In 2004, TU’s National Leadership Council, our board of volunteer leaders, approved inclusion of climate change on TU’s National Conservation Agenda. Since then, TU staff and volunteers have been working to better understand a changing climate’s impacts on trout and salmon and what TU and its members can do to reduce the potential consequences to our fish and wildlife and the ecosystems they inhabit. TU is addressing climate issues from the national to the local scale, engaging in projects to protect trout and salmon and their coldwater habitats in the field while also working to make sure Congress and the Administration are taking action to address this critical issue.
My name is Scott Laeser, and I am TU’s new climate change fellow. I’ll be working to integrate climate change science and policies into TU’s coldwater fisheries conservation work, whether that involves TU members and volunteers at the local level or TU’s work with legislators and federal agencies, and building on the great work in which TU is already engaged. The TU blog will provide an opportunity to share TU’s efforts to help trout and salmon adapt to a changing climate. It is also intended as a place where members can get information and ask questions about climate change and what TU is doing about it, and to share experiences, ideas, and thoughts about what is possibly the greatest conservation challenge of our time.
If you aren’t too familiar with climate change and its potential impacts on trout and salmon, you can start by checking out the report TU released in 2007, Healing Troubled Waters. In the coming days, look for more information about the historic legislation being debated in Congress right now that seeks to both reduce emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and invest in protecting fish and wildlife from the ongoing and avoidable future impacts. We’ll also look at more of the science behind the impacts of climate change on trout and salmon and what TU is doing in the field to help trout and salmon survive. Stay tuned!