State Wildlife Action Plans Adaptation to Climate Change

May 2020
Adam Carpenter

Early conservation efforts were focused on setting aside lands to remain undeveloped and for plant and animal species to have a protected zone. Shifting environmental problems such as climate change have created a need for conservation efforts to adapt to continue to protect these important resources. This paper compares how each Great Lakes state’s wildlife action plan accounts for climate change, and how those plans have changed over time. Each state wildlife action plan (SWAP) was inventoried based on climate change topics for both the 2005 and 2015 action plan. Overtime the mention of climate change increased in each state's plan. Not only was there an increase in total mentions but there was also a diversification in what areas of conservation climate change activities are affecting. This research helps policymakers understand that language and wording help to set the tone and message of policies. Properly mentioning and associating climate change creates a better understanding among politicians and the public.