Anglers deeply disappointed in climate change decision

Anglers deeply disappointed in decision to withdraw from Paris Climate Accord
Trout and salmon highly susceptible to impacts of climate change

Shauna Stephenson / Trout Unlimited / (307) 757-7861

(June 1, 2017) WASHINGTON D.C. The Trump Administration announced today that it would withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Accord. Chris Wood, President and CEO of Trout Unlimited, issued the following statement:

“Trout Unlimited and its 300,000 members and supporters are deeply disappointed that President Trump has withdrawn the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. The U.S. is now one of three nations in the world not to agree to take measures to combat climate change. Todays withdrawal will likely lead to increased harm to our water resources, including our precious trout and salmon resources.

Trout anglers know better than anyone the impacts of climate change and rising atmospheric temperatures. We have all witnessed these changes: earlier runoff, lower stream flows in summer, altered migration timing, and water too warm for trout.

Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat; accepting of prevailing climate change science or not, one fact remains inescapable: Trout and salmon depend on an abundant supply of cold, clean water every day.

U.S. Forest Service scientists predict that more than 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 percent in certain regions, with potential losses of migratory bull trout as high as 90 percent.

Trout and salmon are remarkably resilient creatures. If the habitats that they depend on are healthy, they can persist. TU has developed an integrated, landscape-scale strategy to ensure they do. First, protect the highest quality habitats. Second, reconnect protected areas to surrounding habitats. Third, restore habitats where such actions will most benefit trout and salmon. The core of this strategy is to work with state and federal agencies, conservation partners, and others to help rebuild the natural resilience of trout and salmon watersheds.

Importantly, this work benefits people too. Protecting headwater streams reduces drinking water filtration costs. Reconnecting rivers to their floodplains diminishes the risk of downstream flooding. And restoring rivers creates high-paying family wage jobs in rural communities.

TU will continue this work with our partners to buy time for trout and salmon until the political will emerges to address the causes of climate change. We remain steadfast in urging the President, Congress and the States to work with us to build watershed resilience, and an energy future which minimizes impacts to trout and salmon resources.”