Western Values Project Statement on Interior’s Faux Order on Public Access
After Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt issued a Secretarial Order on federal public lands disposal, Western Values Project Executive Director Chris Saeger issued the following statement:
Acting Secretary Bernhardt is only rolling out this measure now to paint a false picture of himself before his Senate confirmation hearing in a week. Make no mistake: He is one of the most anti-conservation nominees for Interior Secretary in American history. No amount of 11th-hour media stunts will change that.”
Donald Trump has said he “doesn’t like the idea” of transferring federal land to states because he wants “to keep the lands great, and you don’t know what the state is going to do.”
Former Interior Secretary Zinke opposed the sale/transfer/disposal of public lands.
Bernhardt issued a memo nixing a land disposal proposal in Utah.
Background on Interior Secretary nominee David Bernhardt’s conflicts and record.
DOI political appointees supportive of public land sale/transfer:
- Brian Steed, BLM’s Deputy Director of Programs and Policy, has been described as “a champion of disposing America’s public lands” for his work in Rep. Stewart’s office. [Washington Post, 11/20/17] You had to remind Steed that “Interior is opposed to the wholesale sale or transfer of public lands to states or private interests” after BLM tried to sell land cut from GSENM. [David Bernhardt Memo to BLM Deputy Director of Policy and Programs, 08/17/18]
- Ryan Nichols, an Advisor to the Office of Water and Science, co-organized an event promoting the transfer of public lands to states. [Department of the Interior, FOIA Response, 06/07/17]
- Todd Wynn, the Director of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, used to work for ALEC and wrote a blog post praising Utah’s effort to demand the federal government transfer federal public land to states. [American Legislative Exchange Council, 06/06/13]
- Tim Williams, the Deputy Director of the Office of External Affairs, told the Montana Farm Bureau that DOI is working on “giving that land back to the states.” [RoundUpWeb, 03/21/18]
- Karen Budd-Falen, the Deputy Solicitor for Parks and Wildlife, “has represented Cliven Bundy in his anti-conservation efforts in the past” as an attorney. [Salon, 07/18/17]
- DOI put Ellis Ivory, a real estate developer and large donor to the land transfer movement and cousin of Ken Ivory, on the National Park System Advisory Board. [Huffington Post, 12/07/18]