About KNRC —
In recent decades the federal government of the United States has become increasingly involved in regulating, conserving, and preserving natural resources. Beginning with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 and followed by a barrage of well-meaning, expensive, and marginally effective Congressional environmental legislation, a vast array of federal administrative agencies have injected themselves into local land use policy, an area historically understood as being within the purview of states, counties, municipalities, and private land owners.
Local government has always been in the best position to administer and monitor conservation of natural resources and protect human systems in a way that guards jobs, sustains industry, protects private property, and ensures longevity of rural American culture. To that end, the Kansas Natural Resources Coalition (KNRC) is an alliance of county governments engaging administrative agencies during natural resource policy making processes, ensuring that balanced, collaborative, and mutual consideration is given to the human and natural environments, consistent with the following statutes:
- National Environmental Policy Act;
- Federal Land Management Policy Act;
- Data Quality Act;
- Rivers and Harbors Act;
- Clean Water Act;
- Migratory Bird Act;
- Endangered Species Act; and,
- Regulatory Flexibility Act.
KNRC counties are sovereign governmental entities each having responsibility for taxation, land use, zoning, infrastructure, local industry, small business, public health/safety, and similar decision making. Coalition members represent front-line stakeholders affected by major federal actions and as such they have a legitimate material interest in natural resource programs and governmental rule-making affecting their jurisdictions.
KNRC commissioners understand their counterparts are required by NEPA, the Federal Land Management and Policy Act (FLPMA) and numerous executive orders to coordinate with, respond to, and accommodate local viewpoints, information, and natural resource planning prior to initiating federal actions or environmental policy decisions. Because expansion of federal programs has had a tendency to reduce the scope of local sovereignty, the outworking of KNRC’s mission includes education of local county commissioners and governments in the historical role and the legitimate boundaries for local government.