In the News

DBJ: The search for leadership in environmental and natural resource policy development

“Do something now. If not you, who? If not here, where? If not now, when?” – President Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt, often referred to as the father of modern conservation, recognized early on both the importance of balancing the needs of resource development with conservation, and the importance of informed leadership in the development of public policy. In the years since Roosevelt’s tenure, Colorado has witnessed the pendulum of environmental and natural resources policy swing back and forth to new and competing heights of industry and environmentalist power. Today, with a majority of statewide offices held by politicians supportive of policies favored by environmentalists, the fundamental balance envisioned by Roosevelt is fast eroding.

The impact of these new laws, regulations and policies has been significant. The Colorado Chamber of Commerce recently released a survey of Colorado businesses in which 48% of employers indicated that increased regulation had become a top concern, and 65% of employers indicated that regulatory compliance had become one of their top three concerns. For employers operating in multiple states, 72% indicated Colorado had become a more costly business climate than other states, and 83% indicated that as a result at least some future investments would be made out of state.

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