Weekend To-Do: There’s Something Fishy about Climate Change

National Wildlife Federation invites you to a two-day conference on the impact of climate change on the state’s coldwater and coolwater fisheries and waterfowl migratory patterns, Friday-Saturday, February 26-27 in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Warmer temperatures and extreme weather events will have a significant impact on hunting and fishing in Arkansas and will not only affect sporting activities, but also the local businesses that depend on hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation dollars.

A “Meet and Greet Reception” will begin at 5 p.m. at Arkansas State University – Mountain Home, Dryer Lobby, with food and soft drinks. The program will begin in McMullin Lecture Hall at 5:30 p.m. with Dr. Ed Coulter, Chancellor of ASU – Mountain Home Director beginning the evening session of the Sportsman’s Forum. Presenters include Game and Fish Biologists, climatologists, and other wildlife experts presenting information regarding national, regional, and local issues relating to climate change.

Trout Unlimited Climatologist, Scott Laeser, from Washington, D.C. will headline the presentations Friday evening, focusing upon trout waters and Trout Unlimited’s national climate action strategy. Climatologist, Dr. Robert McAfee, of Repower Arkansas will give a broad overview of Climate Change. Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s trout biologist, Jeff Williams will talk about Arkansas’ tailwater trout fisheries. Mark Sattelberg, USFWS’ Ecological Field Supervisor for Arkansas will give the economic statistics for hunting and fishing in Arkansas as well as talk about the USFWS’ Climate Action Plan. Dr. Jim Bednarz, Director of the Wildlife Ecology and Management Program at the Arkansas State University at Jonesboro, will present regional research on the climate-change impacts of overwintering ducks in the Mississippi Flyway.

After the evening session, everyone is invited to the Comfort Inn’s Conference Room ( 1031 Highland Circle) for evening drinks and snacks and an additional opportunity to network with area business leaders, hunters, anglers, and various natural resource personnel.

Saturday’s session will begin at Gaston’s Conference Lodge (1777 River Road) at Lakeview at 9 a.m. Steve Filipek, AGFC Assistant Chief of Fisheries, will talk about Arkansas’ Smallmouth Bass Fishery. A panel discussion of Arkansas’ Clean Energy Works Coalition will give a legislative update on the American Clean Energy and Security Act that the House of Representatives passed in June of 2009 as well as the proposed climate legislation currently being discussed in the Senate. The panel will represent several conservation and natural resource organizations in Arkansas including: Audubon Arkansas, Repower Arkansas, Pew Environment Group, The National Wildlife Federation, Arkansas Wildlife Federation, Arkansas Business Leaders for a Clean Energy Economy, Interfaith Power and Light, Arkansas Clean Energy Works Coalition, and The Ecological Conservation Organization.

The last session of the day will be an interactive activity called The Local Café Leadership Discussion. Every forum attendee will be asked to participate in the Local Café discussions by visiting the different “Café tables” throughout the room and discussing the presentations and information from the forum. Local responses will be recorded and presented by Café table recorders and suggested action items and next steps will be presented to the entire group after the Café discussions have ended.

After lunch there will be free fishing trips offered on a first come, first serve sign-up. If you are interested in a free fishing trip please indicate when you register for the conference. You can register by calling Ellen McNulty at (870329-1396 or by email at  sportsmansforum@gmail.com by giving your name, address, phone number and email. You will be sent a registration confirmation with additional details. Don’t forget to bring your fishing gear and appropriate clothing. A fishing license can be purchased at Gaston’s Resort.

Climate change will be one of the defining issues of the 21st century. It will not only be an environmental issue, it will also be a defining societal and economic issue. Decisions we make now will have an impact on generations to come. If we want to continue our hunting and fishing heritage for our children and grandchildren, we are going to have to work together to solve the real problems of today. economy and ways to protect Arkansas’ environment and our fishing and hunting heritage. Please join the National Wildlife Federation for a dialogue on local economy and ways to protect Arkansas’ environment and our fishing and hunting heritage.

This conference is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Ellen McNulty, Arkansas Outreach Coordinator, National Wildlife Federation, at (870)329-1396 or awf.ellen.mcnulty@gmail.com.

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One response to “Weekend To-Do: There’s Something Fishy about Climate Change

  1. can you post about my site?

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