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Heritage Foundation Outlines New Environmental Vision

HONOLULU, January 9, 2012 – Rob Gordon, senior advisor for strategic outreach for The Heritage Foundation, outlined a “New Environmental Vision” that will affect the way Americans  view the environment, natural resources, land use and public policy.

Gordon outlined a few principles of the vision, the first and most important one being people.

“People are our most unique, important, precious resource,” Gordon said. “The human mind, human intellect, human creativity is the most powerful resource we have out there.”

Another founding principle of the project is an understanding that in the natural world, resources don’t work in general; in reality, natural resources are resilient and dynamic.

“We have the potential to go out and produce the food, the fiber, the minerals and the energy that we need without having future generations suffer from long-term destruction,” Gordon said.

Regarding policy, Gordon made it clear that it needs to be “site and situation specific.” Laws and government regulation are not one-size-fits-all. Environmental policy shouldn’t come from Washington, D.C., but should be created by those who are closer to natural resources. For instance, farmers and ranchers who live on the land, work the land and who want to preserve the land should be the ones creating environmental policy. If farmers and ranchers don’t take care of the land, agricultural operations won’t be available for future generations.

“When we establish environmental laws they need to result in real environmental improvements,” Gordon concluded. “The laws need to be things that result in real, tangible improvements. The most important measure of those real, tangible improvements brings us back to the first principle and that from our perspective, environmental policy can’t be good environmental policy if it is bad for people.”

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Contacts: Tracy Taylor Grondine
(202) 406-3642
tracyg@fb.org
Mace Thornton
(202) 406-3641
macet@fb.org