Issue Brief: Safeguarding America’s Future and Environment (SAFE) Act


ASLA recognizes that global climate change presents a serious threat to humans and our environment, and thusly, supports legislation that to protects wildlife and natural resources from climate change.


As the climate crisis worsens and our global temperatures increase, the health of our wildlife and habitats has drastically deteriorated. The U.N. Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ (IPBES) report found that over three quarters of land based environment and about two thirds of marine environment have been significantly altered by humans. Additionally, native species populations are on a sharp decline while invasive species’ populations are booming, urban areas have more than doubled since 1992, and more than three quarters of the earth’s fresh water is devoted to crop or livestock production.

Transformative change is needed if these trends are to be slowed or inhibited. Landscape architects are in the unique position to become leaders by designing sustainable and resilient landscapes for individuals, communities, and nations to combat the climate crisis.

Bill Summary

On May 15, 2019, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) introduced S. 1482, the SAFE Act, and Representative Matt Cartwright (PA) introduced H.R. 2748as companion legislation in the House. This legislation aims to protect our natural resources and environmental landscape by establishing an integrated national approach to reduce long-term costs associated with the climate crisis.

Specifically, the SAFE Act would require federal natural resource agencies to form an interagency working group to plan and implement a long-term national climate change adaptation strategy. The legislation would require agencies to work together to identify and prioritize specific conservation and management strategies to respond to extreme weather and climate change. The bill would also create the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center to develop and compile scientific information on climate variability. This bill also encourages the development of state-specific adaption plans

Recent Action

On May 15, 2019, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) introduced S. 1482, the SAFE Act.

On May 15, 2019, Representative Matt Cartwright (PA) introduced H.R. 2748, the SAFE Act.


Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and cosponsors.

Representative Matt Cartwright (PA) and cosponsors.


Roxanne Blackwell, 
Esq., Hon. ASLA,
Director of Federal
Government Affairs

Elizabeth Hebron,
Director of State
Government Affairs