NWF Action Fund Asks Presidential Candidates to Save NH's Moose

"Moose are just one of America's iconic wildlife species being impacted by climate change, from mule deer and bighorn sheep to salmon and brook trout. Climate concern is especially strong among sportsmen, who've experienced changes for years in the places they love to hunt and fish." said Collin O'Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund.

Presidential candidates are getting a reminder of the harms of climate change this year in New Hampshire: Stuffed moose. Candidates are receiving them along with a warning New Hampshire’s moose are dying off in warmer winters fueled by global warming.

“Moose are just one of America’s iconic wildlife species being impacted by climate change, from mule deer and bighorn sheep to salmon and brook trout. Climate concern is especially strong among sportsmen, who’ve experienced changes for years in the places they love to hunt and fish.” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund. “Poll after poll shows that Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike all support addressing climate change and cutting carbon pollution--it shouldn't be a partisan issue. That’s why we’re asking candidates a simple question: What’s your plan?”

So far, candidates receiving moose include Republicans Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and John Kasich and Democrats Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley.

The New Hampshire moose population has declined by nearly half in the last decade, from 7,500 to 4,000. Scientists say shorter and warmer winters brought about by climate change are hurting our moose. In addition to heat stress, the lack of snowpack in northern NH during April and November has caused a dramatic increase in winter ticks – instead of falling off moose and dying in the snow, the ticks mate, multiply, and climb back on their hosts. Moose have to deal with 30,000 ticks at a time even in a normal year, but in recent warm years, moose carry as many as 150,000 ticks. After the unseasonably warm winter in 2011, scientists think it’s likely that all calves born the previous year were killed, along with 40 percent of adults.

“In just the last 15 years, we’ve watched New Hampshire’s moose population cut in half, many of them literally eaten alive by winter ticks that thrive in warmer temperatures,” said Eric Orff, New Hampshire outreach coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation and a retired wildlife biologist with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. “I spent three decades of my life working to restore fish and wildlife in New Hampshire and I want to confront climate change now to make sure those gains are preserved for my grandchildren and generations to come.”

Plummeting moose populations also threaten New Hampshire’s outdoor economy. An estimated 786,000 people took part in fishing, hunting and other wildlife-related recreation in New Hampshire generating $554 million in economic activity in 2011, according to the most recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey.

Moose in other parts of the country have struggled as well. The northeast Minnesota population of the iconic animal has fallen a shocking 35 percent in 2013, forcing the cancelation of the 2013 fall hunting season entirely. The other population of about 4,000 moose in northwest Minnesota virtually disappeared over 20 years, with fewer than 100 remaining by the mid-2000s.

Among the solutions candidates can support to show they’re serious about confronting climate change:

  • Clean Power Plan Implementation: States must finalize strong implementation plans, which need to be submitted in September of this year, that promote responsibly developed clean energy and successful carbon trading regimes, like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that New Hampshire is part of with other Northeastern states. 
  • Stopping Carbon Intensive Fuels: We must continue to build on the remarkable progress in stopping high carbon fuel extraction and transport, like tar sands oil and coal.
  • Plugging Methane Pollution Leaks: The Environmental Protection Agency is working to finalize a rule to limit methane pollution – 80 times more potent in warming our climate than carbon dioxide over the short term – from new sources of oil and natural gas production and also regulate methane pollution from existing oil and gas sources. Similarly, it’s time for the Bureau of Land Management to regulate oil and gas methane pollution on public lands.
  • Putting a Price on Carbon: In order to achieve the level of pollution reduction ultimately needed to avert the worst impacts of climate change, we need action from Congress that will shift the cost of carbon pollution onto the polluters and create a fair market where clean energy sources will thrive.
  • Advancing Clean Energy Like Offshore Wind: The Deepwater Wind project off Rhode Island, set to be completed this summer, will be America’s first offshore wind project, but it is only a sliver of the vast potential we can harvest. Offshore wind can deliver clean, reliable, affordable power for New Hampshire and other coastal states.

Learn more about the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund at NWFActionFund.org

 

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Paid for by National Wildlife Federation Action Fund, 202-797-6605, which is responsible for its content. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

The National Wildlife Federation Action Fund is the 501(c)4 grassroots lobbying arm of the National Wildlife Federation. NWF Action Fund is an organization that advocates for the conservation interests of hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts from all walks of life and political stripes. We are committed to encouraging participation in the democratic process and inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future. www.nwfactionfund.org.