ICYMI: Western Caucus Members Advocate for Real Conservation Practices

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier this week, Congressional Western Caucus Members from across the United States introduced the Western Conservation Principles to continue promoting effective, locally-led, and voluntary conservation efforts already utilized throughout rural communities.

The Principles outline the need for outcome-based conservation practices, from public-private partnerships and active forest management to responsible energy development and habitat restoration, while highlighting the importance of preserving private property rights. Members also advocate for commonsense reforms to lessen regulatory burdens and curb unending cycles of frivolous litigation. Click here to learn more.

Republican Leader & Vice Chair Kevin McCarthy (CA-25): “As the grandson of a rancher, and a Californian born and raised in the Central Valley, I can tell you that our community is uniquely positioned to provide an often neglected perspective on important conservation issues being debated in today’s society. Unfortunately, time and time again, Democrats have left rural and Western America behind in order to support the every whim of environmental extremists. That’s why I’m proud of the work being done by the Congressional Western Caucus, championed by Chairman Dan Newhouse. Our Western Conservation Principles outline how conservation should be achieved: through collaboration, local Western input, and pragmatism that enables generations of Americans to enjoy our natural wonders, and not through top-down Washington mandates.” 
 
Vice Chair Bruce Westerman (AR-04), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources: “For far too long, we have allowed the federal government to dictate what it means to conserve and manage our natural resources. Through the Western Conservation Principles, we are laying out a framework to cut bureaucratic red tape and allow local voices to take the lead in stewarding our resources and implementing proven solutions to catastrophic wildfire and drought. Innovation and science-based approaches will lead us into the future, not the heavy hand of the federal government. It’s time to draw on local know-how, science and common sense to ensure our nation’s resources can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

Vice Chair Garret Graves (LA-06), Ranking Member of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis: “For years we have sounded the alarm about hurricane protection and flood prevention efforts in the Gulf Coast States, and how Louisiana’s resiliency is jeopardized by the diverted energy production overseas and the water we take on from 31 states and two Canadian provinces. In July 2020, we also rushed through Congress the Great American Outdoors Act, taking the money that we generate from offshore energy in Louisiana to buy more land in California and other western states. If we are serious about conserving America’s great outdoors, this means we must prioritize the benefits of offshore energy production just off Louisiana’s coast and address the federal management of water. Acknowledging these factors – just as we do about western land, waters and natural resources – is just as vital for our country’s conservation, energy security and coastal resiliency.”

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce: “For too long, the federal government has failed to proactively manage our forests, parks, and other public lands. In Eastern Washington, this has resulted in catastrophic wildfires, drought, and wildlife devastation. The Western Conservation Principles are a roadmap designed to cut through the bureaucratic red tape, unleash innovation, and promote collaborative conservation solutions that will deliver results for generations to come. I’m proud to be a part of this effort to win the future the American way.”

Rep. David Valadao (CA-21): “Representing a district with some of the most agriculturally productive land in the nation during this difficult drought, I understand how fundamental water reliability, storage, and infrastructure is to maintaining our environment. I also understand the importance of abiding by the Endangered Species Act in a way that reflects the most accurate science available and encourages state and local partnership. I am proud to join my colleagues on the Senate and Congressional Western Caucuses to support these Western Conservative Principles."

Rep. Blake Moore (UT-01): “Utahns understand the value of our lands. We live near, work on, and recreate in these spaces, and we know what they need. I am proud to support the Western Conservation Principles, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to promote these approaches to our decision-making processes.”

Rep. Adrian Smith (NE-03): “The Biden Administration has created more questions than answers with their conservation agenda, particularly their 30x30 plan. Federal land grabs and unilateral bureaucratic decision-making for the West is not sustainable conservation. I am glad to support the Western Conservation Principles and back the Nebraskans whose livelihoods depend on their land and its resources.”
 
Rep. Tom Tiffany (WI-07): “Healthy public lands and access to natural resources are essential to rural life. The principles put forward by the Congressional Western Caucus call for a locally-driven approach to land management and conservation as an alternative to harmful, top-down, over-reaching federal mandates. I am committed to seeking common-sense solutions to protect America’s lands, water, wildlife, hunting heritage and pocketbook.”

Rep. Fred Keller (PA-12): "Pennsylvania’s landscape and natural resources play a major role in our economy and provide our citizens and visitors with a range of recreational and environmental benefits. Preserving Pennsylvania and our nation’s natural beauty is a mission best addressed at the local level, with dedicated partners working with the federal government. We have seen that the federal government cannot manage our lands alone and it will take a combined effort to find a sustainable balance between commerce and conservation that ensures our lands and waters are protected for future generations to enjoy.”

Rep. Jay Obernolte (CA-08): “Preserving our environment and natural lands is critical to ensuring our children and grandchildren can continue to enjoy the great outdoors. I am proud to represent a district that contains over 7,830 square miles of national park land. We have a responsibility to ensure proper management of that land, including wildfire prevention and forest management strategies, to protect the safety of our communities and the continued beauty of our wild lands. These Western Caucus Conservation Principles represent a science-based approach to restoring, managing, and protecting access to our natural lands to ensure their survival for generations to come.”

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