“Our physical health, our social happiness, and our economic well-being will be sustained only by all of us working in partnership as thoughtful, effective stewards of our natural resources.”

Ronald Reagan

“Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed.”

Richard Nixon

“We must remember our duty to Nature before it is too late. That duty is constant. It is never completed…It will weigh on our shoulders for as long as we wish to dwell on a living and thriving planet, and hand it on to our children and theirs.”

Margaret Thatcher

“Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves the patriotic duty of insuring the safety and continuance of the nation.”

Theodore Roosevelt

“We have too long treated the natural world as an adversary rather than as a life-sustaining gift from the Almighty. If man has the genius to build, which he has, he must also have the ability and the responsibility to preserve.”

Gerald Ford

“While I am a great believer in the free enterprise system and all that it entails, I am an even stronger believer in the right our people to live in a clean and pollution-free environment.”

Barry Goldwater

Arsonists and Poachers do not Deserve Pardons

Remember the old adage “if you do the crime, you do the time.” That slogan reflects the time-honored belief that those who willfully engage in criminal behavior should be held accountable. Unfortunately, President Trump veered sharply away from this basic law and order principle when he recently decided to pardon Dwight and Steven Hammond, both of which are convicted arsonists.

The Hammonds, who have a decades long history of lawless and bullying behavior, were convicted in 2012 of setting fires on public land in 2001 and 2006 that endangered nearby hunters and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff. One of those fires was set to cover up another crime after a hunting party witnessed the Hammonds poaching deer.

This pardon sends exactly the wrong message to those who willfully ignore public land protections and violate the law. It will likely embolden others, especially the militant Bundy types who seek to run roughshod over the ownership rights of all Americans to our parks, refuges and other public lands.

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Boot the Swamp Monster, then Reboot EPA

Count CRS as part of the bi-partisan chorus calling for an end to the Scott Pruitt era at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

From the start, it was clear that Scott Pruitt—who had sued the EPA 13 times to block environmental protections—was ill suited to lead the agency. His open disdain for EPA’s mission and overwhelming bias towards polluting special interests were obvious concerns. Still, he has managed to be far worse than billed.

Having Scott Pruitt as EPA chief makes the president’s “drain the swamp” rhetoric down right Orwellian. Under Pruitt, the swamp of special interest influence and self-dealing has gotten exponentially deeper—and the mission of EPA has been turned upside-down. To fix this, Trump would be wise to follow President Reagan’s example.

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Conservatives Rally to Defend National Monuments

The Trump administration’s unprecedented rollback of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments in Utah—along with signals of more monument slashing to come—has generated strong pushback from conservatives. In addition to CRS, Citizens of the Republic (founded by Ronald Reagan), and the Green Tea Coalition have rallied to the defense of America’s national monuments–all coordinating their efforts as part of the American Monuments Alliance. In addition, numerous conservative legal scholars have challenged the administration’s rollbacks as unlawful and unconstitutional.

Even more telling, recent polling shows that the vast majority of conservatives oppose the administration’s national monument rollbacks.  For example, a national poll by McLaughlin & Associates late last year found that 85 percent of Republicans nationwide support keeping existing national monument designations in place or increasing their number.

Safeguarding important parts of America’s natural and cultural heritage has always been conservative. As President Reagan once noted, “What is a conservative after all but one who conserves.” Prudence, tradition, and selfless concern for future generations are all hallmarks of genuine conservatism. Those on the political right who betray those values are not conservative.

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