Friday, May 15, 2009

State Fish & Wildlife Agencies Praise Waxman-Markey Allocation Plan Champions for Dedicating Funds to Safeguard Natural Resources from Climate Change

Chairmen helping to ensure the future of fish and wildlife conservation in the face of climate change while providing Americans with a healthier environment

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies applauds Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Henry Waxman (CA); Chairman Emeritus, John Dingell (MI); and Edward Markey (MA), Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman, for their leadership in dedicating funding for wildlife and natural resources protection in their proposed Waxman-Markey Allowance Allocation released today for the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.

Starting at one percent of the total allowance value in 2012 and increasing to four percent by 2027, the portion of climate-derived revenue from the auction of carbon credits allocated to state and federal natural resource adaptation programs would help to remediate the effects of a changing climate on fish, wildlife and their habitats.

"We appreciate the work of Chairmen Waxman, Dingell and Markey and all of the conservation champions who drafted the emissions allowance allocations to be included in the bill,” said Matt Hogan, Executive Director of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. “Pressures on fish and wildlife and their habitats caused by climate change emphasize the need for increased conservation and science-based management and the appropriate, dedicated funding to do so.”

For more than 100 years, state fish and wildlife agencies have been addressing threats to fish and wildlife including altered habitat, invasive species, the spread of diseases and population changes; however, climate change is escalating and accelerating these threats, making it much more difficult and costly for agencies to manage.

Funded, adaptation programs that are delivered by state and federal agencies in partnership with the private conservation community are not only vital to the health of fish and wildlife resources; but also to the quality of life for Americans that functioning ecosystems likewise provide.

Functioning habitats provide cleaner air and water and flood attenuation as well as carbon capture through sequestration. The economic contributions accrued from the recreational use of natural resources support millions of jobs nationwide and stimulate nearly ten percent of all consumer spending.

“The Chairmen have laid a strong and broad foundation for critical natural resources adaptation programs that will help ensure the sustainability of fish and wildlife, provide Americans with healthier environments and deliver economic benefits to communities nationwide,” added Hogan. “We look forward to continuing to work with them to report the bill out of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and on subsequent passage by the House."