325 Sporting Groups Support EPA’s Clean Power Plan
Sportsmen and women know that the wildlife they most cherish are feeling the impacts of climate change and can’t wait for solutions to the climate crisis. That’s why this week 325 national, state, and local sporting organizations and businesses signed a letter in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan will put first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants. These groups of hunters, anglers, and wildlife recreation enthusiasts all know that we must combat climate change to protect wildlife and the iconic species our most cherished outdoor traditions are built around.Sporting groups care about carbon pollution for a number of reasons; most notably, that the wildlife species, outdoor environments, and sports which they care about will be greatly impacted by climate change. As stated in the letter, these hunters and anglers “see first-hand how climate change is altering habitat and putting our outdoor heritage at risk”; they are already experiencing changes in the areas where they hunt and fish.
Many of America’s iconic game species are threatened by climate change including northern bobwhite, brook trout, pintail, sage grouse, lesser scaup, and many more. Warming temperatures, extreme weather events, droughts, and sea level rise all lead to habitat loss and species decline.
Big game like moose, mule deer, elk and pronghorn are particularly impacted by heat, drought and an increase in parasites and disease due to climate change. Even small temperature increases in lakes, rivers and streams can have dramatic impacts on game fish such as salmon and trout. Additionally, the timing of hunting seasons, migration patterns, and the distribution of animals are changing, altering hunters and anglers ability to even find the species they are looking for.
By acting to limit industrial carbon pollution, sporting conservation groups hope to ensure the resilience of natural systems and wildlife to temperature changes, drought, and other climate related impacts. These groups acknowledge that as “stewards for future generations, it is our obligation to conserve land and water resources by advancing climate-adaptation strategies that promote healthy fish and wildlife populations, and sustain the forests, grasslands, rivers and other systems on which they—and we—depend.” Their letter demonstrates that one aspect of doing this is through support of common-sense efforts to address carbon pollution, like the Clean Power Plan.