PHOENIX, Ariz. -- A new report found climate change is affecting public lands used by Arizona hunters and anglers, and encouraged them to join the effort to slow the march of global warming.
It pointed out while climate change has at times been a divisive issue, working to reverse the effects of drought, wildfires and other natural events are issues that can bring people together.
Michael Cravens, advocacy and conservation director for the Arizona Wildlife Federation, said a warming planet is no longer an abstract concept.
"Climate change is an issue across our country, across the globe," Cravens explained. "But here in Arizona, boy, we've really got a front-row seat to it, and it's primarily expressing itself in drought conditions. Here we're looking at 25 years of drought at this point."
The National Wildlife Federation study, released this week, looked at climate-affected hunting and fishing areas in Arizona and across the country and provides examples of how to protect and restore drought-damaged lands.
Cravens argued when it comes to climate change, the time for talk is over and individual hunters and anglers need to take action now to restore and preserve America's wildlands and wetlands.
"Engage in restoration efforts, join up with the Elk Society, join up with Ducks Unlimited, join up with Arizona Wildlife Federation," Cravens urged. "Take advantage of volunteer opportunities to go out and do work that restores natural infrastructure."
Cravens advised federation members to become educated on climate change and be prepared to inform local, state and national decision-makers, as well as your next-door neighbor.
"Learn as much as you can," Cravens suggested. "Try to stay away from partisan politics. Educate yourself with science and then become an advocate. Become a voice for these things to educate other people."
Cravens said the 100-year-old Arizona Wildlife Federation and its affiliate groups have about 6,800 members across the state.
Source: Arizona News Connection