Western Caucus Conservation Blueprint Gains Nationwide Support
National Association of Counties adopts Western Conservation Principles
Washington, April 4, 2022 | Elizabeth Daniels (202-280-8720)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, the Western Caucus Foundation hosted a virtual forum to discuss the Biden Administration’s misguided “30 by 30,” or America the Beautiful, initiative and the importance of locally-led conservation and active land management. Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Vice Chair Chris Stewart (UT-02), and Senate Western Caucus Chairman Steve Daines (MT) joined to highlight the Western Conservation Principles, an alternative to President Biden’s top-down preservationist approach that outlines the need for outcome-based conservation practices. Click here to watch the forum.
“The notion set forth by the Administration that we need to lock 30% of our lands away under a drastic ‘protected status’ by 2030 – and let’s be clear, that is exactly what they intend to do – is not only founded upon a false pretense of what conservation really means, but it is unfair to the men and women in local communities who have been working their whole lives to ensure a healthy environment for our communities and wildlife,” said Chairman Newhouse. “That’s why Western Caucus Members put together the Western Conservation Principles, our blueprint for the definition of what real conservation is. I am heartened to see these principles gaining support from local leaders across the country. Our Caucus will continue to champion local, effective conservation on behalf of the rural communities we represent.”
The Members were joined by Jonathan Shuffield, Legislative Director of the Western Interstate Region for the National Association of Counties (NACO). He announced that NACO recently voted to adopt the Western Conservation Principles during their annual meeting and submitted them as an official comment to the Biden Administration’s proposed Conservation and Stewardship Atlas.
“The policy prescriptions outlined in Western Conservation Principles provide a robust roadmap for how federal agencies can best understand the variation in conservation practices around the nation to meet the unique environmental needs of each community,” wrote NACO Executive Director and CEO Matt Chase. “…Conservation practices are best implemented collaboratively at the local level between federal agencies and impacted intergovernmental partners and private landowners.”
The Western Conservation Principles have garnered endorsements from the following groups: American Exploration and Mining Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Forest Resource Council, American Sheep Industry, Family Farm Alliance, National Association of Counties, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Endangered Species Reform Coalition, National Mining Association, National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, Public Lands Council, and Western Energy Alliance.