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Trump says he is not buying U.S. intelligence as he meets with Putin. Also on the rundown: as harvest nears farmers speak out on tariffs; immigrant advocates say families should not be kept in cages; and a call for a deeper dive to the Lake Erie algae troubles.

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Wildlife in Hot Water

Climate change is ransforming of Earth’s water cycle. Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Climate change is ransforming of Earth’s water cycle. Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
August 20, 2015

DENVER – Thousands of sockeye salmon have died this year because of unseasonably warm river waters in the Pacific Northwest.

That's just one indication that climate change is causing a rapid transformation of Earth's water cycle, according to a new report from the National Wildlife Federation.

Aaron Kindle, the organization's western sportsmen's campaign manager, says warming also could disrupt ecosystems critical for hunting and fishing in Colorado.

"So much of the wildlife relies on those areas that are influenced by water,” he points out. “That's going to have a real big impact for not just angling but for all the other wildlife out there, and huntable wildlife too."

Kindle says earlier and more rapid snow melt is a big concern in Colorado. Since all of the state's streams originate in the high country, he says a lack of cold water during hot summers could put trout species at risk.

Kindle adds that more than 2 million people fish, hunt or watch wildlife in Colorado, generating more than $2.5 billion annually in economic activity.

At the top of the report's recommendations is to implement the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, the largest source of climate pollution.

Kindle says if action to slow climate change isn't taken, the impacts to aquatic ecosystems – and the fish and wildlife they support – could become irreversible.

"If we don't do something that cuts carbon emissions, sporting and hunting and fishing as we know it will cease to exist,” he maintains. “And that spells a lot of bad news for folks who want to take their kids out fishing who've done it all their lives and want to pass on that tradition."

The report calls for speeding up the transition from carbon-intense fuels – coal, oil and gas – to solar, wind, geothermal and biofuels. It also outlines management strategies for safeguarding wildlife habitat, and urges support for the EPA's Clean Water Rule to keep waterways that support wildlife healthy.





Eric Galatas/Scott Herron, Public News Service - CO