Our Mission: ACC’s mission is to build and mobilize the conservative environmental movement.
Our Vision: We envision a cleaner, more prosperous world that fosters collaboration in the pursuit of environmental conservation.
The American Conservation Coalition (ACC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing young people around environmental action through common-sense, pro-innovation, and limited-government principles. ACC was founded in 2017 by a group of young conservatives who wanted to fill the ideological gap in the environmental movement that was preventing effective, durable action.
We believe economic and environmental success go hand-in-hand and that everyone should feel empowered to take a seat at the table in discussions concerning conservation, clean energy, sportsmen’s rights, agriculture, climate, and more. ACC empowers young people who are tired of partisan inaction and equips them to build a better, more effective environmental movement for all Americans.
The Conservative Approach Our Principles
Nature provides the resources we need to survive and enriches our lives with beauty. We should foster a culture of stewardship that ensures long-term environmental sustainability.
America’s diverse natural landscapes are part of our shared heritage and national identity. We have a duty to protect this gift for future generations of Americans.
Conservation starts locally. Local attachments inspire us to care for the environment and local knowledge is an integral part of successful environmental stewardship.
Economic prosperity and environmental sustainability go hand-in-hand. Strong property rights, competitive markets, and trade, coupled with a culture of environmental stewardship, produce the best environmental outcomes. Economic freedom creates prosperity and gives people the resources and tools they need to care for the environment.
Humans find creative solutions to complex problems. It’s in our nature. Innovation allows us to do more with less, which is key to a sustainable and prosperous future.
Individuals, businesses, and governments each have a role to play in caring for the environment. No single institution can address complex challenges alone. Environmental challenges must be met with balanced and cooperative responses.
A History of Conservative Environmentalism Where We Come From
Birth of Conservation: President Grant's Vision
In the late 1800s, President Ulysses S. Grant took a monumental step, establishing the first national park—Yellowstone. This historic move laid the foundation for the conservation efforts that would shape the future of America's natural landscapes.
Teddy's Conservation Legacy Grows
Building on Grant's initiative, President Theodore Roosevelt significantly expanded the National Parks Service, doubling its size, and protected 230 million acres of forest. Teddy's passion for preserving the nation's wilderness left an indelible mark on conservation history.
Environmental Protection Era: Nixon and the EPA
In 1970, President Richard Nixon responded to the growing environmental concerns of the era by creating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This marked a pivotal moment in the relationship between conservatism & environmental responsibility.
Reagan's Global Environmental Commitment
President Ronald Reagan played an underappreciated role in global environmental efforts by supporting the Montreal Protocol in 1987. This international agreement aimed to protect the ozone layer, showcasing a conservative leader's commitment to global environmental stewardship.
HW Bush's Air Purity Pledge
President George H.W. Bush strengthened the nation's commitment to clean air with the Clean Air Act amendments in 1990. This legislation underscored the conservative approach to balancing economic growth with environmental protection.
A National Youth Movement Emerges
A direct response to the firestorm of the 2016 election, young conservatives led by Benji Backer founded the American Conservation Coalition to restore the conservation values conservatives have cherished for decades.
A Trump Era Triumph: Great American Outdoors Act
In 2020, Congress, led by Republican Senators Cory Gardner and Steve Daines, passed the Great American Outdoors Act, which was later signed by President Trump. This landmark legislation provided unprecedented funding for national parks and public lands, demonstrating a commitment to conservation within the conservative agenda.
The Rise of the Conservative Climate Caucus
Representative John Curtis (R UT 03) spearheaded the formation of the Conservative Climate Caucus in 2021, showcasing a modern conservative approach to addressing climate change. This initiative reflects a growing recognition within conservative circles of the importance of environmental stewardship in the 21st century.
Climate Change on the Republican Presidential Debate Stage
ACC member Alex Diaz asked Republican candidates at the first Republican presidential debate: “As president of the United States, how will you soothe young people’s fears that conservatives don’t care about climate change.”
We are young Americans leading the action-first climate movement.
We need people like you
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