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Planning for the Effects of Climate Change on Natural Resources

March 2017

Citation: 47 ELR 10220

Issue: 3

Author: Jessica Wentz

Climate change has important implications for the management and conservation of natural resources and public lands. The federal agencies responsible for managing these resources have generally recognized that considerations pertaining to climate change adaptation should be incorporated into existing planning processes, yet this topic is still treated as an afterthought in many planning documents. Only a few federal agencies have published guidance on how managers should consider climate change impacts and their management implications. This Article explains why these agencies are legally required to consider climate-related risks in planning processes, and presents recommendations and a model protocol for conducting this analysis.

Jessica Wentz is a Staff Attorney and Associate Research Scholar at Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.

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