Letter: Zinke needs to be more like Teddy

Posted
To the editor:



When Ryan Zinke was nominated by the Trump administration to oversee more than 500 million acres of our American public lands as Interior Secretary, sportsmen had high hopes that he would be, in his words, "a Teddy Roosevelt guy." As our 26th president, Roosevelt worked tirelessly to stop special interests from developing and privatizing the wild lands that he treasured, conserving more than 230 million acres by establishing 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, four national game preserves, five national parks, and 18 national monuments.

Sportsmen have applauded Secretary Zinke for some of his Roosevelt-like actions, such as advocating for public lands adjacent to Yellowstone National Park and proposing the expansion of hunting and fishing on 10 national wildlife refuges.

Yet we will continue to criticize the secretary for pursuing the rollback of conservation protections on millions of acres of national monuments, scrapping collaborative habitat management plans for sage grouse, and not fighting administration proposals to cut popular public access programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund. These actions threaten to undermine Roosevelt's legacy, and so I join Backcountry Hunters & Anglers in urging Secretary Zinke to do the right thing and stand up for our public lands.

— Chris Cook

Ballston Spa, N.Y.

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