March 13, 2018

Wyden Slams Zinke over Efforts to Gut the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today slammed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke over the Trump administration’s budget that would gut funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

During today’s Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing, Wyden noted that Zinke said nine times during his Senate confirmation hearing last year that he considered himself a Teddy Roosevelt Republican – one committed to preserving our country’s national treasures. Wyden said Zinke’s record in office on LWCF and many other issues important to Oregon flies in the face of that characterization.

“In our part of the world, Oregonians have a strong appreciation for Teddy Roosevelt a conservationist and as a president. With his signature, he created Crater Lake National Park,” Wyden said. “Teddy Roosevelt understood that when you sell off or exploit our public lands, you don’t get them back. Mr. Secretary, that is something you don’t seem to understand that at all.”

Wyden also is pressing Zinke over the following: reducing protection for America’s public lands by 2 million acres, opening both coasts to offshore drilling, and taking money from a department wildfire account during a devastating wildfire season to cover his unrelated helicopter ride.

A video of Wyden’s statement is here.