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Letter: Combat climate change to preserve the outdoors

For years, many of us here in Minnesota have relished long days outside hunting, fishing and wildlife watching. Our outdoor traditions are part of our local culture. What we don’t relish however, is being infected by a tick or bringing home an itchy poison ivy rash.

Thanks to a new report by the National Wildlife Federation, I realize that my time spent outdoors might be cut short if we don’t tackle climate change. Ticked Off: The Outdoor Experience and Climate Change cites the science and explains how climate change is increasing the numbers and ranges of bothersome pests like deer ticks, tiger mosquitoes, stink bugs, and poison ivy.

This report sends a clear message that we must combat climate change if there is any hope in preserving our cherished outdoor experiences. Fortunately, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed the Clean Power Plan, which would limit the amount of carbon pollution from power plants. This rule is a step in the right direction, and I encourage others to support the rule not just for my own outdoor benefit, but for the chance to save our local outdoor culture. — Bill Faber, Cushing, Minn.

(Faber is an instructor at Central Lakes College.)