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Clean Power Plan: “Vital” for NH Moose, Trout, Shrimp and More

New Hampshire conservationists say streams such as this one in Epsom should return to cooler temperatures under the new EPA Clean Power Plan, which will benefit native brook trout and other local fish and wildlife. Credit: Eric Orff/National Wildlife Federation.
New Hampshire conservationists say streams such as this one in Epsom should return to cooler temperatures under the new EPA Clean Power Plan, which will benefit native brook trout and other local fish and wildlife. Credit: Eric Orff/National Wildlife Federation.
August 7, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire biologists, sportsmen and conservationists are giving "thumbs-up" to the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan announced by President Obama this week.

Art Green, a New Hampshire sportsman and volunteer coordinator for Trout Unlimited, said climate change is a global problem, so the plan's goal of reducing power-plant carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030 is of vital importance.

"Power plants in the U.S. are a major contributor to global warming," he said, "and we absolutely have to face the future and what we can do to improve things."

Green said warming waters are threatening brook trout, which have been native to local waters for thousands of years and are a prime draw for sports tourism. Warmer waters also are being blamed for the disappearance of northern shrimp off the coast of Seabrook.

Kris Rines is a moose biologist with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. The agency is working to restore the local moose population, which she said by some estimates has dropped by as much as 50 percent.

"Shorter winters lead to increased parasitism," she said, "and really, the only way to reduce that is to reduce carbon emissions, and to bring our longer winters back."

The EPA plan is expected to face court challenges by some power companies and states that contend that the regulations will be too costly and hurt local economies.

Wildlife biologist Eric Orff, New England outreach coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation, said New Hampshire's track record as part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative proves otherwise.

"In fact, over the last five years, we've actually cut the carbon output here in New Hampshire by some 30 percent or more," he said. "Our economy is booming - so we know we can have clean energy, reduced carbon emissions, and still have plenty of jobs."

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH