Yet another PAC has been formed to support Congressional candidates, and this one has a loftier goal than most.
It will support candidates – regardless of political party – who are committed to investing in and expanding national parks and other publicly owned lands.
In recent years, as a result of rising partisanship and gridlock in Washington, work in Congress to conserve land, increase recreational access, and preserve historic and cultural resources has ground to a halt. This last Congress was the first since World War II to not protect a single new acre of public land as wilderness, national park, or a monument.
Co-chaired by former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and conservation philanthropist Louis Bacon, America’s Conservation PAC will support leaders who "believe it’s time for Congress to get to work again to protect those special places we want our children and grandchildren to enjoy.”
The new Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area in Colorado:
“Conserving land and cultural resources for our children and our children’s children is neither a liberal nor a conservative value. It’s not Republican or Democratic, neither an urban nor a rural idea,” says Bacon. “It is so important to protect and preserve those physical places that truly define a region – however tough the fight – that we are coming together to help elected officials who support the future over the immediate.”
Salazar and Bacon collaborated to create the Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, which is among the newest additions to the US national wildlife refuge system. Louis Bacon donated 167,000 acres of conservation easements – the largest area ever donated to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
As Secretary of the Interior during Obama’s first term, Ken Salazar established 10 new national parks and 10 new national wildlife refuges. Unfortunately, he also allowed wolves to be removed from the Endangered Species list, opened the Arctic to oil drilling, huge swaths of coal deposits to development in Wyoming, and issued weak federal fracking regulations. He presided over the greatest expansion of renewable energy on public lands through his Smart From the Start Program, which identifies the most appropriate sites in advance.