastructure, for instance using wetlands to protect shorelines as opposed to hardening construction. We tried to identify key opportunities to reduce mal-adaptation, and to find win-win solutions across sectors. The strategy, we started this in July of 2010. It was finally released in March of this year; March 26 at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. We gave a presentation there. I know nothing about the media, but our public relations folks, we've listed here the icons or banners or whatever you want to call them him for the various media outlets. They ran stories on the strategy, and our media people seem to be very happy. Therefore, I was very happy. There is about nine different media outlets picked it up. The vast majority of the stories were either, factual or were positive. We saw one or two that said, "Oh, this is very general". How was this thing being used? Under Executive Order 13514, federal agencies were required to do climate change adaptation planning for the first time, as part of their sustainability plans and in the initial year that was required. I want to say that was 2012, 2011 something like that, CEQ issued the guidance for how the agency should do that and they referenced the Freshwater Action Plan; the Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Adaptation strategy, and the National Ocean policy. In other words, they see these things being developed. They want them to be applied. Thanks to our colleagues in the State and AFOA, there are things called State Wildlife Action Plans. They are required by the state and tribal wildlife grants program, in exchange for some federal funding. These were first developed in 2005. They have to be revised every 10 years and were coming up in 2015. They're in the process of being revised, and AFOA has made great efforts to develop guidance, on how to incorporate climate change into those revisions, and is working to keep track and frankly to stimulate their members to make sure to include climate change, in those revisions. That's going to be very important. We've heard back from a number of LCC's, received letters, I want to say six, seven, eight letters from LCC's saying, "We see a big role for ourselves in implementing the strategy." We got one cranky letter. It said, "We're involved in so many things get in line." It wasn't that they were going to do something. We'll talk more about the LCC involvement in a moment. You know that the White House earlier this fall, it was November 1st, issued a new Executive Order on climate change preparedness and resilience. Once again, you're seeing the Freshwater Action Plan, the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Adaptation strategy, National Ocean policy, and mentioned these things that the agencies need to draw upon, in doing their planning for climate change preparedness and resilience. Finally, there's some newly proposed legislation, it's been introduced I believe in the Senate. Nobody expects it to go anywhere immediately, but we all know this is Washington, and you don't throw away your old ties, your old high heels or your old legislation, because you may be seeing them again someday. We'll talk a little bit about that. The message is that now that this exists, it's beginning to permeate the various avenues of response that the government, has to deal with climate change and natural resources. Some of the key provisions of the Executive Order that I mentioned, it is setting up a new federal council on climate preparedness and resilience. I believe that the council has already met before Thanksgiving. It's also to establish the state, local and tribal task force to provide some guidance to the federal government, on how best to interact with those levels of government, in terms of climate change preparedness. Its requiring that those agency adaptation plans that were done in response to Executive Order 13514 that I mentioned earlier, that those be redone by this March. It's requiring the use of the adaptations, all three of those adaptation strategies I mentioned. It's also calling for an assessment of proposed and completed changes, to policies programs and regulations by August of 2014. We all know that's a pretty tall order to Phil, so we're waiting now, guidance. I believe the department is in the process of formulating guidance, on how all the internal bureaus are going to deal with those. The legislation that was introduced is the Safeguarding America's Future and Environment Act, or the SAFE act for short. The sponsors are Senators Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Max Baucus of Montana. It codifies the Fish and Wildlife Adaptation Strategy. It would set up a Natural Resources Climate Change Adaptation panel, which is very similar to a joint implementation working group that we've already established. We'll tell you more about in a moment. It requires federal agencies to complete and implement, Natural Resource Adaptation plans that are consistent with this strategy. It would require states to submit Resource Adaptation plans consistent with the strategy, in return for funding, if funding would ever materialize. We were very gratified at the first meeting of this joint implementation working group. We invited Senator Whitehouse to come and he did. His message to us was, "Don't give up on us." It may take