WASHINGTON – As members of the Senate meet this afternoon to hold a hearing on Rep. Ryan Zinke, nominated as secretary of the Interior by the Trump administration, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers President and CEO Land Tawney issued the following statement:
“Rep. Zinke, as a sportsman and lifelong public lands user, is well positioned to appreciate the critical role played by these lands and waters in our national economy, our outdoor traditions and our identity as Americans. Backcountry Hunters & Anglers believes that he can be an effective and positive leader for the Interior Department, and we will continue to work closely with him with that objective in mind.
“The Trump administration has separated itself from some in the Republican Party who want to liquidate America’s national forests, refuges and other public lands. America’s outdoor families expect the administration to stay the course and wisely manage this world-class resource. Should Mr. Zinke be confirmed as Interior secretary, BHA stands ready to help achieve that goal.”
Both Zinke and President-elect Trump have identified themselves as conservationists in the model of Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican who helped create America’s priceless public land heritage. In July 2016, the Republic National Committee’s platform panel endorsed an amendment promoting the transfer of public lands to individual states. Zinke resigned as a convention delegate over the GOP’s position.