Bush E. O. Calls for Cooperative Conservation

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

President Bush, last month, quietly signed an Executive Order directing government agencies to consult with local interests before issuing environmental regulations that could have negative economic impacts upon private landowners and state and local governments. The Order calls for "cooperative conservation" in areas related "to use, enhancement and enjoyment of natural resources, protection of the environment, or both." Government agencies are to report their actions to the Council on Environmental Quality then CEQ is suppose to schedule a White House Conference to review and determine if the requirements of the EO are being met. President Bush has made "cooperative conservation" a centerpiece in trying to balance the needs of the environment with the needs of people and governments. It is a drastic departure from the heavy-handed approach used by the previous administration when vast areas of land were arbitrarily designated national monuments that left them virtually off-limits to many historic uses. Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, predictably denounced the President's move "[as] another signal to federal agencies that they're supposed to ignore enforcing the law and defer to local governments and landowners."

Bush EO Directs Agencies to Cooperate with Landowners and Local Governments