Climate Change in the Pacific Region
Pacific Region

What We Are Doing

The Inland Northwest National Wildlife Refuge Complex HQ, located at the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge was awarded the 2011 U.S. Department of the Interior “Environmental Achievement Award.” It also received the 2010 Federal Energy and Water Management Award for outstanding sustainable integrated design for energy and water conservation.While climate change is ongoing and will continue, the long-term amount of change is not yet determined and is partly under humanity's control. While we work to reduce the causes of climate change both locally and globally, in many cases we may be able to help wildlife and other living things be more resilient to the changes that may occur.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently taking action to assess the impacts of climate change for fish, wildlife, plants and ecosystems; and to lessen those impacts through strategic conservation efforts such as habitat restoration and other actions. We are also joining forces with others to seek solutions to the challenges and threats to fish and wildlife conservation posed by climate change.

The Service’s Climate Change Strategic Plan provides a blueprint for our activities.  The plan establishes a basic framework for our agency to work with the larger conservation community to help ensure the sustainability of fish, wildlife, plants and habitats in the face of accelerating climate change. It is also an integral part of the Department of the Interior's Strategy for addressing climate change, and will enable the Service to play a key role in achieving Departmental objectives related to climate change.
In the Pacific Region, we are actively coordinating collaborative partnerships such as Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, regional Climate Science Centers, as well as a number of other efforts including climate change vulnerability assessments, adaptation planning and educational efforts. 

One collaborative example is the North Cascadia Adaptation Partnership.  We have joined the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service and others to develop a science-based report on climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation options for the North Cascades landscape. The goals of this effort are to increase awareness of how a changing climate is affecting forests and parks; assess the vulnerability of cultural and natural resources; and incorporate climate change adaptation into the management of federal lands in the North Cascades. 

Climate change impact assessments and adaptation planning are also underway in other landscapes throughout the Pacific Northwest and the Pacific Islands. Some of these efforts are focused on species (for example, for bull trout); and our National Fish Hatcheries and National Wildlife Refuges.  Contact for more information. 

To minimize future impacts the Region is also taking steps to reduce our carbon emissions. We have reduced our travel 25% from fiscal year 2010 to 2011; we are increasing teleworking; completing numerous energy and water efficiency projects, vehicle fleet management improvements and waste reduction efforts; encouraging employees to use mass transit, carpooling or other modes of non-automobile based travel for commuting; and many other measures.  See our 2011 interim sustainability report for more information.

Finally, we also sponsor and cosponsor many educational and informational projects to further the public’s understanding of climate change.  For example, the Service provided support to the 2011 Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference which was held Sept., 2011, at the University of Washington, and a Traditional Ecological Knowledge workshop with Pacific Northwest Tribes held Sept, 2011 in Seattle.  We are also supporting the Wild Links Conference, in Vancouver, B.C., Oct 24-25, 2011.


Last updated: November 2, 2011

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