Today, Senators Max Baucus (Mont.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) renewed the urgent call to protect American communities, lands, and waters from the effects of climate change by introducing Securing America’s Future and Environment (SAFE) Act. The Wilderness Society applauds the introduction of the bill, and issued the following statement.
“The SAFE Act is a vital step in protecting American communities from the unavoidable effects of climate change. The health of our communities is directly dependent upon the health of our public lands, and protecting our natural resources also puts boots on the ground and Americans back to work” said The Wilderness Society President William H. Meadows.
Climate Policy Advisor JP Leous echoed this sentiment, saying “Protecting our natural resources in the face of climate change is a win-win proposition. In a sea of climate inaction, the SAFE Act is a beacon of hope for protecting our economy and our environment.”
Climate adaptation work is a strong economic driver. Investing $1 million in adaptation and restoration can create more than 25 full-time jobs and produce more than $2.1 million in economic benefits, according to a study from the University of Oregon. These projects also help protect and restore vital watersheds and wildlife habitat that support the $730 billion outdoor recreation economy and the clean air and water that cities and communities across the country depend upon.
“Preparing natural resources for climate change – through activities including forest restoration and watershed rehabilitation, coastal reconstruction, and proactive land management – helps keep communities prepared and protected from some of the more extreme effects of climate change,” said Leous. “Massive floods, crippling droughts, and extreme storm events will increase as the climate continues to change, and by preemptively working to safeguard the natural resources that provide our food and water we can ensure that these critical resources are safe—while creating and protecting American jobs.”