Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke has been nominated to head the Department of Interior
Today, Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, issued the following statement on the nomination of U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke for Secretary of the Interior. Mr. Zinke reportedly has not yet accepted the nomination.
“We have serious concerns about the nomination of Congressman Zinke, whose repeated support for logging, drilling and mining on cherished public lands is out of step with most Americans.
“While he has steered clear of efforts to sell off public lands and supported the Land and Water Conservation Fund, far more often Rep. Zinke has advanced policies that favor special interests. His overall record and the backdrop of cabinet nominations with close ties to the fossil fuel industry cause us grave concern. Rep. Zinke has refused to acknowledge that climate change is caused by fossil fuel emissions, while vocally opposing the Obama administration’s efforts to reduce harmful methane emissions. In addition, he has fought efforts to reform coal and voted to scrap environmental safeguards related to logging efforts on national forests.
"An Interior Secretary must be a strong defender of our national wilderness areas, parks, forests, refuges and grasslands, and ensure the diverse communities that rely upon them have a say in decisions about their use. The Wilderness Society and its members will look for opportunities to work with Mr. Zinke whenever possible, but we will work just as hard to hold him accountable and fight tirelessly for conservation and stewardship of our shared heritage.”