Five Questions Trump’s Interior Secretary Nominee Needs to Answer

The American Public Deserves to Know How Their Public Lands, National Parks and Wildlife Will be Managed

As former scandal-plagued Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke resigns, due to pressure from the White House and President Trump to avoid being fired, rumors as to who will be the next Secretary of the Interior are swirling.

While many believe the natural progression is for Trump to appoint the conflict-riddled Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt, other names have started to surface. The American public deserves answers from Trump’s eventual replacement to some critical questions about public lands and the Interior Department:

Will the nominee oppose to the sale and/or transfer of public lands?
How will the nominee end the culture of corruption that permeated Interior under Zinke? Will they rid the department of the conflicted political appointees Zinke hired and replace the industry representatives he appointed to boards?
Will the nominee run a transparent, accountable Interior Department and solicit public input on departmental decisions?
Will the nominee restore science-based decisions that honor long-standing relationships and agreements without handing over America’s public lands to special interests?
Will the nominee commit to restore and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and end Zinke’s harebrained efforts to reorganize the department and privatize our national parks?

There will much more clean-up to do after former Secretary Ryan Zinke rides his horse into the sunset, but getting a potential nominee to answer these urgent questions and promise to adhere to their answers is a good start to repairing the public’s trust in the Department of the Interior.

Also published on Medium.

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