Nixon’s Endangered Species Act turns 50

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) turns 50 years old this year. The law, which was passed in 1973 by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in Congress (unanimous in the Senate) and signed into law by President Nixon, stands as an enduring testament that we can rise above...

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Rising Electric Bills

With economy-wide inflation still plaguing us and stretching paychecks thin, we should be paying extra close attention to energy prices. The cost of energy affects the price of almost everything. In the transportation sector, high fuel prices increase the costs of...

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The Devastating Impacts of Pollinator Decline

People often do not realize just how much of the food we eat only exists because of insect pollinators, especially bees. Bees are in fact essential in the production of at least a third of our food. This includes most of the fruits, nuts, vegetables, and seeds that...

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Protecting Our Atmosphere the Reagan Way

Way back in 1987, President Ronald Reagan pushed through an international treaty to phase out the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), chemicals that scientists suspected of eroding the earth’s protective ozone layer. That treaty, called the Montreal Protocol, has been...

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The Time is NOW to Restore LWCF!

Last year Congress allowed the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), one of America’s most important conservation and recreation funding tools, to expire. Public lands legislation (S. 47) that just passed the U.S. Senate includes a long overdue provision to permanently reauthorize this critical program. It is urgent that CRS members—and anyone who cares about America’s great outdoors—contact their representative in the House immediately and ask them to pass this legislation.

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Bi-Partisan Climate Progress…Finally!

Comprehensive and bi-partisan legislation to address climate change, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018, has recently been introduced in both the House and the Senate.

This progress is long overdue. Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and George H.W. Bush were all calling for action to address climate change 30 years ago. Since then we have seen this important issue fall victim to special interests influence and partisan politics.

This legislation will reduce greenhouse gas pollution by placing a modest fee on carbon intensive fossil fuels to spur innovation and encourage the use of cleaner energy sources. The money collected from the carbon fee will then be allocated in equal shares every month to the American people to spend as they see fit. The government would not keep any of the money from the fee.

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CRS Files Briefs Opposing Monument Rollbacks

On November 19, CRS filed amici curiae briefs supporting lawsuits against the Trump administration over its dramatic rollback of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah. These briefs were filed in opposition to the administration’s motions to dismiss the cases.

CRS argues that the Antiquities Act, which provides presidents with specific authority to establish national monuments, in no way authorizes them to diminish or undo previously established monuments. Under that law—and the U.S. Constitution—such two-way authority rests only with Congress.

“We have always maintained that these national monument rollbacks are illegal. The Antiquities Act was enacted exclusively to protect America’s natural and cultural heritage, it in no way confers authority on the president to diminish or destroy it,” said CRS president David Jenkins.

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CRS Election Day Recap

CRS was actively involved in three ballot measures that were decided on Election Day. We scored important victories in two of those. Here is a brief recap:

Nevada Question 6 – CRS supported this measure that would increase Nevada’s renewable energy standard for electricity to 50 percent by 2030. Such a standard is needed because Nevada, which has abundant solar and geothermal resources, still depends on natural gas piped in from other states for 75 percent of its electricity generation.

This lopsided energy mix makes little sense because solar energy in Nevada, even with storage for overnight power, is currently cheaper than power generated by natural gas. Even more important for ratepayers, while solar energy will keep getting cheaper, the price of natural gas is expected to double over the next decade.

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Colorado’s Amendment 74, A Frightening Assault on Taxpayers

Colorado has a ballot question this year, Amendment 74, that if passed, would represent an unprecedented fleecing of Colorado taxpayers. It would amend the Colorado constitution to allow any corporation to sue local governments over any law they contend might cost them money.

This amendment would hold towns and neighborhoods hostage to the specter of costly lawsuits, creating a strong disincentive for passing laws to protect the public. For example, a town that prohibits oil and gas drilling too close to schools could be successfully sued for damages to companies wanting to drill there.

The list of absurd possibilities are endless. Amendment 74 is a brazen power grab that will siphon tax dollars to moneyed special interests.. It runs afoul of even the most basic conservative principles.

