Conservation in a Changing Climate
Office of External Affairs


Strategic Plan fact sheet

Frequently Asked Questions

Key Points

What We're Doing Now

What Others Are Saying

IPCC Climate Impact Fact Sheet


What Others Are Saying

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as one of the nation's leading stewards of America's wildlife, is taking an important step forward by committing itself to both reducing global warming pollution and safeguarding fish and wildlife from the impacts of inevitable climate change. Climate change has emerged as the single greatest threat to our nation's natural heritage and FWS is well-positioned to play a leadership role in confronting this threat.

We especially commend FWS for its collaboration with partners like the National Wildlife Federation in crafting a national strategy for safeguarding fish and wildlife from climate change impacts. It will take all of us working together to confront climate change and conserve natural systems for people and wildlife.

Larry Schweiger
President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation

Global warming is forever changing the world and forever changing conservation. No longer can we rely on our past understanding of wildlife and ecosystems. The nation must chart a new way forward: first by developing a national climate change adaptation strategy for wildlife and natural resources; second by enhancing our scientific capacity; and finally, by providing the resources needed to address this enormous challenge. The release of this strategic plan shows the commitment of this administration to not only reduce global warming pollution but to also conserve wildlife and our environment for ourselves and generations to come.

Jamie Rappaport Clark
Executive Vice President, Defenders of Wildlife

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Strategic Plan for Responding to Accelerating Climate Change is an ambitious document that acknowledges and embraces the Service's role in providing national leadership on this critical issue facing fish and wildlife agencies, while also acknowledging the critical role of states, tribes, and private organizations in delivering fish and wildlife conservation across the country and the importance of collaborative approaches and partnerships to successfully respond to the challenges posed by an uncertain future climate. The document also reflects an increasingly sophisticated view of how the conservation community must approach adaptation strategies at the policy, science, and program levels. The proposed National Biodiversity Strategy, Biological Inventory and Monitoring Partnership, and Climate Change Forums reflect the need to re-think our fish and wildlife approaches and institutions to ensure that state, federal, and tribal agencies and non-governmental organizations can effectively work together to respond to climate change and other challenges facing fish and wildlife habitats and populations in the future.

Dave Schad
Director, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife

Given the vulnerability of the Everglades and South Florida to climate change, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Strategic Plan for responding to climate change represents a unique opportunity to build upon the National Park Service’s longstanding Everglades restoration partnership with USFWS and to join forces in our climate change-related adaptation, mitigation, and engagement/communication efforts—resulting, hopefully, in not only a restored Everglades, but an ecosystem that's more resilient to the effects of climate change.

Dan B. Kimball
Superintendent, Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks

This unprecedented federal plan calls for straight-ahead action to address what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service portends to be the greatest challenge to fish, wildlife and habitat conservation in the agency's 138-year history. It does not waffle and hedge; rather, it serves to inspire and offers hope for the future. This plan should be adopted and enacted to the fullest extent possible by the lead federal agency for fish and wildlife, for the benefit of all Americans.

George Cooper
President and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

It's well established that quality of human health is directly linked to proper functioning of ecosystems. The Climate Change Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supports the activities of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as outlined in its climate change strategy, as this effort supports the management and promotion of ecosystem integrity, adaptation, and mitigation of the negative human health effects of climate change.

Dr. George Luber
Associate Director, Climate Change Program, Centers for Disease Control

It is fitting that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should quote Vince Lombardi in its Climate Change Strategic Plan, that it is individual commitment to a group effort that makes success possible. FWS' leadership in making our response to climate change an agency management and cultural priority is exactly the commitment necessary to our collective effort to safeguard the biodiversity on the planet from the inevitable impacts of a warming world, both for its sake and ours. Rising to the Urgent Challenge: Strategic Plan for Responding to Accelerating Climate Change is aptly titled. Beyond laying out a thoughtful framework with which FWS can develop and employ the best possible science in meaningful action on the ground, more fundamentally it issues a challenge to every Service member and every Service partner to act swiftly and decisively in response to unprecedented change in the natural world, identifying collective wisdom and collaborative action as yardsticks to our success. The Nature Conservancy looks forward to our continued partnership with FWS in turning that plan into action.

Bob Bendick
Director, U.S. Government Relations, The Nature Conservancy

For those of us who spend time on the water, we are very aware and dependent on the finest details of the aquatic environment. Changes in climate may ultimately impact water quality, water quantity and water temperature in every lake, stream and estuary in America. These subtle changes will impact the food sources and lifecycles of fisheries that are already stressed from changes we are seeing in weather patterns and stream flows. We commend the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for taking a proactive step by developing a Climate Change Strategy to implement actions now before some of this country¹s blue ribbon trout streams are lost forever.

Alan Gnann
Chairman, American Fly Fishing Trade Association


Last updated: November 13, 2012

Contact Us

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Home Page | Department of the Interior  |  | About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  | Accessibility  | Privacy  | Notices  | Disclaimer  | FOIA | DOI Inspector General