More Than 600 Groups Urge Senate to Pass Legislation to Protect America’s Natural Resources from Global Warming

For Immediate Release

Conservation Groups
Contact: 

Kathleen O’Neil, National Parks Conservation Association: (202) 419-3717
Erin McCallum, Defenders of Wildlife: (202) 772-3217 Aislinn Maestas, National Wildlife Federation: (202) 797-6624 Kathy Westra, The Wilderness Society: (202) 429-2642 Blythe Thomas, The Nature Conservancy: (703) 841-8782

More Than 600 Groups Urge Senate to Pass Legislation to Protect America’s Natural Resources from Global Warming

WASHINGTON - Today,
a collection of more than 600 conservation, outdoor, sportsmen,
recreation and faith groups representing tens of millions of
individuals all across the country called on the U.S. Senate to pass
comprehensive climate and energy legislation that not only reduces
greenhouse gas emissions, but also dedicates a significant portion of
funding towards helping wildlife and natural resources that are
currently threatened by global warming.

“Community
support for protecting our land, water and wildlife from a warming
climate is wide and deep,” said David Moulton, director of climate
policy for The Wilderness Society. “Our public health depends on the
health of these ecosystems, and this outpouring of concern reflects
that fact.”

All
the groups agree that in order to realistically tackle the existing and
forecasted impacts facing our treasured wild places and animals, the
Senate will need to dedicate approximately five percent of the total
allowances from a climate bill towards safeguarding our natural
resources from the negative impacts of climate change.

“This
funding would provide crucial support for job-creating conservation
initiatives to protect the natural resources which are the backbone of
public health and the American economy,” said Noah Matson, vice
president for climate change with Defenders of Wildlife. “Without
funding for efforts such as these, much of the natural resources all
Americans depend on for water, food, medicine, flood protection and
recreation will be seriously compromised in the near future.”

Healthy
natural systems provide clean water, clean air and protect communities
from catastrophic weather-related disasters, ranging from hurricanes to
floods to forest fires. Outdoor recreation accounts for
eight percent of all consumer spending, which drives an overall annual
contribution of $730 billion to the economy and supports 6.5 million
jobs.

"Communities throughout our nation depend on the clean air, clean water and healthy wildlife provided by America's
national parks, forests and refuges," said Mark Wenzler, director of
clean air and climate programs for the National Parks Conservation
Association. "We must invest in safeguarding these lands from climate
change if we want to keep our own communities healthy and prosperous
for our children and grandchildren."

Local,
state and federal agencies, tribes and fish, wildlife and land managers
are critically short of funding needed to effectively respond to the
combination of the challenges posed by a changing climate.

"Time is running out for many of America’s
most treasured wildlife and landscapes," said Derek Brockbank, National
Wildlife Federation conservation funding campaign manager. "New and
dedicated resources are needed to safeguard wildlife and natural
resources from climate change impacts today so future generations of
Americans can enjoy a thriving natural heritage tomorrow."

Specifically,
the groups have urged the Senate to develop climate legislation that
will establish a national policy framework to begin addressing the
impacts of climate change on our natural resources; provide increased
scientific capacity, coordination and information sharing; and dedicate
five percent of the total allowance value to federal, state and tribal
agencies.

“Without
such measures in place, we are failing not only ourselves, but also the
future generations of Americans who deserve to enjoy the same
opportunities and benefits provided by our natural resources that we
take for granted, today,” said Tom Fry, senior policy advisor, The
Nature Conservancy.

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Since
1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been
the leading voice of the American people in protecting and enhancing
our National Park System. NPCA, its 325,000 members, and many partners
work together to protect the park system and preserve our nation’s
natural, historical, and cultural heritage for generations to come.  

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities.  With
more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a
leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife
heritage for generations to come.  For more information, visit www.defenders.org

National Wildlife Federation is America's largest conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.

The
mission of The Wilderness Society is to protect wilderness and inspire
Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, TWS now has
more than 500,000 members and supporters.

The Nature Conservancy
is a leading conservation organization working around the world to
protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. 
To date, the Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have
helped protect 130 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature
Conservancy on the Web at http://www.nature.org/.

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