Thursday, February 4, 2010

Climate Change impacts to hunting and fishing

© 2010 Joshua Stark

At first I thought the idea I'm going to post here would make me look incredibly slow - maybe it does - but after I did a little googling, I've realized that, with few exceptions, we must all be slow.
I thought, "gee, I wonder if anybody has done any work on the impacts of climate change to hunting and fishing, not just as pastimes or endeavors, but also to the industries that serve them, and to the habitats, animals, and folks that these pastimes protect."

After poking around a bit, I found two good websites that start this discussion. One, of course, comes from the National Wildlife Federation: Target Global Warming ( This is a beautifully designed website with some amazing photos, and is a good place to start when you want to find out about potential global warming impacts on habitats and animals. However, I found no forecasts on the impacts to industries, or to hunting and fishing as ways of life, and links to their information take you back to NWF articles and publications about more general impacts. That is fine, but it would be nice to see some more hunting- or fishing-focused stuff.

The second website, Season's End (, is the kickoff of the book by the same name, edited by staff at the Bipartisan Policy Center. BPC is an organization founded by Bob Dole, Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, and George Mitchell. This is THE place for information on the potential impacts of climate change to hunting and fishing. The book is free on the website as a download (8 MB), the site is also beautifully designed, and the information is great. They break down impacts by game (waterfowl, big game, etc.), and you can click on links that give you a little bit of information and a taste of what the book offers. For example, they state that the Prairie Pothole region may see a 90% loss in its wetlands, and the Chenier Plain Marshes of Louisiana may lose 99% of its waterfowl.

My one complaint is that their blog hasn't been updated since July of 2009.

Season's End is supported by a number of well-known hunting organizations - perhaps you are a member of one - and is well worth a look. So is NWF's site.

If you tend not to believe in the science of human-cause global warming, just remember that conservation is good in and of itself. Also, please reconsider your position by reading, especially since every outdoors organization that I know of, regardless of political affiliation, is concerned about it and trying to educate and help solve it as a problem.


Zach said...

Thanks for the shout out. I would like to point out that we do have some information on the hunting/fishing impacts in a few states listed here:

There are also a host of reports ranging from impacts to sportfishing in Florida to waterfowl available here:

And as far as Season's End goes, if you like this site, keep an eye out later this spring. The same organizations will be releasing an updated report.

Josh said...

Zach, thanks for stopping by! It's my goal in life to show the deep and vital connections among the various environmental and conservation groups. I appreciate your work in trying to bridge these gaps, too.

I would be very interested in helping out in other ways as I can, too. Please shoot me an email, and we can talk.

I'll also stay tuned for Season's End; I'm glad they are staying on it, too.