a while, but at least he's confident that ultimately, there will be adaptation legislation and there will be funding of some degree, for adaptation work. What are we doing in the meantime until a significant development like that? I mentioned that we had a high-level steering committee oversee development and the strategy. When it was done, we asked them, "Would you like to stay together and work on implementation of the strategy?" I was unsure of what the response was going to be, because we were required to do the strategy. We weren't required to implement it. We received no new authorities. We received no new money. We all know that money's going away. New money's not coming in and yet, all of the agencies said, "Yeah, let's stick together and see what we can do with this." We have now formed a joint implementation working group, as pretty much the same composition, as the steering committee. One significant upgrade is that we're going to have a tribal co-chair, for the joint implementation working group, which is great. We're talking about subgroups around each of the seven goals. We won't be able to do them all at once, but organize ourselves that way. We're trying to do outreach to other existing adaptation groups. You may have heard of something called ILMAG. It's a very informal group. It's the Inter-Agency Land Management Adaptation group. They're doing some very good things. Obviously, USGS has established a federal advisory committee, for the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. There's a lot of research actions in this strategy. We're pursuing whether they can be a vehicle for identifying research priorities, rather than us establishing a separate subgroup. The whole point is, we're trying to reach out to what's going on and meld it together, to the extent that we can. We had our first meeting, November 20th. Our goals are, first and foremost for the agencies and partners that developed this strategy and made recommendations, to see them use their own recommendations. We're looking to see how they integrate the various recommendations, into the Fish and Wildlife Service. I know NOAH's got a initiative going on, where they're going to sit down and look at the strategy, and how they can crosswalk that with their program, so that's job one. We hope that if we're able to do this, that it'll result to an effective and well-coordinated actions, across geographic scales institutional scale, etc. In terms of roles and opportunities, everybody's got a piece of the action in this strategy, federal agencies, states, tribal resource managers, the scientific community and we think in particular, regional collaboratives like LCCs and CSCs. That's a major commitment of the Department of Interior, in terms or responding to climate change is to establish the LCC network, and the CSC network. Let me say a little bit more about LCC, because I work for the Fish and Wildlife Service, and they're the institution that I'm most familiar with. The strategy called out the LCCs and CSCs in particular, for having a major role in trying to implement the strategy. Some of the possible roles for LCCs are to step the strategy down at a regional scale, help guide regional priority-setting in behalf of Fish and Wildlife, help develop tools and support research, and highlight achievements and activities in their work. People ask me all the time, "Is this a blueprint for action?" and I say, "No, it's not the blueprint for action." The analogy I like to use is that if you're in a community and you need a new library, you go to a design architectural firm. The first thing you get is not a set of blueprints. The first thing you get is an artist's sketch of what the library is going to look like. Is it going to contain 300,000 volumes, 3 million volumes? Do you want to point it north? That sort of thing. Once you reach agreement on those sorts of considerations, then, they give you a set of blueprints. This is the artist's sketch of what needs to be done. It's the ongoing work of the LCCs and the CSCs to now, take it down to the blueprint stage. What areas of habitat are we going to conserve? What connections are we going to make? To be specific, to give us actionable plans, so that we can coordinate our programs around them and get them done. That's the way I think about it. The strategy and you, if you haven't spent any time with it, let me suggest a few things. One is, it provides an overview of projected impacts. There's a very lengthy chapter that talks about things that we're seeing, things that we think are going to happen, etc. It does establish major goals for what we need to do, in terms of adaptation for living resources. It identifies meaningful strategies and actions and you all can decide, if those are things that are right for you, your agency, your programs. A lot of people, when they hear there's a new strategy for adaptation, what they're hearing is, "Oh boy, I get to do something more with the same resources." What I'd like to encourage people to think is that, this isn't something that's going to happen to you. It's something you can use and you can use it in two ways. One is, if there are things that you feel your agency needs to do in behalf of Adaptation for Wildlife, this is pretty high-level justification for doing it. I can almost guarantee you that this is sufficiently