TPL’s Alan Front’s Statement on the Draft Climate Legislation Proposal

WASHINGTON, 10/8/2008: Statement by Alan Front, Senior Vice President for The Trust For Public Land (TPL), a national land conservation organization, on the draft climate proposal:

“TPL applauds Congressman John Dingell, Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, and Congressman Rick Boucher, who chairs the Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee, for advancing their concept for bold, comprehensive climate change legislation. And we are particularly gratified by their deep commitment, within that broad and visionary framework, to the conservation of fish, wildlife, and habitats affected by global warming.

Through TPL’s conservation partnerships across America, it has become clear that there is both abundant opportunity and urgent need for a focused public land agenda that responds explicitly to climate change impacts. Accordingly, we appreciate the proposal’s pronounced focus on public land conservation, restoration, and stewardship in order to help species adapt to a changing climate. Further, the conservation funding in this bill fosters meaningful, broad-based engagement on the part of federal, state, and tribal land managers.

With a coordinated strategy for natural resource adaptation – and with meaningful support to an array of programs including the Land & Water Conservation Fund, the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program, the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, and the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account – this legislative proposal would protect key, threatened puzzle-pieces in our public land systems. From our national parks, forests, and wildlife refuges to the diverse and changing habitats overseen by states and localities, these landscapes will be indispensable ingredients in the effort to support wildlife populations threatened by climate change. And without these additional funds, far too many of these efforts would fall short, and far too many species will be imperiled or lost.

TPL commends Dingell and Boucher for their foresight and commitment in including critical land conservation funding in this proposal, and we look forward to working with the Chairmen to ensure this essential funding is included in final legislation.”

The Trust for Public Land, established in 1972, specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. With funding from the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program, Forest Legacy Program, Land & Water Conservation Fund, state and local open-space funds, and other public and private investments, TPL has helped to protect more than 2.5 million acres across the country. TPL depends upon the support of individuals, foundations and corporations.