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troutunlimited_8Trout Unlimited Policy on Climate Change and Promoting Responsible Energy Development to Protect Coldwater Fisheries

Scope and Purpose.

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he mission of Trout Unlimited (TU) is to conserve, protect, and restore North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. Central to this mission is the promotion of land and water management that maximizes habitat conservation and minimizes impacts caused by land and water use activities, including the development, construction, operation, and decommissioning of energy projects and facilities. To varying degrees, all energy development has the potential to affect North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. The purpose of this policy statement is to provide guidance for TU’s conservation activities as they relate to land and water use associated with energy development, production, transmission and transportation as it affects coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.

TU is uniquely qualified to influence the formulation and implementation of an  environmentally sound and responsible energy policy at the national, state, and local levels. TU’s more than 150,000 members, most of whom are sportsmen, sports women and anglers, have detailed knowledge of local and regional conditions, and a long and successful history in planning and carrying out conservation projects. TU also has a highly qualified and capable professional conservation staff. And TU has a proven track record of science-based analysis using respected tools such as the Conservation Success Index (CSI) for evaluating and mitigating impacts on coldwater fisheries and their watersheds throughout North America. In addition TU has completed an ecological footprint analysis that prioritizes areas suitable and unsuitable for future energy development activities.

Policy Statement.

1. Climate Change

Climate change poses a significant long-term threat to North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds, both by increasing water temperatures in critical habitat areas and by contributing to the frequency and severity of adverse weather events. TU recognizes the powerful connections between our Nation’s energy choices and climate change.

TU understands that avoiding the severe harmful effects that climate change will have on coldwater fisheries and their watersheds requires both a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from existing energy production as well as a fundamental shift in energy sources from fossil fuels to low-carbon technologies and conservation. Accordingly, TU supports policies and comprehensive systems mechanisms that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and hasten the shift to low-carbon energy sources and conservation.

However, the harmful effects of climate change on coldwater fisheries and their watersheds are already present. Because of this, and the deleterious impacts to coldwater fisheries that are expected as a result, TU’s primary focus has been and will be to advocate policies and approaches that make communities and landscapes more resilient to the effects of climate change and to do so in a way that benefits wild and native coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.

2. Responsible Energy Development

Read complete Policy Statement of Trout Unlimited . . .


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