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Our Petition to Restore Multiple-Use Management

On September 5, CRS petitioned Secretary of the Interior Zinke to temporarily withdraw approximately 117,000 acres of public lands in Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming from oil and gas leasing.  Over the past year-and-a-half, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has unsuccessfully tried to sell oil and gas leases on all of these lands.  It is now time to take a step back and reexamine whether other uses of these lands, such as hunting and fishing, safeguarding drinking water, and recreation, should take precedence.

“Responsible stewardship and multiple use are conservative principles that have guided America’s public land management for more than a century. The Trump administration has turned this tried and true approach on its head, threatening the public access, resource quality, and diverse revenue stream that western communities depend on,” said CRS president David Jenkins.

The parcels included in our petition include critical habitat for big game and other wildlife, migration corridors, trout streams, popular outdoor recreation areas, important drinking water sources, and significant historic sites. Many of these parcels were leased over objections by state and local agencies that understand the true values of these lands.

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Clean Power Plan Rollback Won’t Save Coal

The Trump administration’s decision to scrap the Clean Power Plan, and replace it with a scheme that will allow at least 12 times the pollution, is irresponsible and will do nothing to meet moral and legal obligations to lower carbon emissions.

Despite this brazen effort to prop up the coal industry, free market forces will continue to displace coal in favor of natural gas and renewables. Pandering to coal state residents with false promises of a coal comeback is self-serving and cruel.

Scrapping the Clean Power Plan, along with this administration’s effort to roll back auto fuel efficiency and emission standards, and a host of other pollution control rollbacks, together constitute the biggest assault on America’s air quality since President Nixon signed the Clean Air Act into law 48 years ago.

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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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Another Threat to America’s Great Outdoors?

Over the past year, our public lands and waters have been under siege like never before. National monuments, the Arctic Refuge, sensitive coastal areas, have all had their protections removed. Countless other public land protections and environmental safeguards have been scrapped. Soon we may be adding the selloff of our public lands to that list.

The Trump administration’s recently leaked infrastructure document, titled “Funding Principles,” appears to call for selling off America’s great outdoors to special interests as a way of funding its infrastructure goals. In the section titled Disposition of Federal Real Property, it “would establish through executive order the authority to allow for the disposal of Federal assets.” If enacted, President Trump and/or Secretary Zinke would be able to sell our publicly owned lands as they see fit.

Apparently, it does not matter that during the campaign both Trump and Zinke claimed to oppose any efforts to sell or otherwise transfer America’s public lands. This is something CRS will be monitoring closely.

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Trump’s Monument Rollback is Unconstitutional

With his recent announcement in Utah that he intends to dramatically slash Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments, President Trump has crossed the threshold from ill-advised rhetoric to illegality. While this is the clear consensus of legal minds from across the political spectrum, conservative lawyers and experts well steeped in the U.S. Constitution are sounding some of the loudest alarms.

A new legal paper from Bruce Fein, an associate deputy attorney general under President Reagan, and W Bruce DelValle—both partners at the firm Fein & DelValle PLLC—makes the case that Trump’s actions are not simply illegal, they are unconstitutional.

Fein and DelValle point out that in crafting the Antiquities Act, which grants presidents the authority to establish national monuments, Congress never “intended to crown the President with discretion to revoke or materially diminish or alter the management of an existing national monument.”

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CRS Ad Highlights Need for Strong Environmental Leadership

“I believe in a sound, strong environmental policy that protects the health of our people and a wise stewardship of our nation’s natural resources.” – President Ronald Reagan

Those words were spoken at a time when our elected leaders, regardless of party or faction, truly believed American natural resources were worth fighting for.  Clean water and clean air were priorities along with good health and safe communities.

Today our Nation is suffering from a lack of responsible environmental leadership, especially on the political right. We need more conservatives willing to show leadership and take a stand to preserve America’s natural heritage and security.

U.S. Representatives Ryan Costello and Brian Fitzpatrick showed that leadership when they voted against riders to the federal budget that would have blocked new U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules to cut natural gas waste and methane pollution.

That is why Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship is thanking Reps. Costello and Fitzpatrick for their leadership with a print and digital ad campaign. Now it is time for other elected officials, at the state and federal level, to join them in support of commonsense policies that protect American resources and our environment.

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Zinke Recommends Slashing National Monuments

CRS is deeply disappointed that Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke has recommended that the Trump Administration dramatically shrink protections for some of our nation’s cherished national monuments. Secretary Zinke confirmed that he recommended rollbacks in a report to President Trump, but the administration has thus far kept the details shrouded in secrecy.

“This outcome seems to have been baked in from the start,” said CRS President David Jenkins. “How else can one explain a decision that defies consensus legal opinion and ignores the clear wishes of more than 99 percent of Americans who submitted comments?”

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Comments Yield Overwhelming Support for Monuments

When the official comment period ended on July 10 for the Trump Administration’s review of 27 national monuments–the product of an executive order issued by the president that threatens to roll back many of them–more than 2.7 million people of all political stripes made their voices heard by submitting comments expressing support for America’s national monuments. That represents over 98 percent of all comments received.

CRS President David Jenkins had this to say:

“National monuments are a Republican idea stretching back to the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. That ethic of safeguarding America’s natural heritage is patriotic, conservative, and more popular than ever. If Secretary Zinke has been honest about his desire to build trust and listen to the public, then he should no doubt heed the overwhelming support expressed for those monuments under review by the more than two million Americans who submitted comments.”

Kudos to all of the CRS members who took the time to make their voice heard.

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Zinke Disappoints on Bears Ears

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has submitted a report to President Trump recommending a significant reduction in the protected public acreage of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship (CRS) issued the following statement from President David Jenkins:

As an organization that applauded the selection of Zinke as Interior Secretary, we are deeply disappointed that in his first major decision he chose to roll back protection for Bears Ears National Monument. In doing so, Secretary Zinke is abandoning the Theodore Roosevelt conservation ethic he professes, choosing instead to side with radical anti-public land zealots who seek to exploit rather than conserve.

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Presidential Order Threatens Our National Monuments

President Trump has just signed an unprecedented executive order instructing the Department of Interior to review the national monument designations of past presidents stretching back 21 years. The intent, according to Vice President Pence, is to “begin to undo” these designations. Never before in the 111-year history of President Theodore Roosevelt’s Antiquities Act, the law that authorizes the creation of national monuments, have we seen such a radical attack on this visionary protection of America’s natural and cultural heritage.

In response, CRS president David Jenkins said, “At the heart of the word conservation is the word conserve which is also the root word of conservative. The Antiquities Act is a conservative idea that was brought forth by a Republican Congressman, passed a Republican Congress and was signed into law by a Republican, President Theodore Roosevelt. President Trump and Secretary Zinke should continue this tradition and conserve the Antiquities Act and all of our nation’s monument designations as they are an important part of our nation’s history and culture.”

Please use our CRS Action Center link below to urge Secretary Zinke to keep all of America’s national monuments intact.

Save America’s National Monuments

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Make Your Voice Heard

We just launched our new CRS Action Center to help ensure that our member’s voices are heard from Capitol Hill to the White House and beyond. This new tool makes it quick and easy to weigh in on key issues with your elected officials or comment on agency actions. You can even send a tweet to President Trump.

Messages sent via the Action Center integrate with the official web form of the recipient, ensuring it is properly considered as official constituent correspondence.  We will always feature 3 to 7 alerts on the Action Center page. We hope you will weigh in on these issues, but you can also use that gateway for other issues that concern you.

The page currently features alerts on misguided efforts to give away our public lands, roll back auto fuel-efficiency standards, undo waste prevention measures, and weaken the Clean Water Act. We also have one to encourage Republican members of the House of Representatives to join 17 of their colleagues in signing onto a landmark GOP climate resolution.

Please check it out. You will be glad you did. Here is the link: CRS Action Center

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Waste Prevention Rule Should Stay

Remember the old adage waste not, want not? Apparently, some in Congress have forgotten it. There is a strong push–fueled by the oil and gas industry–to reverse a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rule that requires oil and gas companies to be responsible and capture the natural gas that they extract from our public lands. The rule was needed because these companies have been cutting corners and wasting a lot of gas through flaring and leaks. Not only does wasted gas represent a big source of air pollution, no royalties are paid on a resource that belongs to all Americans.

Any true conservative should support efforts to prevent waste, especially waste that is costing taxpayers a bundle. Unfortunately, some lawmakers in Congress who profess to be conservative are trying to repeal the BLM rule through the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The House of Representatives already bowed to the oil and gas lobby by passing a CRA resolution rolling back the rule. Now, this issue is before the Senate.

CRS maintains that there is nothing conservative about waste or pollution and that BLM’s methane waste rule should remain in place. You can hear CRS board member Steve Bonowski from Colorado discuss the issue here, Western Officials Push U.S. Senators to Keep BLM Methane Rules,, and CRS President David Jenkins discusses it here: Conservatives Defend BLM Natural Gas Waste Rule.

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Zinke Yes, Pruitt No

For anyone who cares about safeguarding our environment, many of President Trump’s past statements have been worrisome, as have the people he put in charge of transitioning to a new administration. This makes it particularly important to have thoughtful, stewardship-minded leaders heading up the Department of Interior and EPA.

Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Interior, Congressman Ryan Zinke, is worthy of support. He is an advocate for America’s public lands who opposes efforts to turn those lands over to states and special interests. He boycotted the GOP convention because the platform was anti-public land. Zinke clearly meets the threshold of someone who cares about safeguarding our natural heritage.

The same is not the case with Trump’s nominee for EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt. As Attorney General of Oklahoma Pruitt amassed a long record of opposing EPA and the environmental laws the agency is responsible for enforcing, including suing the agency 13 times.

Moreover, Pruitt always seems to come down on the side of the polluter rather than the environment and the broader public interest. This tendency tracks closely with his ties to regulated industries, including donations to his campaigns and other endeavors. Putting Pruitt in charge of EPA would be akin to putting a fox in charge of a henhouse.

For those reasons, Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship supports the Ryan Zinke for Secretary of Interior and strongly opposes the nomination of Scott Pruitt to head EPA. The Pruitt nomination falls short of the standard set by past Republican presidents to nominate EPA heads who believe in the agency’s mission and are committed to its important work.

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CRS Applauds New National Monuments

Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship (CRS) applauds the designation of Bears Ears and Gold Butte National Monuments. The President’s use of the Antiquities Act was entirely appropriate and in keeping with the Act’s original intent. Affording these public lands extra protection is genuinely conservative, and that is true irrespective of which president makes the designations.

“Bears Ears and Gold Butte are both rich in natural and cultural treasures that need to be protected from existing threats, they are exactly the type of places Theodore Roosevelt’s Antiquities Act was designed to protect,” said CRS President David Jenkins.

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CRS Urges President-elect Trump to Safeguard America’s Public Lands

Republican presidents—including Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan—have a long tradition of contributing to our great natural endowment of parks, forests, wildlife refuges, national monuments, and other public lands. They understood that these lands, your lands, are an essential part of who we are as a people, and that protecting them is both conservative and patriotic.

To help make sure that tradition continues, CRS has launched a campaign urging President-elect Donald Trump to also make safeguarding America’s public lands a top priority. To find out more, please visit our campaign page.

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National Park System Rings in 100th Anniversary with Amazing Gift

On the week of its centennial anniversary (August 25) the National Park System, along with the state of Maine and every American, received an 87,500-acre gift of beautiful Northwoods forest that President Obama just proclaimed as Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.

The land was generously donated to the American people by Burt’s Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby and her family foundation, Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. A guarantee to safeguard the land in perpetuity was a condition of the gift, and President Obama relied on his authority under the Antiquities Act–a law established by Theodore Roosevelt–to secure the deal.

Establishing the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument allows the region and its economy to benefit from a remarkable land gift and monetary endowment, and on this 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, it shows the same vision and generosity that made Acadia National Park possible more than a century ago,” said CRS President David Jenkins.

