WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee, praised an executive order issued today by President Bush calling on the federal agencies that implement laws relating to the environment and natural resources do so a manner that promotes “cooperative conservation” with local and state governments as opposed to national command and control mandates. This would include an emphasis on appropriate inclusion of local participation in federal decision making, in accordance with their respective agency missions, policies, and regulations.

“I am very pleased that President Bush has issued this directive for the federal government to work cooperatively with state and local governments on environmental and land use issues,” Senator Inhofe said. “As a former mayor I believe this is an excellent approach and something that has been needed for a long time. When I became Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I made it a priority that the bureaucracies we oversee are here to serve the taxpayer not rule over them. This order is an important step in making government work better for the people and I look forward to working with President Bush on its implementation.”

“Cooperative conservation” means actions that relate to the use, enhancement, and enjoyment of natural resources, protection of the environment, or both, that involve collaborative activity among federal, state, local, and tribal governments, private for-profit and nonprofit institutions, and other non-governmental entities and individuals.