On July 24, the Senate confirmed David Bernhardt as the Deputy Secretary for the Department of the Interior with a bipartisan vote of 53 to 43.
Prior to the confirmation hearing held by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, 28 wildlife conservation organizations, including the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), sent a letter to the Committee in strong support of Bernhardt.
“We look forward to working with Bernhardt during this administration,” said CSF President Jeff Crane. “He is a great advocate for science-based wildlife conservation and for the sportsmen’s community.”
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 on federal land and the management of game species and their habitat.
As Deputy Secretary, Bernhardt will work directly alongside Secretary Ryan Zinke, another avid sportsman, to manage natural resources for the federal government.
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?