Climate change

TU's mission is to conserve, protect and restore North America's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. As discussed in our report Healing Troubled Waters,climate change threatens to undo 50 years of conservation work carrying out that mission. The science is clear that human-caused climate change is already occurring and that impacts will increase in the future. Warming temperatures, increased drought and wildfires, and increased storm intensity and flooding are just some of the potential impacts associated with climate change. TheEnvironmental Protection Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change both provide extensive information about the scientific evidence demonstrating climate change and its potential impacts.

Trout and salmon are especially vulnerable to climate change because they are dependent on an abundance of clean, cold water. U.S. Forest Service scientists predict that over half of the wild trout populations will likely disappear from the southern Appalachian Mountains because of the effects of warming stream temperatures. Losses of western trout populations may exceed 60% in certain regions, with potential losses of migratory bull trout as high as 90%.

TU is working to develop habitat protection and restoration activities that will help trout and salmon survive in a changing climate. You can read about ten steps we are taking to protect trout and salmon from climate change. These actions hinge on developing partnerships with federal, state and local agencies, landowners and other nonprofits to develop watershed solutions to improve habitat and protect fish populations.

As we move to address climate change, TU believes it is necessary to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change while investing in protecting our natural resources and helping them adapt to inevitable changes in climate. TU is working to advance legislation that will accomplish both of these goals as we continue to engage in efforts to protect and restore trout and salmon habitat across the nation.

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