Press Room

Zinke Has Teddy Roosevelt Aspirations; Audubon Says, 'Bully for Him!'

Birds and people stand to benefit if Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke follows through on his commitment to conservation.

WASHINGTON —Today, the Senate voted Representative Ryan Zinke (R-MT) to be our next Secretary of the Department of the Interior. In response, the National Audubon Society issued the following statement:

“Secretary Zinke is on the record describing himself as a latter-day Teddy Roosevelt. That's a high standard and one we hope he meets," said David Yarnold (@david_yarnold), Audubon's president and CEO. 

“If Secretary Zinke is genuine in his commitment to science-based conservation and a legacy worthy of our children and grandchildren, Audubon will work with him in good faith. After all, he is on the record opposing the sale or transfer of public lands, endorsing the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, agreeing that some natural areas are too beautiful to develop and calling for improved water infrastructure in a drought-stricken West—all good things for birds and people.

“It's clear that core environmental protections are going to come under fire and we look to Secretary Zinke to back up his strong words with even stronger actions to protect our natural resources.”

Audubon will work with Secretary Zinke and his Department of the Interior to advance key conservation priorities that protect birds and the places they need. Birds depend on dozens of Interior programs that help protect and restore habitat across the nation.

For example, the Land and Water Conservation Fund is one of the most successful and widely-supported conservation programs for creating parks and protecting wild places. In the Bureau of Reclamation, the WaterSMART program helps conserve water across a drought-stricken West. The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act has improved millions of acres of habitat in the U.S. and Latin America in a cost-effective manner. Other vital U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service programs for birds include the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, which helps to restore wetlands habitat for waterfowl and other species, and the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants, which help all fifty states protect at-risk wildlife and the places they need.

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at www.audubon.org and @audubonsociety.

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Contact: Nicolas Gonzalez, ngonzalez@audubon.org, 212-979-3068.

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