BREAKING: Ryan Zinke Closer to Being New Secretary of Interior

Lone Montana congressman and former Navy SEAL Ryan Zinke has been confirmed as the next Secretary of the Department of Interior. The Associated Press confirmed this:

Zinke was confirmed in a Senate subcommittee by a 16-6 vote. The U.S. Senate will soon vote to fully confirm him. Zinke will replace outgoing Interior head Sally Jewell, who previously served as CEO of REI.

I previously wrote about Zinke here at The Resurgent. Here’s more about him:

Zinke has voted to preserve Montana’s public lands for fishing, hunting, and use by outdoor enthusiasts. He also sat on the House Committee for Natural Resources. Zinke is also a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.

During confirmation hearings last week, Zinke said humans may contribute to climate change but said there’s debate to still be had on the topic. Perhaps he said it to get confirmed? I believe so – so as to not be blocked by Senate Democrats.

The Department of Interior is primarily responsible for natural resources–including oil and gas. In contrast to the previous administration, we can expect the safe exploration of offshore oil under a Zinke-led Department of Interior. Moreover, since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service falls under the purview of DoI, we can expect its new director – who’ll work in concert with Zinke – to undo Order 219, which prohibits lead tackle and ammunition use on USFWS public lands.

Here’s to hoping true conservation can finally be promoted! Good luck to future Secretary Zinke. The special election for the open Montana seat is expected to be interesting…

 

Trump Must Undo Obama’s Ban on Lead Tackle, Ammo Use on Public Lands

A directive banning traditional lead tackle and ammunition on public lands was passed before President Barack Obama left office.

Outgoing U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service director Daniel M. Ashe issued a Director’s Order – Order 219 – on January 19th. It immediately went into effect. What does this Order entail? The purpose is stated below:

The purpose of this Order is to establish procedures and a timeline for expanding the use of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle on Service lands, waters, and facilities and for certain types of hunting and fishing regulated by the Service outside of Service lands, waters, and facilities.

This will apply to all hunting and fishing activities on public lands, to be implemented by January 2022 if the Order isn’t challenged. This could present serious implications to both industries if not undone. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is under the purview of the Department of Interior, which will be headed up by Montana congressman and outdoorsman Ryan Zinke (if and when confirmed).

No fishing or hunting group was consulted on the matter.

Scott Guides, vice president of Government Affairs at the American Sportfishing Association issued the following statement in response to the Order:

“The sportfishing industry views this unilateral policy to ban lead fishing tackle, which was developed without any input from the industry, other angling organizations and state fish and wildlife agencies, as a complete disregard for the economic and social impact it will have on anglers and the recreational fishing industry,” said Gudes.

Gudes further said, “In the limited instances where lead fishing tackle is demonstrated to harm local wildlife populations, the sportfishing industry supports actions to minimize or eliminate these impacts. However, unnecessary and sweeping bans such as this Director’s Order will do nothing to benefit wildlife populations and instead will penalize the nation’s 46 million anglers and hurt recreational fishing-dependent jobs.”

Gudes concluded, “A sound, science-driven and durable policy could’ve been crafted with input from industry and the broader recreational fishing community. We are hopeful that new leadership at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will repeal this Director’s Order and develop public policy in a way that is open, inclusive and based on science.”

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies similarly responded to Order 219:

“It does a disservice to hunters and anglers, the firearms and angling industries, and the many professionals on staff with the USFWS who desire a trusting and transparent relationship with their state partners.” This is unacceptable federal overreach into the states’ authority to regulate the methods of take for sport fish as well as complete disregard for the states’ concurrent jurisdiction with the Service for the management of migratory birds. Further, the economic impacts of this action, which likely will be felt most by rural Americans, is likely to be hundreds of millions of dollars.” The Association looks forward to working with a new Administration in the redress of this poorly timed and executed decision.

Under Obama’s tenure as president, his Environment Protection Agency (EPA) attempted to ban lead tackle and ammunition on numerous occasions through the Toxic Substances Control Act. It tried to ban lead bullets but failed. It attempted to ban lead fishing gear but failed. The list goes on and on.

Seizing upon his final days in office, Obama thought it would be cute to slip this directive under our noses. This is unacceptable and must be undone. As an angler and future hunter, I-like millions of others-want to legally access public lands without fear or retribution of using lead tackle or ammunition. I’m optimistic incoming Department of Interior head Ryan Zinke will oversee the undoing of this awful Order.

Per Order 219, it will remind in effect until it is incorporated into the “Fish and Wildlife Service Manual, or until we amend, supersede, or revoke it, whichever comes first.” If this order isn’t amended, superseded, or revoked, the Order will be phased out by July 31, 2018.

Unconstitutional anti-conservation actions like banning lead tackle and ammunition cannot stand in this new administration. Let’s hope the a competent, conservation-minded director is appointed to head up the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

BREAKING: Outdoorsman Ryan Zinke Selected Secretary of Interior

Congressman Ryan Zinke of Montana is reportedly being tapped to lead the Department of Interior.

This is breaking news per POLITICO:

President-elect Donald Trump has offered the interior secretary position to Montana’s freshman Rep. Ryan Zinke, an ex-Navy Seal commander, according to two transition officials and someone familiar with the offer.

It was previously reported that Cathy McMorris Rodgers would serve in this role. Zinke, if confirmed, will succeed outgoing secretary and former REI CEO Sally Jewell.

Zinke has voted to preserve Montana’s public lands for fishing, hunting, and use by outdoor enthusiasts. He also sat on the House Committee for Natural Resources. Zinke is also a strong supporter of the Second Amendment:

 

The Secretary of Interior is responsible for overseeing America’s natural resources–including oil and gas.

One thing is for sure, the new Department of Interior must allow for safe offshore drilling off of America’s coasts. This pick is not only a win for regular Americans, but for outdoorsmen and sportsmen too.