National Wildlife Refuge System
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Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Some national wildlife refuges will begin measuring greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and other sources next year. Here, U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff  launch a boat at Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.
Some national wildlife refuges will begin measuring greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and other sources next year. Here, U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff  launch a boat at Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.
Credit: Steve Hillebrand/USFWS

Following the lead of the National Park Service, the National Wildlife Refuge System will begin to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation and other sources on its public lands.

Nationwide, transportation sources, such as car and truck exhaust, produce about 28 percent of GHG emissions that contribute to climate change, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Inside national parks, these sources produce more GHG — from 30 to as much as 90 percent, depending on a park's size, road network and other factors, including human activity, according to the National Park Service (NPS). Electricity, refrigerants and other sources also produce measurable GHG.

The National Wildlife Refuge System, through its Refuge Roads program and in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, will develop a tool modeled after NPS's work to measure refuge GHG emissions, particularly those produced by visitors and staff traveling to and within the property.

Three national wildlife refuges from geographically and demographically distinct regions of the country will be selected as pilots for this program. When complete, the emissions data will provide a baseline against which future measurements can be compared and will be linked to regional transportation planning. System planners will use these outcomes to raise awareness of these emissions and potential impacts, and describe ways for individuals to lower their own GHG contributions.

For more information about the NPS work, see www.nps.gov/climatefriendlyparks/.
For more information about climate change and the Refuge System project, see http://www.fws.gov/home/climatechange/.

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