Western Governors publish Climate Adaptation Report

The Western Governors' Association has published a climate adaptation scoping report that emphasizes the need for coordination between state and federal efforts to identify key science that is Western specific and begins to share and implement smart practices.

The governors adopted the report during their Annual Meeting here this week. Govs. Bill Richardson (N.M.) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (Calif.) are WGA's lead governors for Climate Adaptation. Following is their letter that accompanied the report:

"Across the western United States, we are already experiencing the adverse impacts of climate change on our environment, infrastructure, economies and communities. Clearly, we must implement new management strategies to build a resilient West.

"Western governors recognize the need to work together to respond to these changes, which stand to greatly affect our quality of life. In 2009, the Western Governors' Association (WGA) adopted a policy resolution titled Supporting the Integration of Climate Change Adaptation Science in the West. This resolution represented the governors' interest in a coordinated response to climate change impacts and in including climate science in our policy and management activities.

"The WGA created a Climate Adaptation Work Group, composed of western state experts in air, forests, water and wildlife to recommend next steps. The enclosed Scoping Report is the result of its work. The report contains important recommendations for building a West that is resilient in the face of challenges posed by a changing climate. We are grateful to the work group and all of the partners who contributed their time and expertise to this effort.

"Western states will be on the front lines of climate response, and we are uniquely positioned to lead on this issue. We are pleased to share this report with you, and we urge continued and determined steps toward building state capacity to respond to climate change in the West."