Big Names Attend Sierra Club Sportsmen Presentation
Thirty-one people, including Representatives Wexler, Holt, Grijalva, Inglis, Eshoo, and Dorgan, as well as members of various wildlife advocacy organizations, attended the June 30 Congressional Press Briefing titled “Conserving the Big Game Migrations of the American West.” The event was sponsored by Congressman Rush Holt, and speakers included representatives from the Sierra Club, the Western Governors’ Association, the Western Wildlife Council, Freedom to Roam, the Wildlife & Habitat Initiative, and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.
The briefing was put on by the Sierra Club’s Sierra Sportsmen program, which aims to unite conservation-minded anglers and hunters from around the country and empower them to be leaders in the protection of our wild places and wildlife. The goal of the briefing was to bring attention to the rapid loss of migration routes and wildlife corridors in the western states for big game such as caribou, pronghorn, and mule deer. Climate change and poorly planned development are cited as the main reasons for this loss of habitat. During the briefing, both science and policy were used to discuss what is already being done about this problem and why it is such a crucial issue.
The effect of habitat loss on the sportsmen industry was especially highlighted. As climate change reduces the food supply for big game animals, which are popular prey for hunters, the animals are forced to migrate to new habitats. However, when their migration corridors are destroyed, the animals cannot move to more plentiful habitats, and thus they face extinction. With no animals to hunt, the sportsmen trade also is threatened.
This entry was written by Sierra Club Media Intern Natalie Gaber.