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U.S. hunters, anglers lobby for climate bill

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An unlikely lobbying group is pressing the U.S. Senate to curb greenhouse gas emissions: American hunting and fishing groups who fear climate change will disrupt their sport

An unlikely lobbying group is pressing the U.S. Senate to curb greenhouse gas emissions: American hunting and fishing groups who fear climate change will disrupt their sport.

Hunters and anglers are mainly a Republican Party constituency representing tens of millions of votes in the U.S. heartland and could help swing crucial votes as the Senate tries to pass legislation to cut carbon output.

Twenty national hunting and fishing groups urged senators in a letter last month to ensure "the climate legislation you consider in the Senate both reduces greenhouse gas emissions and safeguards natural resources."

Among those calling for "comprehensive" legislation were groups not usually associated with liberal causes, like the Dallas Safari Club, the National Trappers Association and Pheasants Forever.

One of their worries, for example, is that the fowl they hunt might not migrate as far south if northern U.S. states become warmer.

"If you go out and hunt at the same time in the same season and the same place every year, then you understand the changes that are happening," said Jeremy Symons, senior vice president for conservation at the National Wildlife Federation, which claims a membership 420,000 sportsmen in 46 states.

These groups will be going up against powerful Washington lobbies -- the coal and oil industries, for example -- that are pushing hard to soften any mandatory pollution controls.

Legislation to reduce U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, which scientists link to global warming, is one of President Barack Obama's top domestic policy priorities. Read more from Reuters UK

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