MISSOULA, Mont. (November 19, 2020) - The Boone and Crockett Club today released its policy position statement on climate change, outlining recommendations to reduce carbon emissions, promote natural climate solutions, and invest in carbon reduction technologies. The position statement updates a previous position developed in 2009 and was developed by a core team of regular and professional members of the Club with input from experts representing a wide spectrum of political perspectives. Data in the United States shows that sea level is rising, heat waves and storm events are growing in severity, and various timing cues or ranges for vegetation and wildlife are shifting. Hunters are attuned to fluctuations in and stresses on big game populations and their habitat, and are seeing significant impacts to our forests, streams, and coastlines. The Club is concerned that wildlife and its habitat may not have the ability to adapt to these observed rapid changes unless action is taken soon. In accordance with its mission to conserve and sustain abundant wildlife populations and their habitat for future generations, the Boone and Crockett Club is committed to policies that reduce greenhouse gases and combat their effect on climate.
"Those of us who spend time in the field hunting have seen firsthand the effects of changing weather patterns through catastrophic wildfires, severe coastal storms, and extremes of droughts or floods. Habitat is destroyed or changed in these events, limiting the ability for wildlife populations to be resilient. The Boone and Crockett Club has been a leader in conservation for over 125 years and we recognized the need for our organization to play a role in the growing discussions on climate change," commented Club president Tim Brady. "We hope that our recommendations will ultimately result in policies that reduce atmospheric carbon and ensure that natural systems are able to provide for our wildlife resources, while ensuring a robust economy and strong job growth."
To help reduce carbon emissions, the Club supports policy that allows governments and stakeholders to reduce carbon emissions through a market-based carbon price mechanism that provides sufficient flexibility and economic protections. In addition, the Club supports an increase in renewable energy production on public lands but cautions against development in areas with priority habitats such as migration corridors or flyways. The position statement also recommends the universal implementation of standard procedures to capture methane leakage from oil and gas production through readily available technologies.
The second primary focus of the position statement encourages the use of natural climate solutions. The Club recommends directing funding and incentives to support carbon sequestration by conserving healthy forests, grasslands, and wetlands that have the potential to store 30 percent or more of needed carbon reductions. Sustainable, active management of forests, both public and private, would be a significant benefit to the climate, and to restoring millions of acres of wildlife habitat. Improved grazing practices and nutrient management on farms, likewise, offer substantial carbon savings. In addition, the conservation of wildlife habitat and natural areas should be funded using revenues from any carbon price mechanism. This would ensure that new climate-related funding would support carbon storage needs while also providing the quality habitat wildlife will need to adapt to a changing climate. In addition, the Club recommends that the U.S. take steps to curtail the loss of tropical forests internationally, particularly from illegal logging.
Finally, within the area of investing in carbon reduction technologies, the position statement calls for the increased use of innovative forest products and the deployment of clean energy technology. Federal, state, and local governments should adopt requirements to employ innovative forest products to reduce embodied carbon emissions in new public building construction, and ramp up sustainable forestry practices to ensure a net carbon reduction effect. The Club recommends scaling up and deploying clean energy technology that will benefit the economy while reducing carbon emissions.
"When 4 billion people worldwide stayed at home during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, the world carbon emissions decreased dramatically. Unfortunately, the reduction in carbon emissions caused by the severe worldwide economic contraction also caused painful, even catastrophic, social, and humanitarian issues," Brady concluded. "A goal to reduce carbon emissions cannot be accomplished by devastating nations' economies and exacerbating social and humanitarian challenges worldwide. The better goal is to make clean energy affordable for all parts of the world, focus on technology that can decarbonize global energy uses, and invest in natural systems that can store carbon while also providing critical habitat for wildlife."
About the Boone and Crockett Club
Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club promotes guardianship and visionary management of big game and associated wildlife in North America. The Club maintains the highest standards of fair chase sportsmanship and habitat stewardship. Member accomplishments include enlarging and protecting Yellowstone and establishing Glacier and Denali national parks, founding the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, fostering the Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, creating the Federal Duck Stamp program, and developing the cornerstones of modern game laws. The Boone and Crockett Club is headquartered in Missoula, Montana. For details, visit www.boone-crockett.org.