Partnership for the West Builds Grassroots Army

Published September 1, 2003

People in the West cherish simple values, says Jim Sims. They cherish economic freedom, local self-determination, sweat equity, and a deep commitment to the land. They are conservationists at heart. They feel a moral responsibility to protect and preserve the environment for their children and for future generations.

Today, those Western values are under attack. According to Sims, “A small but very vocal minority of radical environmentalists are attacking the Western way of life. They want to stop virtually all economic growth and development. They want to restrict business and industry at every turn. They want to put Western lands as off-limits as possible. They want to restrict camping, hunting, fishing, and recreational access that many of us have grown up enjoying. They want to change the Western way of life.”

That is why Sims is leading a grassroots coalition to preserve traditional Western values and the Western way of life. He says Partnership for the West is up to the task.

According to Sims, Partnership for the West will work to enact public policies that support the following principles:

  • The West needs and deserves good-paying jobs created by sustainable and environmentally sound development. We support public policies that encourage job-creating development and prosperity for all.
  • Public lands in the West belong to all Americans. We believe these lands should be accessible for sustainable uses and environmentally sound development for the benefit of all Americans.
  • Consumers in the West and throughout America deserve access to affordable and reliable supplies of the goods, materials, and services that help sustain our quality of life. We support environmentally sound development of the West’s abundant natural resources in order to sustain and improve America’s quality of life.
  • We agree to work with citizens across the West in a partnership to support public policies that boost economic growth, create jobs, and encourage environmentally sound development in the West.

“While they are small in number, these [radical environmentalist] fringe groups are well-funded, operate in sophisticated networks, and are solely dedicated to producing conflict and delay. As Western news media investigations have uncovered, many receive the bulk of their funding from outside the West,” notes Sims.

“Radical environmentalism should not be allowed to rule the West. Instead, we need a common sense, balanced approach to promoting access to public lands and preserving our environment for future generations.”

The Partnership for the West aims to build a grassroots army of tens of thousands of Westerners and arm them with the means to make their views known to elected officials at the state and federal levels.

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News. His email address is [email protected].

For more information …

People and organizations wishing to join the Partnership for the West should visit its Web site at No membership dues are charged, but financial or in-kind contributions are encouraged.