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Virginia Hunters and Anglers Speak Out Against Climate Change

April 24, 2009

Richmond - Climate change is negatively affecting hunting and fishing in Virginia, according to sportsmen across the state, and a new study. As one example, the report by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) finds that large numbers of mallard and black ducks are arriving months later than normal to their nesting areas along the Chesapeake Bay.

Joe Mendelson, NWF's director of global warming policy, says that has led sportsmen to become activists against climate change.

"We see hunters and anglers from all over the state who are very interested in green energy and climate change. They see the need to protect the home for fowl and game they hunt."

Mendelson accompanied a group of Virginia hunters and anglers to Washington this week to speak with lawmakers in support of a climate change bill that would limit greenhouse gases. Opponents of the bill say it will make energy more expensive, but supporters say higher efficiency standards and green energy investments will save money over the long term.

The threat of climate change is unifying environmentalists and sportsmen, says Mendelson.

"We're seeing all sorts of constituents across Virginia who are really interested in climate change - these hunters and anglers are those you might not normally expect. But, they see how climate change is actually changing the ability of those animals to survive and adapt to a warmer climate."

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee is hearing testimony by former Vice President Al Gore today on the climate change bill.

For more information: visit NWF

Aries Keck, Public News Service - VA