broad and inclusive, that there would be little you could find to do in climate change adaptation, where this would not be a relevant reference. It's very helpful in that regard. The other is, that we're always being hounded to report on what we've done, what good did it do, what did it accomplish. This also provides a great framework for reporting back to our departments, to OMB, to the administration, and ultimately to congress when they've taken interest, in what we're doing. Since this was done in such a collaborative fashion, it should also facilitate collaborative reporting. We all know that we live in an age where, duplication in government is something that's inappropriate as and it would be good to be showing how closely we're working together, how our efforts add up, and how they complement each other. It's an asset for folks. If you're having trouble winning the battle that you need to do something on behalf of climate change adaptation and wildlife, you've got a friend. If you want to report meaningfully on the things that you are doing, and demonstrate how you are making progress in collaborating with relevant entities, you've also got a friend in the strategy. Beyond all of that, the most gratifying thing to me is that, it's beginning to create an inter-governmental community of practice on climate change adaptation, for Fish, Wildlife and Plants because we've never done this before. We've never gone through a period of climate change, and we're all trying to figure this out together. With that, I'll point out the URL at the bottom of the slide, wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov because if you haven't gotten it by now, this initiative loves long names. That's the website where you can go to get more copies of the brochure, the full strategy, and a lot of different supporting material. With that, I'll stop. Olivia: Thank you very much, Mark. Mark: Thank you. Olivia: OK, we're going to take some questions on the room or on the phone. Do you have someone? OK, shoot, Melca. Melca: We have one question, how does this work for historic and cultural resources? Mark: Well, that was not the focus of it, so I don't know the extent to which it would speak to their needs. I know that we've tried to look, when we were developing this, at what the National Ocean Policy was doing, what the Freshwater Action Plan was doing. I would suggest if people are interested in cultural and historic resources, they might take a look at all three of those planning efforts, to help them think about the approach they want to take, but in terms of substance, I don't think we felt that that was our charge. Olivia: Do we have any other questions in the room? Male Audience member 1: Thank you, so I wanted to ask about international collaboration, because many of the species that may be affected by climate, extend already into foreign jurisdictions and ranges may shift, into other country's jurisdictions. The LCCs were mapped on an ecological basis, and about half of them extend on that basis and two other countries. Can you say a little about the international aspect, of collaboration under the strategy? Thank you. Mark: Yeah, we recognized that that's an important need. By the same token, we didn't try to tackle it. It was a matter of scope. We did make efforts to reach out to both Canada and Mexico. I know we had the Canadian environmental attaché, at several of the steering committee meetings, and their Mexican counterpart was invited. That was about the extent, to which we pursued the international dimensions of things. It's not that we don't recognize it's important. There was a feeling...or this is my own personal interpretation, that we hadn't gotten our act together here at home and it's a little hard to work credibly in the international community, if you don't have something to show at home. Male Audience Member 2: Perhaps a more practical question. What level of people do you have from the agencies on your inter agency working group, that oversees your activity? Mark : I will have to think about that for a moment. It varies. And I won't get the titles right, but the person from the forest service who oversees their wildlife division, is on. From BLM, we had variously had the Head of the wildlife office or their staff. Their Climate Change Coordinator came to one of the meetings. Trying to think, Roger from NOAA. While their current Co-chair of the Joint Implementation Working Group, is an Assistant Secretary at NOAA. The official wildlife service Co-chair of the steering committee, and now the Joint Implementation Working Group is the Assistant Director for Operations, for the official wildlife service. So, it varies. Some agencies, it's more senior. Some, it's less senior. I will emphasize that our state partners, we have state level Directors on both the steering committee, and the Joint Implementation Working Group. It's a cross section. Olivia: We are going to take a couple of questions from the Internet, and I'll get back to you. Female Audience Member 1: Follow up question, on historic and cultural resources. Who will develop that, if you are not? Mark: I don't know. Female Audience Member 1: I have more. Unless you want to alternate. Male Audience Member 3: On that particular issue, there are specific elements of the national ocean policy that address