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A Call to Action for OR Hunting, Fishing Buffs

February 18, 2008

Salem, OR – If you hunt or fish in Oregon, you're on the front lines to notice the impact of climate change on the environment. Today, a rally at the Oregon State Capitol will call on lawmakers to do something about it. Twenty-eight sportsmen's groups in the state have joined together to ask our Congressional delegation to cosponsor three bills to reduce global warming pollution.

Doug Howell, regional executive director of the National Wildlife Federation, says across the country, almost 700 groups are asking their lawmakers to do the same.

"We want to send a very clear message that sportsmen care about climate impact –- they know it, they're feeling it, they're seeing their heritage slip away, that they want to pass on to their children -- and we need to have a very strong showing."

One of today's rally particpants is Tom Wolf, chairman of the Oregon Council of Trout Unlimited. He says he's already seen changes in weather, plant species, wildlife, and fishing seasons -- all of which affect how thousands of Oregonians spend their free time.

"To say, 'Well, y'know, it's not caused by what we humans are doing,' I think that's a cop-out. I think we need to operate on the principle that it might be, and we need to do something to stop it, just because there is a chance."

The bills the group is asking Oregon Congressional representatives to back are the "Climate Stewardship Act" and "Safe Climate Act" in the U.S. House, and the "Climate Security Act" in the U.S. Senate. The federal legislation mandates a two percent annual reduction in global warming pollution over the next 40 years. That's what scientists say it will take to protect wildlife and habitat. More information is available online at www.nwf.org.

The rally begins today at 1:00 PM on the State Capitol steps in Salem.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR