Sportsmen Take the High Road on Climate Change

Public domain photo.

A couple moments from the inauguration festivities stuck in my mind. The president’s daughters snapping photos with their phones was one. Vice President Joe Biden’s moving tribute to America’s armed forces was another. But among all the pomp and circumstance, special guests and the Washington, D.C., traditions, the most exciting moment for me was President Obama’s vow to address the impacts of climate change.

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” Obama said. “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it.”

Never before has a president taken such a public stand on climate change. I speak in front of rod and gun clubs across the West and know how tough it can be to talk to people about climate change. It is a point of contention for many, and I commend the president for taking a stance on this hot-button issue in front of the entire nation.

Contentious or not, climate change is real, and it already is affecting our natural resources, fish and wildlife and outdoor opportunities. At the TRCP, we aim to educate sportsmen about the effects of climate change and ensure sportsmen involvement in mitigation efforts.

Rather than debating specific points of air temperature or carbon dioxide data, the TRCP focuses on the cascading effects of a changing climate in the biological world, including impacts to species of fish and game most important to sportsmen. We highlight on-the-ground projects that help fish and wildlife adapt to a changing environment.

We stand ready to work with the administration and members of the sportsman-conservation community to plan for the effects of climate change and rethink the habits that got us here in the first place.

Want to know what the TRCP is doing now? Read the 2013 policy agenda.

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Bill Geer

Bill Geer

Bill Geer joined the TRCP staff in 2005 as Policy Initiatives Manager. After earning a B.S. from the University of Montana School of Forestry and a M.S. degree in limnology from Montana State University, Bill has spent the past 32 years as a professional fish and wildlife conservationist. He served as the Director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Coordinator for the North American Waterfowl Management Plan for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Vice President for both Field Operations and Conservation Programs for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Inland Northwest Conservation for the Nature Conservancy in Idaho and Executive Director of the Outdoor Writers Association of America before joining the TRCP in February 2005.

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About Bill Geer

Bill Geer joined the TRCP staff in 2005 as Policy Initiatives Manager. After earning a B.S. from the University of Montana School of Forestry and a M.S. degree in limnology from Montana State University, Bill has spent the past 32 years as a professional fish and wildlife conservationist. He served as the Director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Coordinator for the North American Waterfowl Management Plan for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Vice President for both Field Operations and Conservation Programs for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Inland Northwest Conservation for the Nature Conservancy in Idaho and Executive Director of the Outdoor Writers Association of America before joining the TRCP in February 2005.

10 comments on “Sportsmen Take the High Road on Climate Change

  1. OK guys. Remember that while climate change is happening and earth is warming, MAN has little to do with it. Old Sol is the main cause. We should not be paying billions of dollars that do nothing to effect the earth warming or cooling. More government and stupid laws and taxes are NOT what we need. Common sense is important and do not let TRCP get involved in more taxes just to feel good. No green taxes.

    • todd tanner on said:

      Actually, Gerry, human emissions are the primary reason our planet is warming. I’m happy to point you toward the relevant science. In fact, just swing by the Conservation Hawks website and look at “Climate” under the issues tab. There are links to a number of the major scientific organizations who work on climate change.

    • BarryvilleCastNBlast on said:

      I take it your a world renowned climate scientist? What do you mean man has little to do with it? Sure, solar activity is a factor but it doesn’t end there.

      Look at the science. Our CO2 emissions exacerbates climate change. Do you spit science in the face in any other regard? You think gravity is fake? Do you think sitting close to the television makes you go blind? Did dinosaurs really exist?

    • There ought to be a law against ignorance and we should tax stupidity . Instead of spending billions on getting one man to mars we should take care of our own planet, it has everything we need.

  2. J Austin on said:

    Bill,

    Gerry, above is correct. What research can you point to that the warming of the Earth is caused by man? Also, what other research has found that man can reverse it?

    Secondly, look at the title to this blog post. What in the world causes you to title it this? I do not recall one syllable in the President’s speach mention sportsmen. In fact, this guy is currently engaged in an effort that favors stripping many of the rights we hold dear. President Obama is no friend of a true sportsman or especially not an informed conservationalist. If the TRCP is truly just a lobbyist group, and on top of that, a lobbyist group jumping on the Obama Bandwagon instead of standing for responsible hunters and fishermen and their values, COUNT ME OUT.

    • BarryvilleCastNBlast on said:

      TRCP has taken a stance on climate-change, as they very well should. The President dedicated a part of his inauguration speech to the issue. Mr. Geer simply pointed that out. How is that jumping on the Obama bandwagon? Did you even read the article- or did you just look at the title, and got all defensive and red-faced about it? This article isn’t about gun rights. It’s about climate change.

      Sorry J Austin, you sound like a poorly-informed “conservationalist.”

  3. Erik Jensen on said:

    Right on, Bill ! It made me hopeful. I think we have to push him to do it, though. The fossil fuel industry is very powerful in DC, and Obama could give up on it and move to the next issue he thinks he can get a legislative victory on, Sportsmen should remember that in addition to the effects on fish, wildlife and ecosystems rising temperatures are having, the extraction of fossil fuels is occupying more and more of our public lands and taking away our hunting and fishing opportunities.

  4. Bill Geer on said:

    For a look at how climate change is making an impact on sportsmen, watch the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYx_ncjJV0U&feature=share&list=UUxvwuxKu9s68TXLpK3ZUe8g

  5. Russ Cohen on said:

    I commend the TRCP for the ambitious conservation objectives set out in its 2013 Conservation Policy Agenda). I was particularly pleased to see a new “Water” section focusing on safeguarding instream flows. I also liked this bullet point:

    - Promote non-structural flood control alternatives and improve post-flood response, especially in headwater streams

    I don’t know if you saw the recent Associated Press story about failing levees and structurally-deficient dams. Unfortunately, the AP reporters neglected to point out the opportunities to employ non-structural solutions to this problem.

  6. Eric Nuse on said:

    Looks like progress. The President talking about taking action, the folks in denial moving from “it isn’t happening” to “we aren’t doing it. ”
    I’d hope the notion that we need to prepare for a warmer earth (because it is unmistakeably warmer) would unite everyone – especially sportsmen – to action. Action to reduce our effect and to help wildlife adapt to a warmer world.

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