Zinke Pick Signals Trump Intends to Keep Public Lands Promise

Washington, DC – President-elect Donald Trump has reportedly offered Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) to be his Secretary of the Interior nominee, a position that holds great significance for the tens of millions of hunters, anglers, bird watchers, paddlers and other outdoor and wildlife enthusiasts across the country.  The Secretary of Interior oversees the management of more than 500 million acres of public lands, hundreds of National Parks and Wildlife Refuges, and millions of nautical square miles of oceans. These public trust resources annually serve hundreds of millions of hunters, anglers, and other outdoor enthusiasts and serve as the backbone of America’s $646 billion outdoor economy, which supports more than six million jobs.

Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said today:

“Throughout the campaign, President-elect Trump campaigned vigorously for the vote of America’s hunters and anglers, pledging to honor the legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt and to keep America’s public lands in public hands. In states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, the votes from hundreds of thousands sportsmen and women helped the President-elect win these crucial states.

“By offering Rep. Ryan Zinke—a sportsman and proponent of keeping public lands public and investing in conservation—the position of Secretary of the Interior, President-elect Trump is signaling that he intends to keep his promises to America’s hunters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Rep. Zinke has opposed efforts to sell off America’s public lands and has supported investing in wildlife conservation and reauthorizing the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

“If Rep. Zinke accepts the nomination, the millions of members of the National Wildlife Federation look forward to hearing his ideas for improving public land management, increasing access for outdoor recreation, recovering at-risk wildlife populations, reclaiming degraded lands, expanding wildlife-friendly renewable energy development, and strengthening relationships with tribes. We also hope he will affirm previous statements that climate change is real and advocate for common-sense solutions that strengthen our economy, enhance energy independence, reduce emissions, and improve the resilience of wildlife habitat.”

Dave Chadwick, executive director of the Montana Wildlife Federation, said today:

"Montanans, more than anybody else in the nation, understand how important the Interior Department is to protecting fish and wildlife, hunting and fishing opportunity, and our $6 billion outdoor economy. As Montana’s Representative, Ryan Zinke made statements of support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and against the transfer and sale of public lands. If he becomes Interior Secretary, we are hopeful that we could work with him to deliver on these and other promises. We look forward to seeking common ground on a range of other land management and wildlife protection issues, and, when necessary, reminding him of the importance of conservation to our outdoor heritage and our economy."

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