Funding for Wildlife and Ecosystems

Federal, state, and tribal wildlife agencies charged with maintaining wildlife populations and stopping species from becoming endangered are struggling to protect wildlife and habitat. They face the continuing threats of development, pollution, toxins, invasive species, habitat loss and more. These agencies face regular budget short-falls and often are the first to be cut in times of economic decline. Wildlife now faces the new threat of global warming, which has direct impacts to habitat – from rising sea levels to shifting water and temperature patterns – as well as exacerbating previous impacts.

Wildlife agencies do not have the budgetary capacity to handle this new, all-encompassing threat.

National Wildlife Federation is working to ensure federal, state, and tribal wildlife agencies are funded to protect wildlife from global warming in two main ways: 1) from funds created by clean energy and climate legislation, and 2) through the annual federal budget.

Clean Energy and Climate Legislation

One of National Wildlife Federation's core campaigns is to ensure that a portion of the revenue generated annually from clean energy and climate legislation will go to help safeguard wildlife and natural resources from the impacts of climate change. This funding could amount to billions of dollars annually and, once established, would be outside of the political process so that agencies could rely on it for years to come. This would allow wildlife managers to undertake the long term planning and projects needed to protect wildlife in a warming world.

Bills that have reached Congress thus far are the American Clean Energy and Security Act and the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.

What a Climate Bill Means for Wildlife Professionals

Last spring, a clean energy and climate bill passed the House of Representatives. This spring, a bi-partisan effort is underway to craft a clean energy and climate bill in the U.S. Senate. The House bill would provide $1.7 billion annually for natural resource conservation. Meaning, thousands of wildlife and natural resource jobs could be created and funded by a climate bill. In such trying economic times, a comprehensive climate bill would not only address climate change and safeguard our natural resources, but it would also create and protect American jobs. These would be American jobs, on American lands.

Natural resource funding in a climate bill would revitalize local economies through the restoration of public lands, parks and coastlines; create sustainable American jobs that can’t be outsourced while restoring coastlines, forests, deserts and rivers to health; and invest in jobs that increase the resiliency of our lands and waters, so they can better adjust to climate changes

To join NWF’s policy listserv on safeguarding wildlife and natural resources from climate change, email brockbankd@nwf.org

The Federal Budget

The Federal Budget provides funding to all the federal agencies responsible for managing natural resources – from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the U.S. Forest Service. It also provides grants to state and tribal agencies that manage fish and wildlife resources. National Wildlife Federation works to make sure an appropriate share of this money goes to managing these resources in a way that will ensure the long-term survival of our wildlife.

The proposed presidential budget for fiscal year 2011 includes many new efforts for restoration and also addresses climate change. National Wildlife Federation is pleased that the Department of Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency in particular take great strides to deal with climate change.

Find specific budget numbers for the Department of Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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