Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) was selected by President-elect Donald Trump to be his Secretary of the Interior. Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, is the lone Congressman from Montana and was rumored to have been a potential candidate to take on Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) in 2018. Zinke’s selection has garnered approval from the NRA, the NSSF, and other organizations.
From the NRA-ILA:
Fairfax, Va.— Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, issued the following statement on the nomination of Congressman Ryan Zinke to be the Secretary of the Interior:
“On behalf of our 5 million members, we commend President-Elect Donald Trump for nominating Congressman Ryan Zinke of Montana to be our next Secretary of the Interior,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. “The sportsmen and women of this nation have long waited for an Interior Secretary who understands the need to preserve America’s outdoor heritage for generations to come. Ryan Zinke will champion those traditions with the devotion of a true outdoorsman while serving as our next Secretary of the Interior.”
From the National Shooting Sports Foundation:
NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industries, today praised President-Elect Donald Trump’s selection of U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) to become Secretary of the Department of the Interior.
“In Congressman Zinke we have a true friend of American sportsmen who believes in the inestimable value of our public lands. We are confident Congressman Zinke will work to preserve and promote our hunting and related outdoor traditions. He is an American hero, a lifelong hunter and angler, and a true conservationist in the tradition of Teddy Roosevelt,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “The Secretary of the Interior is arguably the nation’s single most important position with regard to the management of federal lands, wildlife habitat and natural resources. Competing interests must be balanced with what will be in the best long-term interest of the nation. We look forward to enthusiastically supporting his nomination in Congress and then working with Secretary Zinke to help him achieve that mission.”
“We are very pleased that President-Elect Trump is listening to the voices of American sportsmen and conservationists, but no one should be surprised. That positive influence has been close at hand for many years in the form of his son, Donald Jr.,” Keane added.
From the Boone and Crockett Club:
The Boone and Crockett Club, the oldest wildlife conservation group in the U.S., founded by Theodore Roosevelt, praises President-Elect Donald Trump’s announcement of U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) to become Secretary of the Department of the Interior.
“Ryan Zinke has already demonstrated the leadership required as America’s top conservation steward, and the president-elect has done likewise in embracing it.” said Ben B. Hollingsworth Jr., president of the B&C Club. “The congressman has seen that frustrations with federal land management are the driver of many controversies and has rejected surrendering those federal lands as a supposed solution. Ryan Zinke and Donald Trump know that ever since Theodore Roosevelt made federal lands and conservation a national priority, hunters and other sportsmen-conservationists have carried out the work on the ground that ensures America’s wildlife heritage.”
The Boone and Crockett Club moved its national headquarters to the Rocky Mountain west in Missoula, Montana in 1992 because the Club’s leadership at the time felt this would be the epicenter of many future conservation challenges for land and wildlife.
In a statement released by Zinke, the new Interior Secretary said he would uphold Theodore Roosevelt’s belief that public lands are “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” He continued by assuring the public that he will “work tirelessly to ensure our public lands are managed and preserved in a way that benefits everyone for generations to come.”
Hollingsworth said, “We are proud that Montana, where we call home and where the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch is located, is the source of so much conservation leadership at this moment in history. With the state so well represented in Congress, having a Montanan in the administration is a prime opportunity to restore working relationships in Washington to the benefit of conservation work on the ground.”
From the Dallas Safari Club:
DSC congratulates Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke on his recent nomination to lead the Department of Interior. Zinke will be charged with protecting the natural resources of the U.S., which includes federal lands and overseeing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. DSC is pleased to see the position filled by an ardent proponent of continued access to public lands and a champion of conservation.
“DSC has supported Representative Zinke since his first run in Congress,” said DSC Executive Director Ben Carter. “He symbolizes the DSC mission of ensuring the future of conservation through hunting and protecting hunter’s rights. We are excited to see how he handles the critical issues facing wildlife and wild places. Our membership respects and appreciates his dedicated service to this Nation as a former Navy Seal and as a Congressman. He has proven to be a straight shooter in all aspects, and we look forward to working with the newly nominated Interior Secretary.”
Zinke is a native of Montana and has a lifelong love of hunting and fishing. During his time in Congress, Zinke has a track record of backing hunter’s rights. He announced his support for the Sportsmen’s Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Enhancement Act, which contained seven provisions to reauthorize or implement ways to fund conservation programs on federal and private lands.
In a released statement, Zinke stated, “As inscribed in the stone archway of Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Montana, I shall faithfully uphold Teddy Roosevelt’s belief that our treasured public lands are ‘for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.’ I will work tirelessly to ensure our public lands are managed and preserved in a way that benefits everyone for generations to come.”
“Zinke is a sportsman just like the members of DSC,” said Carter. “His heart lies in the same place as ours and we feel he is the perfect person to direct management of our lands and wildlife. This is a great step in ensuring the future of hunting, fishing and the outdoor life for upcoming generations.”
Finally, in what I consider the greatest endorsement of Zinke yet, is this statement from the Center for Biological Diversity. They have been consistently a thorn in the side to hunters, anglers, and shooters with their constant lawsuits against lead-based ammunition and professional wildlife conservation management efforts.
TUCSON, Ariz.— Freshman congressman Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) has reportedly been picked by Donald Trump to serve as secretary of the Interior to oversee endangered species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, hundreds of millions of acres of public land including the national parks, Bureau of Land Management lands and national wildlife refuges and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Zinke was a staunch, early and controversial supporter of Trump throughout the presidential campaign. Trump has picked his wife Lola Zinke to oversee the transition of the Veteran’s Administration.
Statement of Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity:
“Ryan Zinke has a dismal 3 percent lifetime environmental voting record. His brief political career has been substantially devoted to attacking endangered species and the Endangered Species Act. He led efforts to strip federal protections for endangered wolves, lynx and sage grouse, voted to exempt massive agribusiness and water developers from Endangered Species Act limitations, and opposed efforts to crack down on the international black market ivory trade.”
“Zinke consistently votes for the interests of oil and gas companies, which is not surprising since Oasis Petroleum is his largest campaign contributor and the oil and gas industry is his third-largest sector contributor. He has also voted against and attacked the establishment of protective national monuments on public lands.”
“On the bright side, Zinke has spoken and voted against the outright transfer of federal public lands to states and corporations. This is in keeping with positions taken by Donald Trump and his son Donald, Jr. Unfortunately Zinke has championed the same result — greatly increased logging, mining and oil drilling, greatly reduced environmental protections, elimination of federal control, and weakening of environmental standards — by turning over public land management to industry-dominated panels appointed by state governors. In Zinke’s scheme, industry and state interests get all the environmental destruction and profit they want, with the federal government being made to pay for it through nominal retention of land title.”
“Zinke’s cynically named ‘Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015’ was one of several schemes he led to turn control of public land to industry-dominated panels. It was widely opposed by conservationists, sportsmen, businesses and even some timber companies for dispensing with environmental laws and public involvement in order to ramp up unsustainable logging levels.”
“Disturbingly, in 2012 Zinke contradicted his recent stance when he signed the extremist Montana Constitutional Governance Pledge promising to ‘legally and administratively oppose the multitude of bureaucracies that have sprung up to enforce the unlawful seizure of our native land and its resources including, but not limited to: the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Park Service, the various bureaus of Wildlife and Fisheries, etc., and restore the rightful powers over the land to the State and private ownership.’ During confirmation hearings, the Senate needs to grill Zinke on this contradiction and ensure he truly supports keeping public lands in public hands.”