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 Rulemaking processes. 

Our members understand the limited role of federal agencies, the legal parity enjoyed with 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 undergirding 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.

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How We Work

KNRC is comprised of elected Commissioners from individual Member counties, an Executive Director, a Research 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.

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Why it’s Effective

Navigating the maze of environmental Rulemakings 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 NGOs – can leverage accountability from Federal Administrative agencies during natural resource Rulemakings.

Green Watch

Kansas joins an 18 State lawsuit on FWS Critical Habitat Rule

The Kansas Attorney has joined a Lawsuit challenging changes in how US Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) defines Critical Habitat under the Engendered Species Act. 

The Critical Habitat Rule changes the way federal managers determine what constitutes critical habitat, with FWS asserting the Rule only applies to areas that have a federal nexus. 

The new Rule violates the organic language in the Endangered Species Act because FWS can now extend Critical Habitat protection to those areas where no Threatened or Endangered species currently reside. 

 

 

 

ESA allows FWS to only consider a Critical Habitat designation for lands or waters which are not currently host to species if those lands are essential to the recovery process – in other words, if the species cannot recover absent those habitats.

The new rule got rid of that provision. FWS and NMFS can now consider both occupied and unoccupied habitat at the same time, rather than first trying to make a conservation plan work with just occupied habitat.  The lawsuit asserts that the Rule illegitimately expands government’s control over state and private resources.

As is usual, FWS states the Rule will “clarify criteria and procedures,” allowing for a more “transparent” process.  (Readers might recall similar statements from EPA on the Waters of the US Rule).