|4:02 PM EST||
Gerry Connolly, D-VA 11th
Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleague.
As the cochair of the Green Dogs of the SEEC Caucus, I rise in support of this amendment and proud to cosponsor it.
The bill before us purports to be about expanding opportunities for sportsmen on Federal lands, yet it fails to recognize the significant effect climate change will have on such opportunities. For example, what will climate change mean for hunters who are forced away from parks because of drought or threat of wildfire? As we witnessed this year, wildfire seasons are now longer, larger, and longer-term than ever before because of climate change. The migratory patterns of ducks and, for that matter,
the patterns of fish, to name just two species, are also being negatively affected.
What will climate change mean for anglers who find streams drying up and killing fish? Last September, Montana officials closed the Blackfoot River--not the Secretary, they did--the iconic backdrop for the book and film, ``A River Runs Through It,'' to protect fish from the stress of low-level river flows.
Mr. Chairman, if we really want to protect and expand outdoor recreational opportunities, shouldn't we understand what climate change will mean, not only for hunters, but for the affected wildlife and their habitat?
I urge my colleagues to support this simple, commonsense amendment.