Conservation PAC Seeks to Boost Candidates in Fight Over Public Lands

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13: U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar looks to the Statue of Liberty which, remains closed to the public six weeks after Hurricane Sandy on December 13, 2012 in New York City. The storm caused extensive damage to National Park Service facilities on Liberty Island, although the statue itself remained unscathed. Salazar toured the island Thursday while visiting the area to see damage caused by the storm. 
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Clare Foran
Dec. 12, 2013, 9:03 a.m.

Con­ser­va­tion­ists are look­ing to grease the wheels in the fight over pub­lic lands with the launch of a new polit­ic­al ac­tion com­mit­tee aimed at sup­port­ing pro-con­ser­va­tion can­did­ates.

Amer­ica’s Con­ser­va­tion PAC, which de­b­uted Thursday, will be­ne­fit from the back­ing of former In­teri­or Sec­ret­ary Ken Salaz­ar and bil­lion­aire con­ser­va­tion­ist Louis Ba­con. Salaz­ar and Ba­con have been named hon­or­ary co­chairs of the PAC.

The PAC is ex­pec­ted to be­gin rais­ing money im­me­di­ately on be­half of con­ser­va­tion can­did­ates and will be man­aged by Will Shafroth, who will serve as its ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or. Shafroth was a can­did­ate in the Demo­crat­ic primary in the 2008 elec­tion for Col­or­ado’s 2nd Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict but lost to fel­low Demo­crat Jared Pol­is, who cur­rently rep­res­ents that dis­trict in the House.

A press re­lease an­noun­cing the launch of the group was quick to point out that it will not sup­port any one polit­ic­al party, but will rather throw its weight be­hind can­did­ates of any polit­ic­al lean­ing who take up the cause of con­ser­va­tion.

“Con­serving land and cul­tur­al re­sources for our chil­dren and our chil­dren’s chil­dren is neither a lib­er­al nor a con­ser­vat­ive value. It’s not Re­pub­lic­an or Demo­crat­ic, neither an urb­an nor a rur­al idea,” Ba­con said in a state­ment. “It is so im­port­ant to pro­tect and pre­serve those phys­ic­al places that truly define a re­gion — however tough the fight — that we are com­ing to­geth­er to help elec­ted of­fi­cials who sup­port the fu­ture over the im­me­di­ate.”

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