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05/13/2010

Sierra Club Co-Hosts Panel for Jobs on Public Lands

Last week, during the annual Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference the Sierra Club co-hosted a panel with The Wilderness Society called "American Jobs on American Lands."  The panel brought together a diverse group from the public, private, and non-profit sectors that are all working together to fully realize the potential of both the restoration and the recreation economies.  Particularly, the panel focused on the opportunities born out of helping lands adapt to the realities of climate change.

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Even if we could put an immediate end to all greenhouse gas emissions, we would still have decades of climate impacts to lands and wildlife.  Helping our natural heritage become resilient in the face of climate change will likely be the largest challenge facing us in the coming century.  These lands provide incalculable benefits: they provide clean air and water, sequester carbon, provide habitat for our most imperiled species, protect watersheds, and hold soil in place.  The list goes on.  Luckily, helping restore these areas, helping them adapt to a warming world, and providing places for millions of Americans to visit and recreate in is an enormous and largely untapped job maker.  We are on the cusp of being able to completely transform our economy into one that generates wealth and health through restoration.

Our panelists included three experts in natural resource adaptation and restoration: Storm Cunnigham, CEO of Resolution Fund, LLC; Tim Purinton, Acting Director of the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, Division of Ecological Restoration; and Brett Berkley, the Senior Vice President of GreenVest.  The panel also included Glenn Hurowitz from Avoided Deforestation Partners and Frank Hugelmeyer, the President of the Outdoor Industry Association.

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