CLF Statement on Interior Secretary Nominee Rep. Ryan Zinke
Durango, Colo. (December 14, 2016) – Today President-elect Donald Trump is expected to announce Representative Ryan Zinke as his pick to lead the Department of the Interior—the agency charged with managing America’s natural and cultural resources and overseeing several major land management agencies including the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.
Brian O’Donnell, CLF Executive Director, released the following statement:
The Interior Secretary is tasked with being the chief steward of our national parks, National Conservation Lands and other public lands that provide clean water, air and wildlife habitat, and drive a $646 billion outdoor recreation economy. Thanks to visionaries like Teddy Roosevelt, whose legacy President-elect Trump has said he intends to honor, we have inherited the greatest estate of protected public lands in the world. As Interior Secretary, Rep. Zinke—also a self-proclaimed Roosevelt Republican—must ensure that we protect this shared heritage and incredible gift.
Honoring the Roosevelt legacy means defending, and not undermining, our nation’s most important conservation laws, including the Antiquities Act that Roosevelt himself signed into law. Unfortunately, Rep. Zinke’s voting record in Congress is plainly anti-conservation—he has earned a 3% rating from the League of Conservation Voters—and includes support for weakening the Antiquities Act.
This record is of great concern to Americans who treasure our parks, wildlife, and National Conservation Lands. The U.S. Senate must fully evaluate Rep. Zinke’s positions and ensure he will responsibly steward the lands that belong to all Americans, including future generations. Despite his anti-conservation record, the Conservation Lands Foundation hopes that Rep. Ryan Zinke will respect the Roosevelt legacy as more than a handy moniker, and manage in a way that reflects the will of the overwhelming majority of the American people who cherish our public land heritage.
The Conservation Lands Foundation is the only organization dedicated solely to protecting, restoring and expanding the National Conservation Lands so they will endure from generation to generation. The National Conservation Lands are 35 million acres of protected public lands, rivers and trails managed by the Bureau of Land Management, that have joined the ranks of our national parks and wildlife refuges as guardians our nation’s natural, cultural and outdoor heritage, and drivers of its $646 billion outdoor recreation economy. www.ConservationLands.org