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Advising Noah: A Legal Analysis of Assisted Migration

May 2009

Citation: ELR 10413

Author: Julie Lurman Joly and Nell Fuller

Editors' Summary

Climate change will likely lead to dramatic transformations of habitats critical to many species. One proposed solution to this problem is assisted migration. No federal agency has yet developed any rules specifically regarding assisted migration in response to climate change. However, the existing laws, regulations, and policies do provide guidance that would affect any federally sponsored or permitted assisted migration program. This Article examines those laws, regulations, and policies currently in place that may challenge or facilitate assisted migration programs. Given this legal structure, we find that assisted migration is a legal option on most federal lands under certain circumstances.

Julie Lurman Joly is Assistant Professor of Natural Resources Law and Policy, University of Alaska Fairbanks, School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences. Nell Fuller is a Fish and Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.

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