American Stewards of Liberty

American Stewards of Liberty uses taxpayer money to lobby local governments to oppose conservation efforts and promote fringe conspiracy theories.

About American Stewards of Liberty

American Stewards of Liberty (ASL) Is the extremist group leading the opposition to the Biden Administration’s conservation goals. ASL’s primary activity is lobbying local governments to pass legislation opposing the Biden Administration’s America the Beautiful Conservation initiative that aims to conserve 30% of lands and waters by 2030– lobbying which likely runs afoul of IRS rules for nonprofit organizations. 

American Stewards of Liberty is a husband-wife duo formed to defend its executive director’s father when he refused to pay his federal grazing fees in the 1990s using the bogus legal arguments that inspired the Bundys’ armed stand-offs in Nevada and Oregon. They failed, and the estate was ordered to pay over a half million dollars in penalties. 

The majority of the nonprofit’s revenue comes from taxpayers through dubious contracts with county governments. In total, ASL has taken over $700,000 in tax dollars. ASL pays its husband-wife executive duo as much as 94% of its total revenue. 

ASL promotes extremist ideas and conspiracy theories like “Agenda 21,” which alleges a United Nations plot to eliminate private property rights in the US. 

American Stewards of Liberty also express other extremist ideas rooted in racism. 

  • American Stewards compares conservation goals to the 1930s Soviet Holodomor genocide of Ukrainian people through engineered famines and also to Nazi Germany.
  • An American Stewards spokesman said that the Third Reich was the “birth of environmental impact statements.” 
  • American Stewards claimed that conservation goals will create a “feudal state.”
  • American Stewards denies climate science.

American Stewards of Liberty has received at least $120,000 from the Koch-backed dark money network. It has worked directly with oil and gas industry associations to oppose protections for public lands and wildlife. In 2002, an American Stewards of Liberty spokesman pleaded no contest to cattle rustling charges.

Our detailed report can be found here.

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