WASHINGTON, D.C. – In partnership with State and Tribal agencies, the Obama Administration today released the first nationwide strategy to help public and private decision makers address the impacts that climate change is having on natural resources and the people and economies that depend on them. Developed in response to a request by Congress, the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy is the product of extensive national dialogue that spanned nearly two years and was shaped by comments from more than 55,000 Americans.
"State fish and wildlife agencies serve as stewards of the nation's natural resources and we welcome the release of the Strategy to assist us collectively in our efforts to conserve our fish and wildlife and the habitats on which they depend," said Patricia Riexinger, Director of the Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Marine Resources for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. "The real value of this strategy is that is makes a broad array of recommendations that agencies and our conservation partners can support as our capacity allows, and enables us to understand how each of us can contribute to progress on helping our natural resources adapt to a changing climate."
Development of the Fish & Wildlife Adaptation Strategy was guided by an innovative partnership of federal, state and tribal fish and wildlife conservation agencies in response to a 2010 call by the U.S. Congress for a national, government-wide climate adaptation strategy to assist fish, wildlife, and plants, and related ecological processes in becoming more resilient, adapting to, and surviving the impacts of climate change. More than 90 researchers and managers from federal, state and tribal natural resource management agencies across the country participated in drafting the strategy.
The draft Strategy received nearly 55,000 comments from 54,847 individuals, 51 non-governmental organizations, 17 governmental entities, and 5 tribes. Input and suggestions provided in the comments were carefully reviewed and incorporated into the final document.
The partnership was 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). An intergovernmental steering committee that included representatives from 15 federal agencies, five state fish and wildlife agencies, and two inter-tribal commissions oversaw development of the strategy with support from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
The National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy can be found on the web at www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov.