A few weeks ago, the Conservationist had a story revealing (Jumpin' Jehosophat!) that most sportsmen lean to the conservative side of the political spectrum. That leaves us with a bit of a conundrum, since there are so few conservative, pro-conservation candidates to vote for. This is a topic that Rob Sisson of ConservAmerica and I have discussed over the past 18 months or so.
Rob is a staunch Republican conservationist, a Michigan native, an outdoorsman and avid elk hunter in the Rocky Mountain West. He is a fighter for what seems like a simple idea: conservation and protection of the environment is not a Republican or Democrat issue. It is an urgent matter of national interest to every citizen, and it always has been and always will be.
"Make no mistake," Rob says, "We are a Republican organization, and we've tried hard not to link arms with progressive groups even though we share some of the same concerns on conservation issues. Frankly, that is because we think that conservative solutions and ideas are stronger and more lasting than what we've worked with so far."
Although Rob would be more than proud if his Republican Party would become the powerful flag-bearer of conservation, he and I share the belief that American government remains a government of and by the people no matter what party is in charge, and it is up to the people to demand, as the Montana Constitution puts it, "a right to a clean and healthful environment." The people demand. The political leaders lead, or they go home.
To that glorious end, ConservAmerica has entered into the American Eagle Compact, a partnership between them and the Audubon Society, that plans to break the artificially created boundaries regarding conservation that separate right and left, liberal and conservative, sportsmen and non-sportsmen.
I urge readers of the Conservationist to check it out. Here is a link to a recent New York Times interview with Sisson and David Yarnold, CEO of the Audubon Society.