Partnerships, science keys to wildlife and climate change

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While the plan advances only broad goals, such as planning and delivering "conservation actions that support climate adaptations" by wildlife, and changing "business practices to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2020," its emphasis on regional collaboration seems to signal a greater commitment to the best science available.

"This truly is a game changer," said Sam Hamilton, recently appointed director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "They say 'as goes wildlife in the United States so goes the nation.' Improving the health and well being of wildlife benefits all Americans through clean water and clean air. We need partners to help us make informed and adaptive decisions in the face of adversity. We need to target the right science in the right places."

Barry Baker, a climate change scientist with the Nature Conservancy's Utah chapter, said he welcomes the opportunity to share research.