The conservatists

It was not that long ago when conservative Republicans led initiatives to conserve our planet. Republican presidents have a long history of prioritizing environmental issues. Teddy Roosevelt’s love for the national parks gave him the name, “the conservation president.” Richard Nixon even created the Environmental Protection Agency. Conservation, protecting the environment, and fighting climate change aren’t blue or red issues; they’re American issues – global issues, really.

Meeting with conservatives in Congress that truly believe in science was refreshing. It gave me hope that we aren’t alone. ACC President and Founder Benji Backer said it best when he told us that we, right here and right now, are the brave ones – pioneers. He mentioned how we were the ones leading the change we want to see in our party. I couldn’t agree more.

What I personally found when I arrived in D.C. was a group of young Americans ready to debunk the stereotypes and prove the skeptics wrong. What I found was a brave and pioneering group of young people ready to change the narrative.

Being from Wisconsin, the “great outdoors” is literally my backyard. We’ve been blessed with beautiful cities and countryside. From hiking in La Crosse’s Hixon Forest, swimming at Devil’s Lake in Baraboo, fishing on Lake Michigan, or even just taking a weekend “up north,” our state has so many things to offer. It’s our job and responsibility to make sure we have a beautiful and sustainable Wisconsin for generations to come and leave a better world for those who come after us. As a conservative, I believe in free markets and limited government, but I also believe in protecting and conserving what is good in our country.      

As a young person, I want to make sure that we have a sustainable environment for my kids and grandkids down the line so that they can enjoy the Wisconsin that I have come to love.

Democrats and Republicans need to act, and they need to act now. Climate change is real, and humans have played a part in causing a lot of the issues we’re facing. We don’t have all the answers, and that’s okay. We, as Republicans, need to return to the party of conservation and common-sense approaches to protecting our environment. It’s crucial that we don’t get left behind. We can protect our environment, ensure funding for our national parks that need it badly, and create more jobs in the process.

– Brian Martinez

  UW-W Senior