Izaak Walton League Press Releases

Beyond Seasons' End: Consequences of Climate Change (3/22/10)

Milwaukee, WI – The Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP), joined by nine of the nation’s leading hunting and fishing organizations, today released a report – Beyond Seasons' End –  that identifies the challenges and solutions to the predicted impact of climate change on fish and wildlife habitat in the United States.

The report was compiled and edited by the Wildlife Management Institute and TRCP based on analysis done by Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, BASS/ESPN, the Izaak Walton League of America, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Coastal Conservation Association, American Sportfishing Association, Boone and Crockett Club, and Pheasants Forever. The groups were joined by retired U.S. Senator John Warner of Virginia at a press conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to release the report.

"Sporting experiences in fields and streams confirm that change is underway,” says Nancy Lange, clean air coordinator for the Izaak Walton League. “Hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts are keenly aware that the country’s treasured fish and wildlife are under pressure and that climate change threatens American traditions rooted in wild places and wildlife.”

“How we respond to the repercussions of climate change will determine the condition of the environment that we pass on to our children; it is our duty to our country and our descendants to protect and preserve the wildlife and wild places that prior generations have bequeathed to us,” said Steve Williams, president of WMI.

“The practical adaptive management strategies and projects described in Beyond Seasons' End show that this climatic challenge can be resolved if fish and wildlife managers get the necessary funding and support to achieve on-the-ground results, said Tom Franklin, director of policy and government relations at TRCP. “Wildlife scientists and managers restored fish and wildlife habitat and populations in the early 20th century under the severe economic and climatic conditions that created the Great Depression and Dustbowl. With the support of American sportsmen, we can overcome the threat of global climate change," he added.

The consequences of climate change will resonate across this country in an unprecedented fashion. As a result, sportsmen must encourage and support state and federal agencies as they respond to this threat with major expansions in projects that attack the problem at the landscape level insist that these agencies use adaptive management techniques and established best practices, the report states.

The report notes that “funding will need to go beyond conventional sources and include those without a history of supporting fish and wildlife. Private philanthropic, foundation and corporate investment must be combined with federal, state, and local government dollars.”

Programs conducted through these efforts will likely be directed toward:

  • Reducing present threats to wildlife populations to increase their ability to withstand the immediate consequences of climate change.
  • Restoring and managing habitat to address the effects of changes in temperature, weather and precipitation patterns on species’ ranges.
  • Establishing and conserving fish and wildlife movement corridors.
  • Allocating sufficient water for fish and aquatic habitats
  • Adjusting harvest management and population restoration policies.
  • Preparing regional and national fish and wildlife management plans.

The report identifies existing efforts of corporate and private partnerships, and cross-jurisdictional programs, that show great promise and can serve as models for dealing with the new threats presented by climate change.

Order a printed copy or read a PDF of the book online.

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