"Congratulations to Congressman Ryan Zinke, a fellow Montanan, for his nomination to head the U.S. Department of the Interior,” said Jennifer Fielder, CEO of the American Lands Council.
"In remarks made at the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing [video link] [Zinke's written remarks (PDF)] yesterday, Congressman Zinke spoke eloquently about the diverse purposes that can be served by America’s public lands," said Fielder.
"Yet the reality today is that those purposes are not being fulfilled. Indeed, the federal government’s mismanagement of those lands, particularly in the western USA, has led to the demise of people’s livelihoods as well as environmental degradation — at an immense cost to the U.S. taxpayer."
Fielder explained: "We earnestly hope that Congressman Zinke will work to change this situation by working with local communities and states, as he has stated. While he adamantly maintained during the hearing that he opposes the transfer of public lands, it is still of utmost importance that he enables the U.S. Department of the Interior to tackle federal mismanagement head-on. This means implementing drastic reforms, imposing targets and timetables, and supporting the possibility and practicality of decentralized management, whether that is through local or state entities."
(Photo credit: Gage Skidmore on Flickr)