Adaptation, Mitigation, Engagement Head USFWS Climate Change Strategy
After 18 months in development, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its Climate Change Strategic Plan, which will be implemented through a five-year action plan already underway. The key features of the plan include adaptation, to be carried out through management decisions aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change on fish and wildlife; mitigation efforts to reduce the sources of carbon dioxide emissions and maximize biological carbon sequestration in forests and grasslands; and engagement with other agencies and the public to find the best ways to promote fish and wildlife conservation in the face of climate change.
The agency’s climate-change-related priorities for the current fiscal year are to increase its climate-change leadership and management capacities through key positions within the agency and partnerships with others; reviewing legal, regulatory, and policy issues to figure out where changes could be recommended to support responses to climate change impacts; and reviewing its existing programs to figure out how they could be reshaped or redirected to address climate change challenges. The development of the climate change strategic plan was driven by the fact that the agency has already been dealing with climate change impacts such as changes in temperatures, precipitation patterns, wildfire characterstics, water supplies, sea level, and extreme weather events.