By U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce
Dec 9, 2011 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Energy
Like all Americans, I want to protect wildlife in both good and bad times. Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the US Forest Service once said, “Conservation means the wise use of the earth and its resources for the lasting good of men.” I concur wholeheartedly. Mr. Pinchot was one of the most publicly known conservationists of the 20th century, and recognized that to have healthy forests controlled thinning operations must take place. He believed as I do that conservation should never mean tying our hands to economic development or good stewardship of our lands, but instead should be about finding a balance between jobs and resource protection.
I have always advocated balance, which is why I support the cooperative efforts between private stakeholders, federal officials and local governments through the Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA), which allows private landholders to enroll their land and money in a program designed to protect the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard without listing it. This is a reasonable approach that will serve New Mexico well by protecting our environment and our economy simultaneously. Of course, common sense is usually in short order when it comes to DC lawyers and lobbyists with their hands on taxpayer dollars.