USDOI creates "climate change response council"

U.S. Departmernt of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar launched the Obama administration's first coordinated response to the impacts of climate change Monday, which he said would both monitor how global warming is altering the nation's landscape and help the country cope with those changes.

Salazar will lead a new "climate change response council" that will coordinate action among the department's eight bureaus and offices. A secretarial order will create eight "regional climate change response centers" in areas ranging from Alaska to the Northeast and build landscape conservation cooperatives that will create strategies for the eight regions with the help of state and local groups, and other federal agencies.

Interior manages one-fifth of the nation's land mass and nearly 1.7 billion acres on the Outer Continental Shelf.

"The Department of Interior must continue to change how it does business and respond to the issues of energy and climate change, which I see as the signature issues of the 21st century," Salazar said at a news conference. "The time this department operated under silos is a time that's over."

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