CCA: Interior nominee must be strong on public lands & LWCF

     A message from CCA's Executive Director, Joe Neuhof
and Board Chair, Bob Silbernagel

When Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke appears before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Jan. 17 for his confirmation hearings to become United States Secretary of Interior, we hope he will demonstrate his support for several critical issues related to public lands and to our local National Conservation Areas. 

We believe strongly that federal lands should remain in federal ownership, with management by agencies such as our partners at the Bureau of Land Management. We also know that adequate funding for the management of those lands, and continued funding support for programs such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), is critical in that regard.  In addition, our three local National Conservation Areas are part of a larger system of special BLM lands called the National Conservation Lands, this system requires a continued commitment and funding by the incoming Secretary of the Interior. 

Zinke will likely be asked about these and many other issues during his confirmation hearings next week. Among those who will be doing the questioning is Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, who understands the economic importance of our public lands to Western Colorado’s economy. Gardner has repeatedly expressed his support for maintaining federal ownership of public lands and providing adequate funding for them.

As Zinke tells the nation how he plans to oversee the Department of Interior and agencies such as the BLM, CCA hopes he will heed voices such as Gardner’s and also express his commitment to protecting our public lands and to reauthorizing crucial programs like the LWCF.

Click here to read our blog about the recently finalized management plan for Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area.