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NH Nature

New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff

Friday 02/22/2008 New Hampshire Sportsmen Take Aim at Congress: Global Warming Threatens Hunting, Fishing Traditions

Concord, NH (February 19) – More than a dozen of the leading hunting and fishing clubs and wildlife-related businesses in New Hampshire joined forces Tuesday to call on the state’s elected leaders in Congress to support strong legislation to confront climate change.

From local Trout Unlimited chapters to guide services and equipment retailers, groups representing a broad cross-section of the more than 141,000 New Hampshire hunters and anglers announced support for comprehensive climate legislation that would address the impacts of global warming on New Hampshire’s natural resources.

The local hunting and fishing clubs were among more than 670 organizations from all 50 states that sent a joint letter to Congress last week urging action on global warming. The groups took out a full-page ad in USA Today demanding action to address climate change.

To fight global warming, sportsmen are calling for comprehensive climate change legislation that cuts global warming by 2 percent per year through a cap-and-trade system and includes dedicated funding for fish and wildlife conservation and restoration.

“Climate change is the single biggest threat to wildlife today, and we’re running out of time to do something about it,” said Eric Orff, a retired wildlife biologist with New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and outreach consultant for the National Wildlife Federation. “We’ve spent a century fighting to protect wildlife, wild places and our natural heritage. We will not sit by and do nothing while climate change threatens to wipe it all out.”

Hunting and fishing have traditionally been pillars of New Hampshire’s economic prosperity: 258,000 people – residents and non-residents -- hunted or fished in New Hampshire in 2006 and spent $286 million on equipment and other trip-related costs.

“This is as much an economic issue as it is a conservation issue,” said Steve Courchesne, owner of Steve’s Sportsmen’s Den in Hooksett. “New Hampshire’s outdoor heritage supports thousands of well-paying jobs. If we want to protect New Hampshire’s natural resource assets and the jobs that go along with them, we need to invest in solutions to global warming.”
The fish and wildlife that support New Hampshire’s sporting traditions are feeling the heat. For example, hotter summers are linked to the decline in moose populations; changes in stream flows and water temperatures are compromising habitat for trout and other cold-water fish.

“New Hampshire hunters and anglers are on the front lines in the fight against global warming,” said Orff. “We can’t ignore the scientific evidence that supports what we’ve been seeing in the woods and on the water – climate change is threatening wildlife and our natural resources like never before.”

New Hampshire groups or businesses that signed the letter include the New Hampshire Council of Trout Unlimited, New Hampshire Wild Turkey Federation, A.J.'s Bait and Tackle - Meredith, Barnstead Motorsports - Barnstead, Bickford's Sport Center - Epsom, Carroll County Fish, Game and Shooting Club - Conway, Dive Winnipesaukee - Wolfeboro, Fly Fishing Outfitters - Concord, Friends of the Suncook River, Hot Spots Outfitters - New Durham, Lone Pine Hunters Club, Inc. – Nashua, Manchester Fly Fishing Association –Manchester, Morse Sporting Goods – Hillsboro, Nor'Easters Snowmobile Club – Hollis, Paugus Bay Sport Shop – Laconia, Place In the Woods Trading Post – Antrim, Steve's Sportsmen’s Den – Hooksett, Story's Sport Shop – Belmont, Suds and Soda Sports Shop – Greenland, Taylor’s Trading Post – Madbury, Tim Moore Seacoast Guide Service – Portsmouth, Trout Unlimited, Great Bay Chapter, Trout Unlimited, Merrimack River Valley Chapter, Trout Unlimited, Pemigewasset Chapter – Thornton, Wildlife Taxidermy Studio and Sports Center - Manchester

“It’s time for New Hampshire’s elected leaders to take a stand on behalf of the conservation legacy we all want to leave behind for our kids and grand-kids,” said Orff.


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