Sportsmen: Protect Wildlife From Global Warming

More than 300 hunting and fishing groups call on Congress to act now

03-13-2006 // Christine Dorsey

More than 300 hunting and fishing organizations, bait and tackle shops and outfitters from across the nation are calling on Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-NM, and Sen. Pete Domenici, R-NM, to think about wildlife when crafting a bill to combat global warming pollution.

The two Senate lawmakers from New Mexico are contemplating new legislation to cut carbon pollution and address global warming. They recently circulated a white paper and solicited comments about a bill they are considering introducing this year. The National Wildlife Federation, its affiliates and hundreds of partner organizations are urging the lawmakers to include provisions to protect wildlife from the effects of changing climate and habitats.

A letter signed by 332 sportsmen groups was hand-delivered to Bingaman and Domenici by leaders from the New Mexico Wildlife Federation and Larry Schweiger, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. NWF also submitted formal comments on the white paper.

"Changing climate conditions will place enormous strain on the nation's fish and wildlife and other natural resources," the letter states. "At the same time, our response to this challenge offers us an opportunity to make a long-overdue investment in fish and wildlife conservation."

What's in it for sportsmen?

This and other legislation being considered on Capitol Hill could mean a major source of new funding for state wildlife conservation efforts. NWF and its partners are encouraging Congress to provide wildlife conservation and restoration funding through the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account of the Pittman-Robertson Act, one of America's landmark conservation laws. By using this funding mechanism, new revenue from a carbon pollution reduction plan would meet the needs of people, fish and wildlife without raising the federal deficit.

Thanks to efforts by NWF and its affiliates and partners, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., added the same provision to similar global warming legislation that would allow some proceeds from a cap and trade emissions strategy to be used by states to make wildlife more resilient in the face of global warming.

NWF and other conservation groups are calling on the Senate to vote on climate legislation this year.

Contact: Christine Dorsey, 802-229-0650, ext. 334, dorsey@nwf.org

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