Conservation Begins with Multi-Generational Property Ownership

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Preserving the culture of our rural ranching, farming and agricultural heritage

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Promoting Public Debate, Agency Transparency, and Measurable Federal Accountability

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Best Management Practice: Local Resources, Local Decisions.

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Sound Policy through Interposition for Industry, Ranching & Agriculture

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Who We Are

The Kansas Natural Resource Coalition (KNRC) is a collaboration of county governments who engage federal agencies during environment and natural resource administrative rule-making processes. 

Our members understand the limited role of federal agencies, the legal parity enjoyed by local government, and that federal procedural mandates require balancing of economic, social, cultural and property interests during the outworking of natural resource policy efforts. 

When federal agencies propose rules for our region, we first investigate the statutory basis under-girding the proposal, a process we call “Show Us The Law.”  Because many administrative agencies believe they have the authority to enact law, we do not accept regulations, policies or memoranda as binding until a clear, statutory connection has been established.  Similarly, because courts Don’t Make Law, KNRC does not accept court opinions, decisions or definitions as themselves being sufficient to justify administrative proposals; we believe the legislative branch of governments to be the sole organic source of lawmaking.

How We Work

KNRC is comprised of elected commissioners from individual member counties, an executive director, a research analyst, a communications analyst and retained professional and legal staff on an as-needed basis.

Day-to-day operations are overseen by a steering committee that in turn reports to a policy committee governed by all member counties.

Each KNRC county has adopted a Natural Resource Land Use Plan that by federal statute requires review, coordination and consistency by federal agencies desiring to impose rules in the jurisdictional areas governed by those counties.

This approach maintains local voice, assures mutual access to data and science, provides a platform for genuine transparency, and ensures balanced decision-making for both the human and natural environments.

Why it’s Effective

Navigating the maze of environmental rule-makings is daunting for even the most resolved of local governments — let alone the balance of America’s 3,000-plus counties.

KNRC’s excellent research, clear understanding of administrative procedure, dogged adherence to statutory requirements and tactical application of coordination brings clarity to the process and accountability to federal agencies who have grown accustomed to bypassing — or dismissing entirely — the needs of local government.

Our philosophy, strategic plan, and long-term objectives include training, equipping and exhibiting hard-won examples for local governments across the nation.  History teaches that centralized, top-down, and autocratic governments don’t work for the long term, ultimately reverting back to local control.  

Only local government — not industry, not associations, and particularly not nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) — are permitted to leverage accountability from federal administrative agencies during natural resource policy rule-makings.

Green Watch

BLM Requests Input for Future Planning Efforts and Environmental Reviews

Agency Committed to Working Closely with Government Partner and Communities –

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 – On July 3, 2017, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Acting Director Michael Nedd issued a request for ideas and input on how the agency can increase its responsiveness to local needs and improve its planning and environmental review processes to make them timelier and less costly. The effort comes on the heels of the congressional disapproval of the BLM’s Planning 2.0 rule.

The BLM is already working with state and local government elected officials and groups, including the Western Governors Association and the National Association of Counties. Director Nedd said, “We are doing this because Secretary Zinke and President Trump both strongly believe that public engagement, especially at the local level, is a critical component of federal land management. We need and want input from our state and local partners as well as from the general public in this effort.”

The agency’s goal is to identify inefficiencies and redundancies that should be eliminated from their land use planning and NEPA processes, while ensuring that the BLM fulfills its legal and resource stewardship responsibilities. The effort is not required by any law or regulation, but the bureau is doing it because it believes strongly that public input, particularly from the local level, is an essential component of federal land management.

Click here for the BLM press release
Click here for the idea and input form

Proposed Rule Would Rescind the Obama Administration’s WOTUS Definition –

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 –  Pursuant to a joint EPA and Department of Defense February 2017 notice of intent, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a proposed rule on June 27, 2017 that would repeal the Obama administration’s contentious rule defining “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) released the proposed rule ahead of its being published in the Federal Register.

The proposed rule is the first of a two-step process to repeal and replaced the current WOTUS definition. It would repeal the current definition and replace it with the previous version that was put in place in 1986. EPA and USACE have already begun working on a new definition that is based on a 2006 U.S. Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Anontin Scalia.

The move was met with expressions of support from Republican lawmakers, industry and business leaders, who intend to continue working with the administration as it works to develop commonsense ways to keep the nation’s waters clean and safe, while lessening federal intrusion into local prerogatives.

Democrats and environmental nongovernmental organizations expressed dismay, claiming the administration is playing politics with the nation’s waters.

KNRC Makes Executive Branch Reorganization Recommendations 

Monday, June 12, 2017 — In culmination of a months-long collaborative effort, the Kansas Natural Resource Coalition provided more than 130 well-founded recommendations in 23 separate issue categories to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget as part of his effort to develop a comprehensive plan for reorganizing the federal executive branch. The plan is being developed in response to Executive Order 13781. 

EO 13781 requires the OMB director to include recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies, components of agencies, and agency programs, and to merge functions. The plan will also include recommendations for any legislation or administrative measures necessary to achieve the proposed reorganization.

The KNRC team focused primarily on issues that impact Kansans in one way or another. Many of the recommendations are designed to bring control over those issues back to the most local level possible, so that local government can better support the interests of our citizens and local economies.

In an interesting departure from more commonly used practice, recommendations from the public, including local government, the order required that the OMB director’s 180-day window for developing the plan was to begin after the comment period had closed. The executive branch departments, agencies and other offices are preparing their reorganization plans, which are due in to the OMB director 180 days after EO 13781’s March 13, 2017 effective date.