FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2009
Contact: Kristina Johnson
Sierra Club Cheers Interior Department Global Warming Strategy
Washington, D.C. - Today, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar launched the first-ever department-wide coordinated strategy to address the impacts of climate change on the public lands, wildlife, coasts and ecosystems managed by his agency.
Statement of Sierra Club Deputy Executive Director Bruce Hamilton
Secretary Salazar has shown true leadership by making it a priority for his agency to address the impacts of global warming on our treasured public lands, waters, and wildlife.
The Sierra Club has been working hard to ensure that federal, state, and local land management agencies address global warming. We are thrilled to see many of our recommendations reflected in the Interior Department's strategy.
We've already begun to see the effects of global warming on America's land and wildlife. We're seeing worse wildfires, wildlife population declines, and shrinking habitat and food sources for animals like grizzlies and bighorn sheep.
As a key manager of our nation's wildlife, waters, and public lands, the Interior Department is in a unique position to protect our wild legacy from the impacts of global warming. Coordination between federal and local agencies and private landowners will help ensure that America's forests, ecosystems, and wildlife survive the worst impacts of climate change.
In order to help our wildlife and native plants adapt, we need to protect important habitat from stressors like unchecked logging, mining, drilling and industrial development. We need to protect key wildlife migration routes and ecosystems, including on private lands. We need to enhance the capacity of our forests, wetlands and soils to store carbon and help fight global warming.
The Interior Department will need to work in concert with other federal agencies, states, tribes, and private landowners to come up with cooperative programs that allow species to move and survive in a climate-changed world.
The strategy announced today by Secretary Salazar will go a long way towards achieving these goals. We look forward to working with him in the coming months to implement the program.