Sportsmen Meet With Members of Congress, Labor Leaders to Promote Climate Change Adaptation Strategies

Sportsmen Meet With Members of Congress, Labor Leaders to Promote Climate Change Adaptation Strategies
Rep. Raul Grijalva advocates funding for adaptive management approaches to enable fish and wildlife to withstand climatic shifts.

Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

WASHINGTON – -( Members of Congress and American labor leaders joined with the sportsmen’s community this afternoon on Capitol Hill to review recent scientific findings on global climate change and discuss the need for dedicated funding to enable adaptive management strategies for fish and wildlife, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Bipartisan Policy Council announced today. Also profiled at the event was “Beyond Seasons’ End,” a new report about game species’ adaptation to climate change and climate change’s effects on hunting and fishing.

The Tuesday Hill briefing coincided with legislation to be introduced this week by Sens. John Kerry, Lindsey Graham and Joseph Lieberman that could support federal and state-based management approaches to help fish and wildlife better adapt to and withstand the effects of a changing and more variable climate.

Congressman Raul Grijalva spoke at the sportsmen’s gathering. “Science-based management strategies are going to be essential in addressing the effects of climate change on fish and wildlife populations,” he said. “As chair of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, I will work to ensure adequate funding for such forward-thinking approaches in the climate change legislation currently being considered by Congress.”

“The science is compelling: Climate change has become the single-greatest threat to fish and wildlife and our sporting traditions,” said William Geer, director of the TRCP Center for Western Lands, who also spoke at the briefing. “Dedicated funding for state and federal management agencies is critical in our ability to implement field-tested adaptive management strategies to address these threats, and so sportsmen speak together in urging the Senate to support such programs in its soon-to-be-introduced climate change legislation – while we still have time to act.”

“Many of America’s union workers are active hunters and anglers,” said Kinsey Robinson, president of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Trades and speaker at the event, “and we have a stake in assuring the conscientious administration of our shared fish and wildlife resources. Adequately funded management strategies to help fish and game species adapt to climate change will sustain hunting and fishing opportunities in our nation – and will enable union members to continue enjoying our time-honored sporting traditions.”

A consortium of sportsmen’s groups, including the TRCP and BPC, last month released “Beyond Seasons’ End,” which addresses how the negative effects of climate change on the nation’s fish and wildlife populations can be mitigated through practical adaptive management strategies. The report stresses that funding for state fish and wildlife agencies via passage of national legislation is key to implementation of such on-the-ground approaches.

“As America struggles to mitigate the effects of a changing climate on our fish and wildlife populations, ‘Beyond Seasons’ End’ will be a key tool for policy makers and land managers seeking the means to sustain the resources and hunting and fishing activities central to who we are as a nation,” said John Cooper, senior advisor with the BPC and moderator of Tuesday’s event. “The science-based management strategies for waterfowl, upland birds, big game and coldwater fisheries contained in the report can be implemented to address many of the adverse effects of climate change – and conserve and restore fish and wildlife values.”

“Beyond Seasons’ End” is a sequel to “Seasons’ End,” published in 2008, which details the predicted impacts of global climate change on the habitat and distribution of fish and wildlife in the United States and the implications for sustainable hunting and fishing.

Learn more about the TRCP’s efforts to address the impacts of climate change on hunting and fishing.

Read “Beyond Season’s End.”

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions
of hunting and fishing.