For Immediate Release
December 15, 2016
In response to news reports that Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) has accepted President-Elect Donald Trump’s nomination for Interior Secretary, SUWA Executive Director Scott Groene released the following statement:
“The Secretary of the Interior is a critical administration post for America’s public lands. The Secretary oversees the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service. This position matters.
“President-elect Trump’s appointments to date for positions such as State and Energy have been atrocious and represent a repudiation of our nation’s efforts to address the very real threat of climate change. We have concerns Mr. Zinke is cut from the same cloth.
“During his brief stint Congress, Rep. Zinke has voted for the environment a paltry 3% of the time,according to the League of Conservation Voters. He has voted to undermine wilderness, according to the Montana Wilderness Association. He is viewed as a strong proponent of fossil fuel development.
“While Rep. Zinke has made statements that he opposes wholesale efforts to transfer federal lands to state ownership, he has also voted to increase local control over public land.
“We are encouraged Rep. Zinke is an outdoorsman and has stated his appreciation for the backcountry. At least until more information is available, we will give him the benefit of the doubt and seek a positive working relationship.”