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Congress Advances Conservation Priorities in Interior Appropriations Bill
The House and Senate recently cleared a $32.2 billion Interior and Environment appropriations bill for the 2010 fiscal year that includes $385 million for programs that address global warming.
The $4.7 billion overall program increase over 2009 funding levels will improve conservation efforts across the board and give agencies the resources they need to take on new climate change initiatives. President Obama signed the bill into law on October 30, 2009.
The funds allotted for addressing the effects of climate change include $67 million for priority climate change research at the U.S. Geological Survey and an additional $15 million for that agency's National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center, which will help wildlife adapt to climate change, and $55 million for on-the-ground monitoring and adaptation to climate change impacts in national parks, national wildlife refuges, and other public lands.
"Like a shot of adrenalin, this bill will breathe new life into our nation's conservation programs," said Corry Westbrook, legislative director at the National Wildlife Federation. "For too long, key conservation programs and agencies and have been shortchanged and undercut. Congress has reached the bar set by President Obama by delivering the best Interior appropriations bill we have seen in years."