The Secretary of Interior is a really important position.
The Department of the Interior (DOI) is the nation’s principal conservation agency. If you’re a stats person, here are some numbers to chew on:
The DOI is a large, decentralized agency with over 67,000 employees and 280,000 volunteers located at approximately 2,400 operating locations across the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. territories, and freely associated states. They discharge their responsibilities on a $16.8 billion total annual budget. DOI raises more than $18.2 billion in revenues collected from energy, mineral, grazing, timber, recreation, land sales, and other revenue producing activities.
DOI manages 500 million acres of surface land, or about one-fifth of the land in the United States, including:
- 256 million acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management
- 96.2 million acres managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service
- 84.6 million acres managed by the National Park Service
- 8.7 million acres managed by the Bureau of Reclamation associated with reclamation projects
- 66 million acres managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs
All signs point to the fact that Donald Trump will appoint Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers as the next Secretary of Interior. If this report holds true, there probably will be a considerable amount of worry coming from some outdoorsmen and women alike.
If you watched Donald Trump Jr. sit down with SilencerCo CEO Joshua Waldron, you know that Trump Jr. was not going to be quiet when it came to the matter of the interior. He’s an avid hunter and wants to make sure we take care of our lands.
You can read one outdoorsman’s stance on transferring federal land to the states in a previous OutdoorHub article, and why many people are concerned with Trump’s selection.
Why Cathy McMorris Rodgers?
So, why is Trump going with McMorris Rodgers? Some are feeling a little perplexed about the news of Trump’s selection, however, McMorris Rodgers has a case to plea. First, she’s from Washington, and understands hunting and fishing. She also brings with her a lot of experience dealing with conservation issues.
“In the Northwest, hunting and fishing is a way of life for many, and for generations this has occurred on federal lands. But, too often, Federal Agencies and their regulations impede, or prevent outright, hunting, fishing, and recreation. Bureaucrats in D.C. shouldn’t be allowed to reshape American culture—preventing something so deeply engrained in our heritage.”
To combat all of that, and the reason some hunters smell smoke, is Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ track record in Congress. In 2011, she co-sponsored the Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act, which would have transferred ownership of more than 3 million acres of public lands to private interests.
In response to President-elect Donald Trump’s expected nomination of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers as U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers President and CEO Land Tawney issued the following statement:
“Representative McMorris Rodgers’ track record in Congress should raise a red flag for Americans who care about the responsible management of our public lands and waters. President-elect Trump has pledged to keep public lands in public hands, and American sportsmen expect him to be true to his word.”
“Representative McMorris Rodgers’ misguided positions on public lands, including co-sponsoring bills that would have transferred public lands to private ownership and undermined the Land and Water Conservation Fund, one of America’s most successful and popular conservation programs, are troubling to say the least.”
If Trump and his team believe Cathy McMorris Rodgers can get the job done, then they must have their reasons. That said, many outdoor enthusiasts will be keeping a watchful eye on these issues. After all, our lands are a top priority.
For more background and information, take a peek at her campaign video: