From the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance
On March 1, U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke was officially sworn in as the 52nd Secretary of the Interior. The department oversees nearly 20 percent of all lands in the U.S., including Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A public lands advocate, hunter and conservationist from Montana, Zinke took immediate action, issuing a pair of secretarial orders to expand access to public lands and increase hunting opportunities nationwide.
The first order, overturned a rule pushed through on Jan. 19, the final day of the Obama Administration, banning lead ammunition and fishing tackle on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands.
The second action directed federal agencies identify areas where public hunting and fishing opportunities can be expanded. The order stated:
“President Theodore Roosevelt loved the outdoors, vigorously hunted wildlife, and developed a uniquely American conservation ethos. Executive Order 13442 built upon President Roosevelt’s conservation legacy and directed Federal agencies, including the Department of the Interior, to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of hunting opportunities and management of game species and their habitat.
As a servant of the American people, the Department will continue to strengthen President Roosevelt’s conservation stewardship legacy through this Order by seeking to expand recreational and conservation opportunities for all Americans.”
“Representative Zinke’s background and support for hunting and our vast public lands was on full display,” said Evan Heusinkveld, Sportsmen’s Alliance president and CEO. “These orders, and the renewed sense of support coming from the top of the Department of Interior are a welcome relief for sportsmen and women who believe that hunting, fishing and recreational access to our public lands and waters are critical for the future of conservation efforts.”