Represenatitive Grijalva Delivers Legislation to Safeguard Wildlife, Natural Resources Impacted by Global Warming

Bill aims to address unavoidable effects on wildlife and natural resources

04-30-2009 // Miles Grant

WASHINGTON, DC -- Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) today introduced legislation aimed at safeguarding the wildlife and natural resources that people depend on from the harmful effects of global warming. The Climate Change Safeguards for Natural Resources Conservation Act provides a framework for protecting natural resources impacted by global warming and ensures that climate concerns are a driving force behind government-decision making.

"Representative Grijalva recognizes the urgent need to prepare for and respond to the threat of global warming to wildlife and natural resources," said John Kostyack, Executive Director of Wildlife Conservation and Global Warming at the National Wildlife Federation. "By addressing the effects of global warming, this bill complements other legislative efforts to combat the cause of the problem through reducing carbon pollution."

Co-sponsored by Representatives Dingell (D-MI) and Rahall (D-WV), the bill is expected to be incorporated into the larger Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill due out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee by this Memorial Day.

"If supported by large-scale dedicated funding from the sale of emissions allowances, this legislation sets the stage for a major triumph in the history of wildlife and natural resources conservation," said Kostyack. "It is time for polluters to pay for the effects of carbon pollution on the communities, public lands, wildlife, oceans and other natural resources that we all rely on."

Scientists project that global warming pollution will lead to increased sea level rise, intensified storms, floods and droughts, disappearing mountain snowpack and altered stream flows, evaporating lakes and wetlands, and ocean acidification. An array of conservation strategies is needed to address these dramatic impacts, such as restoring coastal and floodplain habitats to protect people and wildlife from the intensified storms and droughts that accompany climate change.

The bill would create, for the first time in history, a national strategy for conserving and restoring the nation's wildlife and resources. The legislation requires federal, state and tribal agencies to use the best available science to develop adaptation plans and work alongside local groups and private landowners to identify and safeguard vulnerable ecosystems. .

"Protecting our natural resources from global warming is one of the best ways to protect ourselves," said Kostyack. "By investing in new strategies to safeguard the natural world from the current impacts of global warming, we will leave future generations a better world."

The National Wildlife Federation inspires Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.