January 26, 2021
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is pleased to announce the release of a new report “Advancing the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy into a New Decade”. This is an update on the 2012 Strategy which was designed to enable natural resource managers to take effective steps towards climate adaptation. The new report presents an update of the science and practice, with a special section on Indigenous Knowledge systems, demonstrates implementation progress, and provides recommendations for the future.
“Climate change impacts on fish and wildlife are some of the most important challenges confronting natural resource agencies,” said Stafford Lehr, Deputy Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Chair of the AFWA’s Climate Adaptation Committee. “The Strategy provided the vision and guidance managers needed to address these impacts. This new report provides the next steps in how we can continue to approach climate-smart conservation in the future.”
“We applaud the release of the report, the expanded inclusion of environmental justice and the explicit acknowledgment of Indigenous Knowledge systems,” said Mic Isham, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission’s Executive Administrator. “This report makes the Strategy more relevant to tribal and marginalized communities.”
“The Association has been a strong partner and proponent of the Strategy since its inception,” said Maggie Ernest Johnson, Climate Adaptation Program Manager for the Association and who also coordinated the development of the report. “We are thrilled to see this report released and hope the recommendations can drive the conservation community towards greater implementation of the critical adaptation strategies our natural resources require.”
The new report was developed and reviewed by members of AFWA’s Climate Adaptation Committee and the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Network representing federal, state, tribal, and non-profit organizations. Contributing authors to the report include representatives from the US Forest Service, NOAA, US Geological Survey, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, Defenders of Wildlife, Michigan State University, and the University of North Dakota.
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.