New Interior Secretary Must Stand Up for Parks

Senate Confirms Ryan Zinke as Interior Secretary

WASHINGTON – Below is a statement by National Parks Action Fund Executive Director Kristen Brengel following the Senate’s confirmation of Montana Representative Ryan Zinke to be the nation’s 52nd Secretary of the Interior.

“Today, the Senate voted to confirm Rep. Ryan Zinke as the 52nd Secretary of the Interior. As Secretary, Zinke will need to stand guard on behalf of our national parks, now more than ever. The challenges our parks face, including low funding, record visitation, and protecting park resources and wildlife, are often exacerbated by many members of Congress, who, despite declaring their support for America’s favorite places, routinely work to undermine them.

“Yellowstone, Everglades, and Gettysburg are places that need an advocate and strong ally to ensure their long-term protection. We are counting on Zinke to fight off attacks to drill for oil and gas near park borders. We are counting on him to stand up for the Endangered Species Act to protect park wildlife. We are counting on him to fight for more funding and staff to address parks’ $12 billion repair backlog.

“There will be tremendous pressure on him by some in Congress to not act on these very important issues, but as the Secretary of the Interior, Zinke has America’s public lands in his hands. During his confirmation hearing, Zinke described himself as a ‘Teddy Roosevelt’ Republican. In the spirit of that conservation legacy, we expect and look forward to working with him and Congress to ensure parks are protected and their rangers supported so they can continue providing the best possible experience to the visitors of America’s favorite places.”


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About National Parks Action Fund

National Parks Action Fund (Action Fund) is the 501(c)(4) of National Parks Conservation Association. The Action Fund’s fundamental goal is to protect, restore, and fund the National Park System by informing the public about threats facing our parks, educating members of Congress about proposals to help parks, and influencing candidates’ positions to forward those proposals. Learn more at