The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) released its first comprehensive strategy to deal with climate change impacts on the 202 million hectares that the department manages.
Outlined in a secretarial order , the plan includes expanding the purview of eight regional science centers currently being developed by the U.S. Geological Survey to provide guidance on climate change impacts to the Department's Fish and Wildlife Service. The centers will now work with other DOI agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management.
The 2010 budget includes $10 million for these centers, a figure that will grow in the Administration's next budget proposal. "There will be additional money requested for science and adaptive management," Department Secretary Ken Salazar said at a press conference today.
Also included in the plan is a senior council, chaired by Salazar, that will coordinate activities throughout the department. One key player is missing, however: the U.S. Geological Survey still lacks a permanent director. Marcia McNutt was nominated  on 9 July, but a Senate confirmation hearing hasn't been scheduled yet.
The holdup is that the chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Jeff Bingaman (D–NM) is one of the "Gang of Six" senators working on health care reform and is too busy. A committee spokesman says that McNutt's hearing should happen in the next few weeks.