Today, news outlets are reporting that President-elect Trump will nominate Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican who represents a congressional district in eastern Washington, to become Secretary of Interior.
We are pleased that the nominee is a Westerner with a background in public service, and as a Congresswoman, Rep. McMorris Rodgers has been a supporter of important efforts to fix wildfire suppression funding and was a cosponsor of the REC Act (signed into law this week) to ensure that the outdoor recreation economy is properly accounted for.
McMorris Rodgers has also taken some problematic positions for the outdoor recreation community, including co-sponsoring legislation to force the Department of Interior to sell 3.3 million acres of public land and apply the proceeds to deficit reduction. She has challenged the President’s authority to protect important places on public lands using the Antiquities Act, a cornerstone tool for conservation. As a Congresswoman, her voting record has prioritized extraction and development on public land ahead of other uses.
As Secretary of Interior, Rep. McMorris Rodgers would lead the agency responsible for overseeing the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies responsible for the stewardship of millions of acres of our public lands. As she makes the transition from representing the people of eastern Washington to representing the interests of all Americans, it will be our responsibility as a community to help educate her about the issues that are essential for outdoor recreation and conservation, including keeping public lands public, supporting the work of the agencies—particularly in pursuing land management planning—and enacting policies that ensure the responsible stewardship of lands that belong to all Americans. We are looking forward to working together and to finding common ground with the new Secretary of the Interior.