FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SILVER SPRING, Md. -- The Public Lands Alliance (PLA) congratulates Congressman Ryan Zinke (R-MT) on his confirmation as the 52nd Secretary of the Department of the Interior. Below is a statement by Dan Puskar, executive director of PLA:
"We are eager to work with Secretary Zinke as he assumes stewardship of many of our nation's most important natural wonders, cultural landmarks and historic places. As debate in Washington, D.C. turns to cutting the budgets of our public lands, we expect Secretary Zinke to champion the economic, health, recreational, educational and spiritual benefits that flow from vibrant public lands.
"PLA has great respect for the vision of America's public lands that Secretary Zinke has articulated in the Congress and in his confirmation hearing. We applaud his support of permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and his sponsorship of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act. We agree that recreational access to and meaningful experiences on public lands are crucial if we are to engage new generations of outdoor enthusiasts and public lands stewards. We also believe that infrastructure essential to the visitor experience and necessary to the preservation of historic treasures has been seriously underfunded; we deeply appreciate Secretary Zinke's professed intention to engage Congress to make needed investments.
"America's public lands deserve exceptional leaders, and we encourage Secretary Zinke to move swiftly to identify, appoint and nominate individuals who are committed to working closely with partners to protect these special places and enrich the experience of their visitors. Our network of nonprofit public lands partners stands ready to engage new leaders of the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to inspire private support, educate our citizens and provide them with programs, services and products that deepen their engagement in our national treasures."