May 18, 2017

Conservation Community Supports Confirmation of Deputy Interior Secretary Nominee

On May 18, The Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee held a confirmation hearing for Deputy Secretary of the Interior Nominee David Bernhardt. Prior the hearing, 29 wildlife conservation organizations sent a letter to the Committee expressing support for his confirmation.

Bernhardt is an avid sportsman and has demonstrated a commitment to fish and wildlife conservation throughout this career. He served on the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, and has held several positions within the Department of Interior (DOI). AT DOI, he played an integral role in creating 15 National Wildlife Refuges, and drafted a 10-year plan to implement Executive Order 13443 to facilitate the expansion and enhancement of hunting opportunities and the management of game species and their habitat. 

If confirmed, Bernhardt will work directly with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, another avid sportsman, to manage many of the natural resources that fall under the federal government’s purview.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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