Traditional conservatives are conservationists

I recently read the Feb. 7 mountainx.com story about Rep. Patrick McHenry’s dismal record in protecting the environment and want to share with your readers my thoughts about how conservative government and conservation are not mutually exclusive [“McHenry ranks near bottom in National Environmental Scorecard,” http://avl.mx/9z].

I am an avid fisherman, camper and outdoorsman and have a deep concern for the environment and our need to conserve it for future generations. I am also a political conservative.

President Ronald Reagan once said that a conservative is “one who is committed to protecting and holding close the things by which we live. And we want to protect and conserve the land on which we live—our countryside, our rivers and mountains, our plains and meadows and forests. This is our patrimony. This is what we leave to our children. And our great moral responsibility is to leave it to them either as we found it or better than we found it."

It is estimated that more than 3 million North Carolinians are actively involved in hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and wildlife-watching. Millions more visit our state every year and take advantage of our natural beauty.

I believe it is essential for our leaders work together to achieve both a sound economy and a healthy environment. Unlike President Obama, who wrongfully claimed during a visit to North Carolina last year that Republicans want “dirtier air and dirtier water,” I believe that true conservatives are committed to safeguarding our natural resources.

In fact, the word “conservative” itself speaks volumes about our responsibility as God’s stewards and our responsibility to “conserve” and safeguard our natural resources for generations to come. I believe that “true” conservatives work for economic prosperity at the same time they work to ensure that our water and air are clean and safe.

The health of our people, the security of our nation and our economic prosperity all depend on our commitment to protect our environment and save our natural resources.

If elected to the U.S. Congress, I pledge to ensure that conservation and economic prosperity go hand in hand.

— Ken H. Fortenberry
Congressional Candidate, 10th Ditsrict
Denver, N.C.

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