Matt Tucker: McClintock should support the Sierra on climate change
June 14, 2018
McClintock should support the Sierra on climate change
On April 13, a bipartisan house resolution (HR 825) was introduced by two Republican members of the House Climate Solutions Caucus, along with two Democrats asking that congress recognize the impacts of climate change on outdoor recreation and that congress support action to address the causes and effects of climate change.
This is a small but important gesture in the right direction. We here in Tahoe are already feeling the effects of climate change in several ways: more frequent and intense forest fires (and the smoke these fires generate), an increasingly severe bark beetle infestation, and decreased snowpack. I urge our representative in the House Tom McClintock (R) to throw his support behind this bill.
A large part of this district relies on income generated from tourist dollars. Bare ski hills and burnt or dead forests certainly will have an effect on tourist dollars. We can't ascribe our weather this winter to climate change with any certainty, but the trend is clear. More precipitation is falling as rain at the base of the ski hills than in the past due to warmer temperatures. Consider that we used to have a ski hill in downtown Truckee! That could never happen today. Furthermore, anyone who was around to witness the Angora Fire and its aftermath, or the summer of 1960 wildfire in what is now Tahoe Donner that scorched 45,000 acres, knows how vulnerable our entire community is to wildfire.
And climate change greatly increases the likelihood of a devastating fire in our area.
Lastly, drought has stressed our local forests, making them vulnerable to infestation by bark beetle. So far, the Tahoe region has been spared the worst, but if you want a preview of coming attractions go see the communities to our south and west where vast swaths of forest are dead. Droughts in the Sierra are expected to get longer and more intense with climate change. Please, Rep. McClintock, do what you can to slow the effects of climate change on our community, starting with getting behind HR 825.
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