Climate Security Act, Resources Bulletin 06-04-08

NWF   |   June 4, 2008

IN THIS ISSUE…
1. Natural Resources Letter with 170 groups goes to Senate
2. Increased forest fires, 60% of wildlife affected by global warming – Agriculture Department Report
3. The case for Investing in America’s Natural Resources – National Wildlife Federation report
4. "Billions in climate bill would go to state, federal wildlife plans"
5. Economic Cost of Species Lost
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1. Natural Resources Letter goes to Senate

On Monday, over 170 groups conservation groups released a letter to the Senate in support of the specific Natural Resources Adaptation titles of the Climate Security Act. Signers ranged from major national environmental groups, like Union of Concerned Scientists and American Rivers, to regional and local organizations like the Healing our Waters Great Lakes Coalition and Grand Canyon Wildlands Council.

This latest letter follows up on a broad call for dedicated funding from global warming legislation to protect wildlife and natural resources from global warming. Earlier this year, 700 grassroots hunting and fishing organizations called on members of congress to "cosponsor climate change legislation that includes dedicated funding for fish and wildlife conservation and restoration through a ‘cap and trade’ system and achieves a 2% per year reduction in pollution from carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases."This was followed up by thirty national hunting and fishing groups, specifically endorsing the natural resources titles in the Climate Security Act.

Additionally, 600 biologists and climate scientists signed a letter saying that, "Congress must craft legislation that greatly reduces greenhouse gas pollution and generates substantial dedicated funding to protect and restore wildlife and ecosystems harmed by global warming."

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2. Agriculture Department Report

According to a scientific assessment by the US Climate Change Science Program, global warming is no longer just a future threat, but rather, a reality. The Scientific report that was commissioned by the Agriculture Department, and created by 38 scientists, discusses the impacts that global climate change is having on our landscape this very second. As evidence of this change, the report cites more frequent forest fires, reduced snowpack, and increased drought as examples of the damage that are brought on by human-generated carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. The research also states that of the nearly 1,600 species of animals that were examined for the report, nearly 60% have been affected by climate change. Increased insect outbreaks and rising temperatures of streams are also among the concerns.

The report is intended to inform federal resource managers, as well as the general public, that global warming is an issue that must be dealt with immediately, as ecological and economical impacts are already being felt. The document also suggests that even with significant steps to cut emissions in the upcoming years, some of the effects of global warming are already taking their toll. Richard Moss, vice president and managing director for climate change at the World Wildlife Fund, states that this report is "the very first upfront acknowledgment from the administration that we are already experiencing climate change impacts." ( Washington Post, 5/28/08 )

According to Peter Backlund, director of research relations at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and one of the lead authors of the report, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior, along with a variety of federal agencies will face many challenges dealing with the changing climate conditions. While there are significant challenges to climate change, reports like the assessment released from the US Climate Change Science Program, along with continued research, aim to help resource managers combat the uncertainty that is global warming.

Read the full report…

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3. Investing in America’s Natural Resources

On Monday June 2nd, the National Wildlife Federation released to the Senate a case statement for "Investing in America’s Natural Resources." This report outlines both the critical need for passing climate change legislation that reduces global warming pollution two percent per year and provides dedicated funding to protect our natural resources from global warming. This report also explains some of the on-the-ground conservation that can be done, if funding is available, to protect habitat, wildlife and resources from the impact of global warming.

Some of the regions highlighted as examples include coral reefs, Eastern hemlock forests, estuaries and coastal wetlands, the Great Lakes, mangroves, prairie potholes, sagebrush steppe, Southwestern streams and Western forests.

Read the full report…

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4. "Billions in climate bill would go to state, federal wildlife plans" -E&E Daily

"As temperatures rise, scientists predict resource managers will face a new set of challenges: an influx of invasive species, more wildfires, rising ocean levels, and shifting habitat needs and migration patterns for wildlife in search of a cooler climate. Many of those changes are already taking place across the United States. To help land managers respond to those growing concerns, S. 3036 would give roughly $137 billion in new funding to federal and state agencies in its first 19 years." Taken from the full article at E&E Daily by Allison Winter

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5. Economic Cost of Species Lost

A recent study presented at the U.N.’s Convention on Biological Diversity stated that the increasing loss of plants and animals is causing the rising pressure on commodity and food prices. Deforestation, invasive species, climate change and the collapse of fisheries are all issues that could threaten the stability of the economy that is so heavily dependent on natural resources.

Read the full article…

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