Press Release

FWS Proposes Wildlife Refuge Regulation Updates to Address Climate Change Threats & Habitat Loss

The proposals intend to support conservation and enable Wildlife Refuge managers to better tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.

Statement by Howard Learner
Executive Director, ELPC

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposed new regulations that will both update language in its existing Biological Integrity, Diversity, and Environmental Health (BIDEH) policy and implement new standards to guide managers of National Wildlife Refuges. These proposals are intended to support conservation throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System and enable wildlife refuge managers to better tackle the dual threats of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Howard Learner, Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center, said in response to the FWS proposal:

“The Midwest and Great Plains have more than 50 Wildlife Refuges, including the treasured Upper Mississippi River National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge in South Dakota. These Refuges and many others are important flyways, breeding and resting grounds for migratory birds of all kinds, and serve as vital habitats and refuges for a vast range of animals and fish species that call the Midwest their home.

“The Environmental Law & Policy Center works with wildlife refuge groups and conservation clients and partners to ensure that these special Refuges for wildlife and biodiversity are protected as intended.

“ELPC is pleased the Fish and Wildlife Service is addressing ways to help better guide managers at these Refuges on ways to incorporate new scientific data and other practices to address climate change threats to biodiversity. ELPC will work with the National Wildlife Refuge Association to respond to the FWS’ proposed new regulations.”

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