Natural Resources Conference Focuses on Climate Change Solutions

Another packed meeting room for a session on climate change here at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference.

BirdtankThis time the meeting was for natural resource managers working at military bases. Among “conservation-reliant species” (those that require conservation management plans to stay healthy), 80% are on military land, according to one speaker. The audience was told that global warming is “pulling the rug out from under species” and “no species is safe”  from global warming.

Another speaker talked about why military and natural resource managers should care about alternative energy, saying, “climate change is happening.” He also noted that the energy consumption of the federal government is more than that of 61 countries.

At the Energy and Climate Policy Committee, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies released findings from a survey of state agencies, including specific questions on the impacts of climate change in their state.  Lack of funding, information/research and political support were all cited by various states as factors inhibiting agency ability to prepare for climate change over the next decade.

The lack of funding and information/research responses underscore the importance of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act now before Congress.  With dedicated funding for the protection and restoration of natural resources, new investments can be made to incorporate climate change in wildlife management plans.

Natural resource managers aren’t debating any more about if global warming is real — they are now focused on what can be done to ensure all the work to protect our wildlife heritage isn’t compromised in a warming world.  Lieberman-Warner gives these agencies a fighting chance at conserving wildlife for our children’s future.