Panel Calls for Action to Protect NH Fish and Wildlife in a Warming World
"The effects of climate change are already visible here in New Hampshire."
The National Wildlife Federation hosted a discussion today at New Hampshire Audubon’s McLane Center in Concord with U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen and a panel of wildlife experts on the need for action on climate change to protect New Hampshire’s fish and wildlife.
“Climate change poses a very serious threat to our environment and our economy in New Hampshire and we must act to address this threat immediately,” said Sen. Shaheen. “It’s great to have the National Wildlife Federation as a strong ally in this fight. I will continue working with them and our other partners to protect our state’s natural beauty and conserve our natural treasures for future generations.”
Wildlife biologists on the panel spoke about the impacts they are already seeing on the wildlife they study in New Hampshire, including moose. New Hampshire’s moose population has recently been devastated, which has lead the state game and fish agency to cut the number of hunting permits drastically and sportsmen to express grave concern about the species.
“The effects of climate change are already visible here in New Hampshire,” said Carol Oldham, regional outreach manager for the National Wildlife Federation. “Senator Shaheen knows how important it is to protect New Hampshire’s economy and the health, habitat, and food and water supplies of fish and wildlife. We need more leaders like her to step up in support of limits on climate-disrupting industrial carbon pollution.”
Outdoor recreation, including hunting, fishing, hiking, and boating, is big business in the granite state. The Outdoor Industry Association estimates that hunting, fishing and other wildlife-related and outdoor recreation contribute $4.2 billion annually in spending in New Hampshire and supports 49,000 jobs.
“As sportsmen in a state that depends on our natural resources for livelihoods and to attract tourism, we support strong action on climate change,” said Tom Ives, New Hampshire council chair for Trout Unlimited. “We can already see the effects like lobsters retreating from Great Bay, and coldwater fish like trout are feeling the heat”.
The event was cosponsored by New Hampshire Audubon and the New Hampshire Council of Trout Unlimited. Speakers on the panel at New Hampshire Audubon’s McLane Center included Pam Hunt, New Hampshire Audubon bird biologist; Kris Rines, New Hampshire Fish and Game moose biologist; and Emily Preston, New Hampshire Fish and Game biologist, who discussed the new N.H. Fish and Game Climate Adaptation Plan.
“Even our state bird, the purple finch, is threatened by climate change”, said Mike Bartlett, the President of New Hampshire Audubon. “We appreciate the fact that Senator Shaheen is protecting our wildlife by making every effort to cut carbon pollution and sponsoring a bill to increase our energy efficiency.”