“The nomination of Ryan Zinke for Secretary of the Interior signals an important step toward balanced use of federal lands. During his time in the House, he has recognized that the federal government has an obligation to manage, rather than merely preserve, the 28 percent of U.S. land it controls. He supports a pragmatic, ‘all of the above’ approach to energy generation rather than limiting ourselves to one form of energy over another. He is a proven leader and qualified choice for the position.
“Congressman Zinke has a challenge before him. Farmers and ranchers have suffered abuse at the hands of the Interior Department. Arbitrary limits on grazing have harmed animal agriculture. Wild horses and burros have overgrazed and overwhelmed the carrying capacity of arid lands, destroying not just grasslands but habitat for many other species. Officials at the department’s Bureau of Land Management have systematically reduced the acres that can be ranched in direct conflict with the multiple-use mandate required by law. The Fish and Wildlife Service has continued to enforce an outmoded and failing Endangered Species Act, while national monuments policies have unfairly limited public access to critical natural resources.
“We know Congressman Zinke understands these issues and are encouraged that he is committed to just and balanced land use. He knows the law requires multiple land uses, not just one. We are more than ready to work with the Congressman so that the Interior Department will once again be bound by science and the law.”