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A Bright Verdict on Efficiency Standards

Several years ago, 2012 to be exact, when new efficiency standards for light bulbs first kicked in, there was a hue and cry from talk radio hosts. They lamented the death of the “Edison light bulb” and told listeners that the government was forcing everyone to switch to inferior, “mercury-laced,” compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). Some even partnered with retailers to frantically urge their audience to stockpile the old inefficient bulbs.

It wasn’t long before some lawmakers jumped on the bandwagon and introduced legislation to block the standards, which were part of a 2007 bi-partisan energy bill signed into law by President George W. Bush.

Congressman Michael Burgess (R-TX) introduced various measures trying to block the standards or prohibit enforcement, and libertarian Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), citing an Ayn Rand novel, ranted about how consumer choice was being “crushed beneath the boot heel of the collective.”

All of this angst was based entirely on talk-radio fiction. The truth was quite different.

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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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CRS Statement on Oregon Refuge Takeover

In June 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, and is, that failing to promptly do so only further emboldens these radicals to greater extremes and more lawlessness.

The armed takeover and ongoing occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in southeastern Oregon further validates that concern.

“People need to understand that the Bundy strain of radicalism is anti-American and dangerous,” said CRS president David Jenkins. “The Bundys—and the armed militants who back them up—are attacking our nation, its laws, its values, its history, and the democratic processes established by our forefathers. They are also trampling on the rights of every American. They are the opposite of conservative, and they will continue to bully, threaten, and test the limits of civil society until they are stopped.”

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Help CRS Stop Brazen Attempt to Destroy LWCF

A powerful congressman–along with the special interests that support him–is seeking to dismantle the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), one of America’s most successful and popular land conservation programs.

Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT), who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, is blocking bipartisan efforts to reauthorize the 50-year-old program and seeking to replace LWCF with a scheme that completely betrays the program’s conservation purposes.

If you are a conservative who values our parks, forests and outdoor recreation opportunities, please go to our take action page and let your representatives in Congress know you oppose this radical legislation.

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A Conservative Call to Action

Revered conservative author Russell Kirk once wrote in an op-ed, “Nothing is more conservative than conservation.” He was right. What could possibly be more conservative than safeguarding the air, water, land, wildlife and natural systems that sustain and enhance life on earth? Responsible stewardship, whether it be to protect our fiscal health, our traditions and values, or the environment, has always been a hallmark of genuine conservatism.Theodore Roosevelt’s great accomplishments in land and wildlife conservation, Nixon’s efforts to reign in air and water pollution, and President Reagan’s leadership in repairing the earth’s ozone layer, were all born out of a strong stewardship ethic.

We need for that same ethic to be much more prevalent in the hearts and minds of our leaders today–especially those who profess to be conservative. Recently Congressman Chris Gibson and ten other Republican lawmakers introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives calling for conservative engagement on climate change. Passing that resolution would be a good start.

Here is a video introduction to the conservative ideas about natural resource stewardship that CRS champions. Join our movement to put the conserve back in conservatism.

CRS_Conservative 1 from David Jenkins on Vimeo.

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CRS Statement on Administration’s Sage Grouse Decision

The Obama Administration’s decision to not list the greater sage-grouse as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is a prudent one. It not only reflects the most recent sage grouse population trends, but also encourages ongoing cooperative conservation efforts that are showing clear signs of success.

CRS president David Jenkins said, “The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s decision not to list the greater sage-grouse is a credit to cooperative conservation efforts of the Bush and Obama Administrations, state wildlife agencies and everyone who has answered the call to conserve sage-grouse habitat.” He added, “This decision is a clear measure of success for a truly conservative approach to conservation, but success will be fleeting without continued diligence and an enduring commitment to effective stewardship.

Securing a long-term and sustainable sage-grouse recovery will require that federal and state land use plans be firm in their protection of sage-grouse habitat, and that appeals to water down these plans by short-sighted special interests be rejected.

CRS also encourages future administrations to recognize the importance of utilizing the ESA sooner rather than later should the sage-grouse population resume its decline trend.

