Bingaman, Whitehouse, Baucus Aim To Help Natural Resources Adapt to Climate Change

October 27, 2009
11:59 AM
Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Max Baucus (D-MT) today introduced legislation that addresses the harmful impacts that climate change will have on natural resources such as forests, coastlines and wildlife habitats, and on the people and economies that depend on those resources.  The Natural Resources Climate Adaptation Act of 2009” (S. 1933) seeks to make the most effective use of science and natural resources management to combat the negative effects of a warming planet, and it provides for funding to help tackle these problems.
Sen. Bingaman“Our natural resources have started to suffer from climate change, and these impacts will increase if we don’t act.  Harmful consequences such as drought, rising sea levels, changes in forest ecosystems and warming of rivers and lakes already are being felt here.  The economic well being of communities throughout our nation depend on healthy natural resources, and we’ve got to work to prevent negative impacts while we try to lower greenhouse gas emissions.” 
Sen. Whitehouse“Rhode Island is called The Ocean State for a reason: our economy is directly tied to the health of our greatest natural resource.  If we do not take the steps necessary to mitigate the impacts of climate change, our shipping, manufacturing, fishing and tourism industries will be literally underwater.  With unemployment around 13% in Rhode Island, and with an economy centered on green jobs beckoning, we simply cannot afford to neglect our environment.”
Sen. Baucus:  “Protecting our outdoor heritage is vital to not only Montanans, but to all Americans. Whether it is protecting blue-ribbon trout streams for future generations to enjoy, or making sure our outdoors is protected for the millions of visitors each year, this an important and necessary piece of legislation. We have a moral obligation to leave this world a better place then we inherited it, and legislation like this will go a long ways to achieving this noble goal.” 
Summary of the Natural Resources Climate Adaptation Act of 2009
v     Requires all Federal agencies with relevant expertise to work on natural resources’ climate change adaptation and to work together across jurisdictional boundaries. 
v     Requires these agencies to identify and produce necessary scientific information, and to prepare a national strategy and individual agency plans to maximize the resilience of landscapes and to minimize adverse climate change impacts. 
v     Establishes a fund to be available without further appropriations, to provide resources for existing federal, state and tribal programs for their work in addressing climate change impacts. This work will include such things as restoring watersheds to ensure abundant clean water supplies, managing forest health and restoring wetlands to protect coastal communities.
v     States receiving funding are also to participate in planning and any information produced will be shared with all interested stakeholders.  This will ensure the most effective use of government resources and broad deployment of the latest scientific information and best management practices.     
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