Climate Takes Front Seat at Interior Dept.

Ken SalazarSecretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today issued a secretarial order launching a new strategy to address the current and future impacts of climate on America’s wildlife and natural resources. This is pretty big news considering that the Department of Interior manages one-fifth of the nation’s land mass and is in charge of protecting some of America’s most treasured wildlife, including sea turtles and polar bears.

Under this new strategy, every bureau within the Department of the Interior will coordinate on climate change science and developing strategies to address climate change impacts:

“The unprecedented scope of climate change impacts requires Interior bureaus and agencies to work together, and with other federal, state,
tribal and local governments, and private landowner partners, to
develop landscape-level strategies for understanding and responding to
climate change impacts,” said Salazar.

Developing these strategies is only the first step in meeting the challenge of climate change, says NWF’s John Kostyack:

As the Department of Interior works to address the effects of climate change on wildlife and natural resources, we must not forget the urgent need to address the cause. To get the whole job done, Congress must pass comprehensive climate and energy legislation that reduces global warming pollution and dedicates funding to safeguard America’s wildlife, lands and waters from the worst impacts of climate change.

Read the full secretarial order.