From: The Honorable Rush Holt
Sent By: chris.rackens@mail.house.gov
Bill: H.R. 3590
Date: 2/4/2014

Amendment Supported By:

League of Conservation Voters, The Wilderness Society, National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Park Conservation Association

Dear Colleague,

Sportsmen are among the first to notice the effects of our changing climate as changes in seasonal distribution of game and diminished natural habitats become more evident. The SHARE Act is a bill that attempts to promote recreation, shooting, hunting and fishing on public lands, but this legislation fails to address the greatest threat to the enjoyment of these activities–climate change.

I’ve joined with other members of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition to offer my amendment, which simply says that the Secretary of the Interior should continue to consider climate change when making land management decisions related to recreation and conservation on public lands.

Habitat destruction, insect infestation, drought and wildfire are at crisis levels on public lands and have already begun to restrict recreational opportunities.

In New Jersey and New York, where Hurricane Sandy decimated coastal ecosystems, the Secretary of the Interior is working to improve coastal resilience and promote natural systems that will enhance green space and wildlife.

In California, record drought has dried up water supplies and restricted opportunities to fish. Federal agencies are working to develop a National Drought Resilience Partnership to help prioritizing water resource and wildlife restoration efforts.

On other public lands insect infestation and wildlife have decimated millions of acres of land limiting future recreational opportunities for sportsmen to hunt and fish in places where they have enjoyed past successes. The Administration is implementing climate-adaptation strategies that promote fish and wildlife populations, greater biodiversity, forests, freshwater and other natural systems.

A Sportsman’s package that is serious about remedying threats to public lands recreation would be more explicit in addressing the very real threat of climate change, but my amendment doesn’t go that far. Instead we should simply ensure that nothing in this bill limits the Secretary of the Interior’s authority to plan for a changing climate, and that is exactly what this amendment would do.

I urge support for my amendment. Please contact Chris Rackens (chris.rackens@mail.house.gov; 5-5801) of my staff with any questions.

                                                                                                         Sincerely,

                                                                                                         Rush Holt

                                                                                                         Member of Congress