“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

CRS Testifies to Congress on Public Land Extremism

On June 15th, CRS president David Jenkins testified before the House Natural Resources and Homeland Security committees at a forum about Countering Extremism on America’s Public Lands. Ranking Members Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS) held the forum after their requests for full committee hearings on the topic were rejected by Committee Chairs Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Michael McCaul (R-TX).

Jenkins expressed disappointment that this subject has not gotten a full committee hearing. “In light of the Malheur Refuge takeover, increasing threats against land managers, and the rise of militant groups like Oath Keepers, this is clearly an issue that deserves bi-partisan attention.”

He told the lawmakers that the Obama Administration was too timid in dealing with the 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff and called Congressman Rob Bishop’s (R-UT) inflammatory rhetoric “inexcusable.”

The forum can be viewed on the embedded video included in this post. CRS comments begin at the 30:08 mark. The written comments submitted by CRS are included as well.

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CRS Ad Calls on Key Congressman to Denounce Thuggery

Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship (CRS) is running print ads in the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News urging Utah Congressman Rob Bishop, who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, to denounce Bundy-style thuggery and lawlessness on our nation’s public lands, which even after numerous arrests, still threatens public safety and the visitor experience.

In the face of an alarming escalation of violence and intimidation by armed anti-public land militants, which culminated earlier this year in the take over of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Chairman Bishop has refused to denounce such extremism. Instead, he too often seems to be egging it on.

Not only did he refuse to cosponsor a resolution condemning the refuge takeover, he regularly hurls insults at land managers, and he recently co-sponsored a bill to strip federal agencies of their law enforcement authority. When asked if he would hold hearings about the Malheur incident and other extremist acts, the Chairman doubled down, saying that instead he wants to continue oversight of “what we feel is the abuse of individuals by the federal land management agencies…”

Bishop appears intent on inflaming sentiment against public lands and those who manage them to advance his land transfer goals. This would be irresponsible under any circumstance, but in light of recent threats against land managers and various incidents of armed aggression by the Bundys and others, it is reckless and dangerous.

As chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Congressman Bishop has a duty to promote public safety and the rule of law. It is time for him to finally recognize that, and clearly denounce the actions of the Bundys and other militants.

The ads, which show Calf Creek Falls in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, appear in the April 19th editions of the two newspapers.

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CRS Applauds Bundy Arrests and End of Refuge Takeover

The arrest of the key members of the Bundy clan and recent action to bring an end to the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge were long overdue and CRS applauds the efforts of the FBI and other law enforcement personnel.

In June of last year CRS called on the Obama Administration to bring scofflaw rancher Cliven Bundy to justice, along with the militants he rallied to an armed standoff with law enforcement in Nevada back in 2014. Our concern was that failing to promptly do so only further emboldens these radicals to greater extremes and more lawlessness.

That concern proved prescient on January 2nd when Ammon and Ryan Bundy, along with a handful of fellow militants, forcibly occupied the Malheur Refuge.

In the CRS press statement on the occupation being brought to an end, CRS president David Jenkins said:

“We commend the FBI and other law enforcement officers for ending the armed seizure of this beloved refuge and arresting those involved. The use of armed force and intimidation to get one’s way in a democracy is the worst kind of bullying. It undermines freedom and tramples on the rights of every other American.”

On Cliven Bundy, Jenkins noted:

“Cliven Bundy is not a sympathetic figure to real conservatives who respect the rule of law. He is a radical, anti-American bully who has cheated taxpayers, intimidated public officials, and broken the law with impunity for more than two decades. Any effort to defend his behavior or portray him as some kind of victim is a fool’s errand.

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