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Strategy aims to limit climate impact

U.S Interior Dept. announces national policy draft to reduce impact of climate change

BY DAVID J. HAYES | WASHINGTON | January 20, 2012

"The impacts of climate change are already here"

The U.S. Interior Department has announced a strategy to help reduce climate change impacts on species, ecosystems and people and economies dependent on them.

Working with state, tribal and federal agency partners, the department has created a first draft national strategy to help policy makers and resource managers prepare for those impacts, a release from the Interior Department said.

The draft National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy is available for public review and comment through March 5 at www.wildlifeadaptationstrategy.gov, the release said.

"The impacts of climate change are already here and those who manage our landscapes are already dealing with them," Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes said. "The reality is that rising sea levels, warmer temperatures, loss of sea ice and changing precipitation patterns -- trends scientists have definitively connected to climate change -- are already affecting the species we care about, the services we value, and the places we call home."

The draft strategy includes descriptions of current and projected impacts of climate change on the eight major ecosystems of the United States, the fish, wildlife and plant species those ecosystems support and the vital ecosystem services they provide, the Interior Department said.

The strategy is being developed by a committee that includes government representatives from 16 federal agencies, five state fish and wildlife agencies and two inter-tribal commissions, it said.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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