Thank you. Again, thank you, Ms. Hughes, for the question.
I'm not a scientist. I'm not a biologist. We employ 17 biologists at our federation for fish and wildlife, and invasive species, and land use, and other reasons. They'd probably be able to give you a more thorough answer than I can.
Certainly any time we see impacts on the environment, whether they're due to man-made effects, things like clear-cutting or dams or whatever, and other issues like weather pattern changes, obviously it's going to affect fish and wildlife populations, and it's a concern to us. In fact, at our conference last week we had Dr. John Casselman speak about the impact of climate change on fisheries.
Again, this is because I'm not a scientist. If I were, maybe I could comment better on this. The whole issue of climate change, there still seems to be a big debate on how much of an impact it has, how widespread it is, and what exactly it is doing on the ground. There seem to be two very divergent positions: yes, it's climate change and it's doing all these things, or no, it's not, and it's not doing all these things.
I certainly think it is one of several factors that has to be considered when you are creating public policy that deals with fish and wildlife, or natural resources in general. At the same time, we see governments making decisions on things as concrete as—again, that's no pun on that one because I'm talking about dam removal—for instance, the Black Sturgeon dam in Ontario, which is going to be removed, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources. We're saying yes, but when you take that out, you're going to allow sea lamprey full rein to get into water bodies where the dam is stopping them right now. Those sea lamprey are an invasive species and they're going to have a massive effect on the fishery.
Those are the types of public policy decisions that concern us just as much as climate change does, because their impact will be immediate, not 10, 15, or 20 years down the road. The influx of sea lamprey on a fisheries population, just as zebra mussels did in the Great Lakes, or as Asian carp might do if they ever get through the sanitary canal in Chicago and get into the Great Lakes, they'll decimate the fishery of the Great Lakes entirely if they ever get loose.
These man-made decisions, or man-made problems, are so immediate. I'm not saying climate change is not a concern because clearly it is. These other man-made decisions that are not based on science are just as problematic and tend to have very immediate repercussions on our natural resources. I think those are equal concerns.