DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Honorable Jared Polis
Sent By:
Blaine.Miller-McFeeley@mail.house.gov

Bipartisan National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers Appropriations Letter

Deadline: Monday June 5th, 5:00pm

 

 

Dear Colleague,

Rep. Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Young (R-AK) are leading the below letter asking to support stable and full funding for the National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers under the U.S. Geological Survey (formerly the National Climate Change and Wildlife
Science Center/Climate Science Centers). The FY2017 and FY2016 enacted appropriations for this program were $25.335M and $26.435M, respectively, but the President’s FY2018 budget request proposes $17.435M for the program, a decrease of $7.9M. The budget request
also stated that this funding level would consolidate the current eight centers to four.

The National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers were established under President Bush in 2008 to prepare for, respond to, and reduce the negative consequences of climate extremes. This work includes using information to reduce the impacts of
wildfire, nuisance flooding and flash flooding, ecosystem stresses, reductions in water supply for households and agriculture, and changes in hunting and fishing patterns on their communities.

Please join us in sending this letter to the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. We apologize for the quick turnaround, but the submission deadline for Appropriations is Tuesday, so the
deadline to cosign this letter is 5pm on Monday, June 4th.

Jared Polis & Don Young

 

June 6, 2017

The Honorable Ken Calvert                                        The Honorable Betty McCollum

Chairman                                                                     Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Interior, Environment                    Subcommittee on Interior, Environment

and Related Agencies                                                and Related Agencies

House Committee on Appropriations                         House Committee on Appropriations

B-308 Rayburn House Office Building                      1016 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515                                              Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Calvert and Ranking Member McCollum:

 

As the House Committee on Appropriations works on the Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations bills, we respectfully request that you support stable and full funding for the National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers under the Land Resources
account of the U.S. Geological Survey (formerly the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center/Climate Science Centers program under the Climate and Land Use Change account of the U.S. Geological Survey). The FY2017 and FY2016 enacted appropriations
for this program were $25.335M and $26.435M, respectively. The FY2018 budget request provides $17.435M for the program, a decrease of $7.9M from the FY2017 enacted level. The budget request also stated that this funding level would consolidate the current
eight centers to four.

The National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) (now called National Climate Adaptation Science Center in the FY2018 budget request) was established in 2008 under the Bush Administration and was directed to provide science to help fish and
wildlife resource managers to prepare for, respond to, and reduce the negative consequences of climate extremes. To meet this goal, NCCWSC established several regional science “hubs” that could address the unique weather patterns of different areas of the
United States. These “hubs” became the current eight regional Climate Science Centers (now called Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers in the FY2018 budget request). The Centers have been partnerships between the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI),
research universities, and tribes or tribal colleges.

The CSCs have helped natural and cultural resource managers assess climate-related vulnerabilities in their local jurisdictions as a first step in enhancing preparedness. These decision makers are already using information developed in partnership with the
CSCs to reduce the impacts of wildfire, nuisance flooding and flash flooding, ecosystem stresses, reductions in water supply, and changes in hunting and fishing patterns on their communities.

Every year, heavy precipitation, flooding, drought, coastal storm surge, hot and cold extremes, and other weather hazards take a heavy toll on the nation’s natural resources. These impacts have dire economic consequences for Americans. For example, scientists
from the South Central CSC are assisting Cotton Inc. with research related to how the role of soil temperature impacts agricultural health. Management actions that protect natural resources from the impact of such hazards provide enormous economic benefits
to the nation.

The $90 billion fish and game industry (with over 680,000 jobs) relies on the maintenance of robust and resilient habitats for fish and game species. Each year over 300 million people visit the vast landscapes, coastlines, majestic mountains, and sweeping
plains of our National Parks, bringing billions of dollars in economic benefit to the surrounding communities. Making cost-effective and long-lasting decisions that will maintain the health of these resources in the face of climate extremes requires the latest
data, tools, and scientific knowledge. The Climate Science Centers work closely with water, land, cultural heritage, and other natural resource managers to develop peer-reviewed, evidence-based science that these managers use to make their own local decisions.

The CSCs are located at host research universities throughout the country to reduce costs to the Federal government (through financial leveraging and cost sharing agreements), to develop and share cutting-edge research, and to access the talent, energy,
and workload of outstanding and diverse students with local knowledge and experience. As of May 2017, the eight regional CSCs are: Alaska, hosted at the University of Alaska; Northwest, hosted at Oregon State University; Southeast, hosted at North Carolina
State University; Southwest, hosted at the University of Arizona; North Central, hosted at the Colorado State University; South Central, hosted at the University of Oklahoma; Northeast, hosted at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst; and Pacific Islands,
hosted at the University of Hawaii–Manoa.

Recently, the Climate Science Centers have seen dramatic growth in the requests for their scientific guidance and products by DOI managers, Tribes, and DOI partners, including state agencies, private and non-profit organizations, and municipal partners.
Acting as “boundary organizations,” these regional centers translate science into actionable information for managers and respond to the research needs of decision makers to protect our economy, infrastructure and ecosystems. As a result, the Centers act as
a fulcrum to move the knowledge from thousands of peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts into powerful and concentrated information that can be used by managers to act. The CSCs carry the taxpayer’s investment into cutting-edge science right into their communities,
parks, and homelands.

We support the reputable and important work of the DOI’s National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers. We understand that their return-on-investment is large and we encourage continued stable support and full funding for the program.

 

Sincerely,

_____________________________                          _____________________________

Jared Polis                                                                   Don Young

Member of Congress                                                   Member of Congress

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