As the long time president of ConservAmerica and a relatively new resident of Montana, I’m dismayed at the partisan rhetoric aimed at Sen. Steve Daines. ConservAmerica has worked on the right side of the aisle since 1995 to restore the GOP’s great conservation tradition. That legacy lives on in the heart of Steve Daines.
Every great conservation and environmental act we take for granted today enjoyed broad bipartisan support in Congress. In other words, one party can’t go it alone. Scorecards from partisan organizations can’t be relied upon because they cherry pick votes, often obscure procedural votes, and don’t give credit for the real work in Congress. That work is done behind the scenes in the cloakroom, especially on the Republican side where a handful of elected officials have forgotten “conservation is conservative.”
I was in Washington, D.C. the night the Senate passed the recent John Dingell Public Lands bill, which has been hailed by every outdoors group as a “once in a generation” piece of legislation. It was my good fortune to sit next to Sen. Daines at a small dinner of Republican senators to discuss the launch of the Roosevelt Conservation Caucus. The senators went out of their way to congratulate Sen. Daines because he had spent months twisting arms and cajoling his fellow Republicans to support the various bills included in the package, including the vaunted and revered Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Montana is very fortunate to have a pair of bipartisan senators who care deeply about conserving this great state for, as Theodore Roosevelt termed it, “those in the womb of time.” Sen. Daines’ role on the right side of the aisle on these issues is invaluable.