Over CalTrout’s 46 year history we have seen plenty of presidential transitions. We offered our observations about the recent election last month, and noted that the appointment process to key cabinet positions is of great interest to us, our mission and our work. The Secretary of Interior appointment is important because of the oversight of key federal agencies that manage lands, wildlife and water.
While some of the recent cabinet selections give us a moment of pause, the recent appointed of Representative Ryan Zinke of Montana to lead the Department of Interior has raised our hopes. The Department of Interior is in charge of managing federal lands, including all of our National Parks, Bureau of Land Management lands and National Wildlife Refuges. The Secretary of Interior is also involved in conserving western water resources, and working with state and non-governmental organization partners to protect and restore trout, salmon and steelhead habitat nationwide.
Our friends at TU had the opportunity to work successfully with Rep. Zinke, as TU CEO and President Chris Wood stated, “on national issues ranging from reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund to, the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act, to preventing the takeover of America’s public lands. While we have not always agreed with his past positions on other issues, when he was in the Montana State Legislature our members found occasion to work with him on conservation and natural resource issues of mutual interest.”
There is much at stake for our public lands and waters and how they are managed. With Rep. Zinke’s appointment, it is good we have someone who understands western land and water issues and supports the value of public lands. For CalTrout, we will continue to use the best science to solve complex resource issues that balance the needs of fish and people. We hope the new leadership of the Department of Interior share these values.