NOAA, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (representing all state and wildlife agencies) released on Jan. 19, 2012, a draft of the first national strategy for responding to climate change effects on plants and animals. The public comment period is open until March 5, 2012, and public meetings and a webinar will occur until Feb. 22, 2012. The strategy is expected to be finalized by May or June 2012.
The strategy focuses both on the plants, animals, and associated ecosystems themselves; and on the benefits people derive from them, including air, food, water, shelter, storm protection, building materials, jobs, and recreation. An underlying theme is that a wide range of effects are already occurring, and that it's essential to respond and adapt in a coordinated way in order to minimize negative effects and maximize positive ones.
Dates for the remaining public meetings and webinar (following a January 26 webinar and January 31 meeting in Sacramento) are:
- Feb. 2: Madison, WI
- Feb. 7: Charleston, SC
- Feb. 9: Albany, NY
- Feb. 14: Washington, D.C.
- Feb. 22: online webinar
Details are available at:
In addition to a range of proposed voluntary efforts for the next 5-10 years — targeted at government and nongovernment parties at national and local scales (including discussions of collaborative mechanisms for these diverse groups) — Chapter 2 of the draft report includes a description of current and anticipated impacts on the nation overall and each of the country's 8 major ecosystems (including a fairly detailed map of where each ecosystem occurs). This information can provide many details to hang your coverage on.