How could you not be fed up with the partisan gridlock that has completely polluted an idea as priceless as conservation?
The spin-obsessed suits in Congress and in statehouses across the country have turned conservation from the great unifier that it once was into a wedge used to divide Americans.
It’s driven Republicans – the party responsible for creating much of our national park and refuge systems and the Clean Air and Clean Water acts – to the margins of public debate over environmental concerns.
It’s even made some Democrats hesitant to get involved for fear they’ll be labeled tree-huggers.
It’s time to try something new; time for Americans to take the fight for clean air and water personally. What’s at stake? Just the health of our families, our communities and protecting lands for our birds and wildlife.
If you don’t want to think about this as a fight to save the planet, fine; this is a fight to save the neighborhoods where we live and the open spaces and waterways where we play and work. With 470 chapters and 50 educational centers across the nation, plus offices in 21 states and in D.C., the conservation organization I lead works in communities from Texas to Connecticut, from Wyoming to Florida. We’re not outsiders; we’re your neighbors.
And because we know that the status quo is broken, the National Audubon Society, one of the most trusted conservation brands in America, has joined with ConservAmerica, conservation-minded Republicans who aren’t afraid to care. Together, we’ve created something altogether new, the American Eagle Compact.
This compact soars above partisan politics. It’s a commitment to work together and to move beyond the politics that divide us: Common sense approaches to care of our wild spaces and waters, a strong commitment to future generations, and a shared love of nature. Whether, for you, that’s a neighborhood park or a place far from cell phone connections, we can all take this personally.
I invite you to sign on www.eaglecompactusa.org and to join the conversation at American Eagle Compact blog here. Your ideas, suggestions and insights will help us give the next president—regardless of party—a people’s conservation agenda that transcends politics and partisanship.
Let’s get back to the point where a President can say: “Preservation of the environment is not a partisan challenge. It’s common sense.” That was President Ronald Reagan.
We need an atmosphere in which our political leaders can:
- Confront the realities and threats of climate change in our communities and our states and make sensible decisions on how to deal with it.
- Develop energy in smarter ways that balance our energy and job needs with safeguarding our air and waters and avoiding harm to sensitive landscapes, vulnerable birds and wildlife and the health of all Americans.
- Preserve and protect our wild spaces for the benefit of people and wildlife.
- Protect America’s birds and wildlife, keeping common species plentiful and protecting and restoring those species imperiled by human activity.
There is no question that Americans care about the environment. Love of the outdoors is not based on party labels. Outdoor recreation is the fastest growing pastime in America. A new U.S. Department of Interior survey shows that nearly 40 percent of all Americans hunt, fish or watch birds.
Conservation should not be an issue of the left or the right. It’s common sense. You can call it caring for your kids’ legacy, caring for creation, caring because you respect your neighbors — all of those reasons ring true. But please take the time to show you care by signing the compact at www.eaglecompactusa.org