The U.S. Congressional International Conservation Caucus, founded in September 2003, is a bipartisan congressional organization with the conviction that “the United States of America has the opportunity, the obligation and the interests to advance the conservation of natural resources for this and future generations,” and a commitment to promote U.S. leadership in public/private conservation partnerships worldwide.
These partnerships are supported in order to ensure stewardship for natural resources that can lead to habitat and biodiversity protection, poverty alleviation, economic development and regional safety. The ICC constitutes the second largest bipartisan congressional caucus, with over 1/3 of the U.S. House of Representatives, and over 1/4 of the U.S. Senate as acting members.
A popular social movement in the late 1800s pushed conservation of natural resources to the top of the national agenda. The leaders of the movement were concerned that poor land management would put long-term national interests at risk, as well as destroy future Americans' natural heritage. Under President Theodore Roosevelt, the United States placed 230,000,000 acres of land under national protection to conserve natural assets for the long-term use of future generations.
A new wave of conservationism emerged in the early 21st century inspired by America's history of sound natural resource management; they were united by the conviction that the United States of America should take steps to export these practices throughout the world, helping strengthen national security.
The International Conservation Caucus was founded in September 2003 by Representatives Clay Shaw (R-FL), John Tanner (D-TN), Ed Royce (R-CA), and Tom Udall (D-NM) to preserve the influence and motivation needed to provide continual support to critical conservation projects.