Audubon Advisory

What Cabinet Nominees Mean for Birds

Audubon has fought to protect birds under 28 presidents, and we consistently work with both political parties to achieve conservation successes. Our approach has always been to seek common ground while also acting when there are threats to policies that impact our efforts on behalf of the birds we cherish.

The start of a new presidency brings changes to the cabinet, including positions like the secretaries of the Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture and administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. These agencies perform work vital to our conservation mission.

Audubon took the highly unusual step of opposing Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s nomination to lead the EPA. The primary job of the EPA is to safeguard clean air and water for our kids and also for birds, wildlife and wild places. We are deeply concerned about Pruitt’s extensive record of aggressively seeking to undo clean air and water protections that have long been critical to our work. Pruitt has frequently questioned the role of pollution in contributing to climate change, one of the greatest threats to the health of our families and birds.

We are optimistic about building productive working relationships with the Administration, too. Congressman Ryan Zinke, the nominee to lead the Department of Interior, aspires to follow in the footsteps of Theodore Roosevelt with regard to conservation. Zinke has advocated for permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, opposed any sale or transfer of federal public lands, and supported improvements in water infrastructure in the West. He also acknowledged the role humans play in a changing climate, part of his commitment to “objective science.”

Audubon is also following former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s nomination to lead the Department of Agriculture. We are encouraged about opportunities to work with the department on supporting wildlife and habitat conservation programs in the upcoming Farm Bill.

Audubon looks forward to engaging with the new Administration’s cabinet and working together to protect birds. As always, we will keep you updated on our efforts and how you can be helpful.


“The views expressed in user comments do not reflect the views of Audubon. Audubon does not participate in political campaigns, nor do we support or oppose candidates.”