KNRC believes a strong central government — one whose power is explicitly confined to those items in Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution — is essential to the healthy function and external protection of United States. That said, over the last three generations administrative government, aided by courts through interstate-commerce power expansions, has poached prerogatives from state and local governments. For their part, states and local governments are also culpable, ceding powers and liberties in exchange for federal trinkets and one-size-fits-all regulatory programs, largely without whimper or challenge.
It’s time to change that.
KNRC’s direct and documented experience at the willingness of Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service to flagrantly disregard the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the Federal Land Management Policy Act (FLPMA) is truly astonishing. The pattern of disregard for Congressional mandates and disdain for state and local sovereignty is systemic, normative and has been documented by KNRC to proliferate through the highest levels of our federal administrative government.
Inherent in KNRC activities is the philosophy of localism; that is, that states and local governments are in the best position to understand, direct, and control the natural resources in a given county — with the federal government acting in an advisory or technical-support capacity. This approach, absent a request or invitation, leaves no room for international input, ideas or philosophies.
Whether it is listing the Lesser prairie-chicken as a threatened species, revision of Resource Management Plans by the Bureau of Land Management, authority-claiming proposals by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule, initiatives by Forest Service to regulate groundwater, or the imposition of federal land-use policies through conservation easements, federal procedural and environmental laws require administrative agencies to work with each of the 3,000 + county governments across the United States.
KNRC’s mission, strategic plan and long term approach provide a substantive template for meaningful restructuring of how local governments address natural resource issues across the nation.