America's Great Outdoors: Safeguarding Our Natural Resources From Climate Change

Photo of multi-colored Autumn foliage from White Ledges overlooking Lake Solitude in Merrimack County, New Hampshire

"…walking up the trails in the Adirondack Mountains… you could only imagine a place like that would be on the way to Heaven…”
– Gwenn Meltzer, Woodlyn, PA

Global warming is causing rising temperatures, sea level rise and changing precipitation patterns, threatening wildlife such as the polar bear, the pika, and salmon.

To protect America's Great Outdoors, the Administration and Congress must take steps to safeguard natural resources from global warming and strengthen ecosystems' resilience to a changing climate.  This can take can take many forms depending on the system.  Local and regional climate impacts modeling are needed to determine future climate, vulnerability assessments are needed to determine species and systems most threatened, and the full tool box of conservation actions – from connecting fragmented habitat to watershed restoration to assisted migration – are needed to save threatened species and ecosystems.

Ultimately, Congress must pass comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation that reduces carbon pollution and provides a dedicated fund for natural resource adaptation.

NWF's America's Great Outdoors policy asks:

  1. Congress must pass legislation that caps carbon pollution emissions and provides funding for natural resources.
  2. The administration must develop and implement a national adaptation strategy.
 Green Sea Turtle

"On my first attempt ever at catching Florida lobster along a shallow reef and rock outcrop in southern Biscayne Bay, I snorkeled over both a loggerhead and green sea turtle lying on the bottom so close I could have almost touched them. I had a great day in those beautiful waters." – Manley Fuller, Tallahassee, FL


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