Union sportsmen see firsthand how climate change has harmed the woods, streams and lakes, even as the rest of us are aware of the planet heating up from reports of shrinking ice shelves to holes in the Earth’s ozone layer.
Union sportsmen do not need to read reports in the press to know climate change is already affecting the ways they pursue game and fish, the success of their days afield and the timing of their hunting and fishing trips.
The 20 unions urge the leaders of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to include dedicated funding to safeguard fish, wildlife and ecosystems important to sportsmen be in Senate climate change legislation.
New dedicated resources are needed to protect and restore the natural environment, including fish, wildlife and their habitat, on which human health and economic vitality depends. A portion of these funds should be provided to ensuring that climate change strategies are integrated into state wildlife action plans, state coastal zone management plans, and other state wildlife species or habitat plans.
The recently passed House version of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 included such funding.
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka says that more than 3.2 million AFL-CIO union members spend some of their free time hunting and fishing and that climate change has the power to change that. He also points out that all hunters and anglers generate about $70 billion in conservation dollars through licenses, fees and other outdoor expenditures.
As fish and wildlife habitat, abundance and distribution shift in response to a changing climate, recreational activities will shift as well. Responsive measures in the Senate legislation will help prevent drastic declines in hunting and fishing opportunities caused by climate change.
Boilermakers (IBB) Secretary-Treasurer William Creeden says union sportsmen have a
deep appreciation for our outdoor traditions, and we want to see our leaders in Washington undertake decisive action to safeguard the future of these traditions.
Click here for a copy of the letter and a list of the 20 signatory unions.