Todd Tanner, founder and chairman of Conservation Hawks, Inc., a group of hunters and anglers working to defend America’s sporting heritage, today issued the following statement:

When we started Conservation Hawks, we had a simple idea. We decided to focus our efforts on the most important threats to hunting and fishing. We looked at a wide variety of potential issues – habitat destruction, wilderness, pollution, sporting access, predators, changing social views, etc. – but climate change was far and away the largest threat on the horizon.

And now, more than a year later, our country is burning up, our politicians in Washington, D.C. remain unwilling to act, and too many sportsmen are sitting on the sidelines while our trout streams and elk camps hang by a thread.

Here are the relevant facts. July was the hottest month ever recorded in the Lower 48. January 2012 through July 2012 was the hottest January to July ever recorded in the United States. August 2011 through July 2012 was the hottest 12 month period ever recorded in the United States.

We all know that the heat has been overwhelming. We’ve set or tied more than 27,000 new maximum high temperature records this year. We are also seeing devastating droughts, extreme storms and incredibly destructive wildfires. Fish and wildlife are being hammered, while hunters and anglers are losing precious time afield. Simply put, we are beginning to experience the changing climate our scientists have warned us about – the same overheated climate we will pass on to future generations if we don’t break our unholy addiction to fossil fuels.

We invite hunters, anglers and conservationists from every region, and of every political persuasion, to stand with us. It’s time for sportsmen to speak up. If we want to protect our hunting and fishing, and if we hope to share a healthy natural world with our kids and grandkids, we have to cut our greenhouse gas emissions. Our politicians need to know that real Americans are focused on this issue – and that global warming has our full and undivided attention.

This is the United States of America. We are leaders, not followers. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work on climate change.

Logo courtesy of Conservation Hawks

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