that, with respect to coastal and marine areas. It was some very specific actions that direct this. If they were to look there, they would find things that could be used as the basis for non-coastal areas, also. Mark: If somebody has a very serious interest in that, and wants to find out what plans, if any, may be in the works. I'd refer them to see CEQ. Olivia: Naka, do you want to take the other one up? Naka: Yes. How does planning for changes in agro pastoral practice and this plan, articulate? Mark: I don't know that they do at a very detailed level. What we've tried to do in the strategy, is point out that in the agricultural community. Many of the practices that have been developed for good conservation over the years, are things that are likely to be useful, in terms of climate change adaptation as well. Whereas, some of the more intensive practices that have proved problematic so far, are going to be even more problematic under climate change. It's at a pretty general level. Male Audience Member 4: Hi, Mark! This is an impressive effort. I'd like to thank you for your leadership pulling this together. As you guys now turn to growing out the strategy or implementation, I wonder if you could say a bit more about the steps you are taking to work with states, as they look to developing or updating their climate adaptation plans. Mark : The main thing, is that AFOA has demonstrated a lot of leadership in that already, in developing voluntary guidance for incorporating climate change. The fact that NOAA and Fish and Wildlife Service are sponsoring this Joint Implementation Working Group, to keep that group together, and we have great participation from the states. That sends a signal, that it's important to include this in the state wildlife action plans. It's at that level. Olivia: Before we get the Internet, I have a quick question for you. You talked about, the importance of conserving corridors and connecting habitats. Could you talk a little bit about...you've given the example about Yellowstone to glacier and maybe one other one? Can you talk a little bit about some of the challenges that are associated, with going beyond boundaries that we have historically had? Mark: Sure. You are all aware of the emphasis on the department right now, coming from the Secretary's office on landscape planning, landscape management, landscape conservation. Even before climate change came along, there are so many people and we have done so much to the 'landscape'. It was becoming fairly obvious to conservation interests that we had to work, collectively. Official wildlife service wasn't going to solve this, or the forest service wasn't going to solve this, or the park service wasn't going to solve this. But if we work together, we might be able to coordinate our efforts in a way that were beneficial for all of our interests. That's the theme of landscape scale conservation is...we had a little something similar in wildlife...no, I won't go the. Let me do a modern paraphrase of something I said about two decades ago. And that is, if somebody tells you that their doing landscape management on their property, they don't know what they are talking about. If they say they are doing landscape scale management with their property, then yes you can have a conversation. It's a recognition, that it's a big system that we're interacting with. We all have a piece of the dynamics that affects it. If we want a good collective resolve, we're going to have to work together. Even more than primary habitat conservation, connectivity is going to emphasize this need to work at a landscape scale. Because it's going to take collaboration, cooperation to be able to maintain connectivity across a landscape. The pieces of which are either owned by or administered by a variety of entities, and not all of which are government. Olivia: Michael? Michael: Thanks Mark, for coming down. I was you talk a little bit, I can't help, but notice the face of a small child in your final slide. The Secretary has a big vision for her youth program, or wanting to triple our volunteer base, and there's a lot of exciting stuff going on. I am curious in your discussions, if you have, sort of, seen a connection between providing work opportunities for young people and volunteers. Like you said, there's a lot of work that has to get done, right? There's been some different ideas around climate cores and different things. But it's interesting, because with Hurricane Sandy and others sort of, directly or indirectly related habitation efforts, there is this interest around science and increasing the science. Those ways you can employ young people or old or young graduate student people, in doing that scientific work. There is a balance between, us needing to know more, and us needing to move some dirt. Can you talk a little bit about those trade-offs, and any discussions in the implementation blueprint, that are about youth and volunteers? Mark: I remember some passing discussions. We had multiple tech team meetings. I remember some discussions in passing about this whole phenomenon of, "Last Child in the Woods," and the disconnect of the younger generation from nature and the outer doors. Part due to the extensive use of the electromagnetic spectrum, better known as texting and cell phone. I invite Roger to jump in, or Kate, or Davier. I