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CRS Statement on GOP Climate Resolution

The climate resolution introduced today by Congressman Chris Gibson (R-NY) and ten Republican cosponsors presents a tremendous opportunity for all House Republicans to demonstrate their support for prudent, fact-based stewardship of, as President Reagan put it, “this magical planet that God gave us.”

CRS president David Jenkins said:

“By introducing this common sense resolution, Congressman Gibson and his fellow Republican cosponsors have demonstrated the prudence, responsibility and vision that are hallmarks of true conservatism. Just as President Reagan did when addressing ozone depletion, they have risen above politics to acknowledge a serious threat to our planet—and by doing so, they have increased the likelihood that conservative ideas will finally be brought to bear on a problem that has for far too long been ceded to liberals.”

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Clean Water Rule Restores Republican Vision

Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship (CRS) has been working to educate the public–especially fellow conservatives–about the EPA’s new Clean Water Rule. In this post we provide links to our recent op-ed in the Knoxville News-Sentinel pointing out how the proposed Rule follows the intent and vision of Senator Howard Baker, a Republican author of the Clean Water Act. CRS has also been carrying our message to the airwaves with interviews on drive-time radio in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Three clips from CRS President David Jenkins’ recent interview on WECO in Wartburg, Tennessee are also included in this post.

Baker and the other authors of the CWA fully understood that because smaller water features flow into bigger ones, the law must cover the entire watershed to be effective. This sound thinking is not only critical to protect the biological integrity of our water resources, but it also protects taxpayer wallets and property rights. The new Clean Water Rule does the same. For a good background on this issue, check out the full post.

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Candidates Should Rethink Impious Remarks on Encyclical

Pope Francis’ recently released Encyclical on the environment (Ladauto Si’) drew dismissive comments from two Catholic GOP presidential candidates, Rick Santorum and Jeb Bush. Their comments are striking in just how selective and limiting they portray the role of faith, and suggest that both men regard stewardship of the environment as being completely outside the realm of faith and morality. Such an attitude is impious.

One does not have to agree with every word in Laudato Si’ in order to take the stewardship message seriously and be, as President Reagan once said, “worried about what man has done and is doing to this magical planet that God gave us.”

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Clean Water Rule Merits Conservative Support

Clean water is a priority for every American, and the new EPA rule merits the same bi-partisan support that the Act itself received. This rule also deserves support—especially from conservatives—because it better protects wetlands, which is fiscally responsible and protective of downstream property rights,”

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Celebrating Earth Day Texas Style

When looking for environmental success stories coming out of the Lone Star State, a couple really stand out. One is the amazing growth of wind energy. Texas is the king of wind energy, producing about 20 percent of the wind power generated in the United States. The...

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CRS Adds Senior Fellow

Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship (CRS) is pleased to announce the addition of Mark Richardson to its Senior Fellows program. Mark, whose professional life has provided him with diverse connections to the energy industry, brings to CRS a wealth of expertise in...

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Despite Attacks, Wind & Solar Outpace Coal & Gas

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently released a report showing that wind and solar power generation outpaced coal and gas in 2014. Wind generation increased by more than any other power source and solar generation more than doubled. Equally...

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What is Behind the Curious Campaign Against Wind?

For at least the past six months there has been a relentless campaign to do away with the production tax credit(PTC) for wind energy. This effort, waged largely under the conservative banner, is not at all what it seems.  The groups and people that attack the tax...

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GOP Lawmakers Take Stand on Climate Change

During Senate consideration of legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline an important milestone was reached on climate change. Five Republican senators voted for an amendment sponsored by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) stating that “climate change is real and...

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Low Gasoline Prices! Now What?

With gasoline prices at their lowest in years, odds are that we will soon be seeing reports about gas guzzler sales on the rise, people traveling more, and maybe even a comeback of the Hummer. Such short-sighted responses might reflect human nature, but they are not...

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Keeping Land Protection Bi-partisan

After multiple efforts in Congress–Republican and Democrat–to protect the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles have been stymied by a few public land opponents  in the House Natural Resources Committee, the President used his authority under the...

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