don't know that we came up with any concrete recommendations, about how to deal with that in this strategy. I would say, that now that we have a Joint Implementation Working Group, that is serious about doing what it can with the resources at hand, to implement this strategy. If people do have good ideas and can help draw those connections, there is some pretty fertile ground there. I almost feel guilty working in this field, because you can tell I am older and I'm not going to be here all that much longer. Going to be retired, hopefully soon. We're talking about the world that the next generation is going to inhabit, and their children. They are the ones that need to be engaged in this. Anyway that we can get them more engaged, would be very receptive. Female Audience Member 2: Hi! I thank you also for the presentation. Very much appreciated. You mentioned the scientific community getting involved. What about national labs, is there an opportunity to work with them? If not, can you make any recommendation about, how one might facilitate developing that kind of connection? Mark: By national labs, are you referring to USGS labs around the country, or are you referring to the DOE labs or collectively government labs? Female Audience Member 2: I mean collectively at this point. Because there is a lot of work being done on climate adaptation and mitigation, at the national lab level. Mark: I will give you my own personal perspective on that. I tend to be very driven by things that are concrete, which will seem ironic when you read this. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I have a vision that the LCCs will begin to translate this into, a set of habitat conservation priorities. In doing that, we are going to have research questions, we are going to need new decision support tools. There is going to be a big role for the research community. We are looking to this National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, and the CSCs to be the primary providers of that science. But then they have their own networks, their own collaborations which may reach a wider arena of scientific laboratories. I don't know if that answered your question. Female Audience Member 2: Yes. Probably answered a lot. Mark: Olivia: I'll go back to the Internet. I have several questions from the Internet. One of the largest impacts on terrestrial animals is the road system. Is there any outreach to FHWA, Federal Highway Administration, to change highway design to reduce impacts? Mark: I recall a meeting that we had, in the development of this strategy taking with the Federal Highway Administration. We asked them to review the chapter on cross sectoral, opportunities. In other words, how this would relate to agriculture, to energy, to transportation. They gave us some good comment. That level of work again, that's where you need to get down to specifics, that's where you need to be working at a landscape scale, to talk about particular transportation projects or options, and how to deal with it. I might add to that. At one point, we discussed inviting the highway administration to be on the steering committee. We were trying to balance the tension between, being inclusive and being unwieldy. In the end, we made our decision about who to invite, based on whether they had authority or responsibility for wildlife directly. Those were the entities that we invited. We still ended up with a very large steering committee. As this adaptation planning goes forward, we are in a generation now where all the agencies are having to do it. There is going to be another generation, where they are all working at each other's and saying, "Woo! We could be doing this together" or "Oops! We are going to have a problem here, if we don't iron things out". Remember something. We are going to do this for a long time. This is the beginning. This strategy is 1.0. It needs to be updated every five to 10 years. And this isn't something that we are going to solve in 10 years. Olivia: Following up on the cultural resource preservation questioner. The chat room has recommendation that the questioner might want to take a look at the National Park Services Climate Change Response Strategy, online. Let's see if we have got any... Mark: Thanks for the assist. Olivia: Right, we have another one here. Male Audience Member 5: You've talked a little bit about how you've engaged with the states, and also being more at the landscape scale. I'm wondering, how much of this effort engaged with cities and other urban areas, where many people are to focus them to get reengaged, and connected to nature? Mark: We didn't. That's a shortcoming. I get back to the same criteria I mentioned before. We invited state government, because they have primary authority and responsibility for wildlife. We invited tribal entities because, the same with them. Counties, municipalities, they don't have that same level of responsibility or authority. Doesn't mean they are not important. We got this same question, at our first meeting at the Joint Implementation Working Group. Going forward, we are going to try and find ways of beginning to reach out to that community, as well. Olivia: Do we have any other questions in the room? Any other questions on the Internet? Going once, going twice. Mark, thank you very much. Mark: Thank you folks. Appreciate it.