Outdoorsman David Bernhardt Confirmed as Secretary of the Interior


David Bernhardt shakes hands with President Trump in Oval Office

David Bernhardt, who has been acting Interior Secretary given that January and Asst. Secretary given that 2017, has been confirmed by the Senate to take more than the Division (Photo: Bernhardt/Twitter)

Supported by Republicans and a host of pro-gun and conservation groups, David Bernhardt was confirmed final week as Secretary of the Interior.

Bernhardt, who served as Acting Secretary of the Interior given that the departure of Ryan Zinke in January, had been previously confirmed by the Senate to the department’s quantity two position in 2017. The Senate doubled down on President Trump’s nominee in a bipartisan 56-41 vote final Thursday that saw each present Republican — as nicely as a smattering of Dems and Independents — vote in Bernhardt’s favor.

Formerly Interior’s solicitor through the administration of President George W. Bush and a member of Virginia’s Board of Game and Inland Fisheries, on the eve of the Senate vote, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, chair of the Home Subcommittee on Power and Mineral Sources, called Bernhardt “the most certified candidate we have ever had at the Division of Interior.”

A member of the president’s Cabinet who stands eighth in line of succession just behind the lawyer common, the chief of the Interior Division oversees the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the National Park Service, amongst other individuals. As such, they are in charge of some 20 % of the land in the nation, a spending budget of $11 billion and more than 70,000 federal workers.

In the previous two years, the Division has expanded hunting and fishing possibilities on federal land, reversed a looming ban on classic ammo, moved to guard large game migration corridors and attempted to swell the numbers of hunters and shooters via applications like designating August as National Shooting Sports month and October as National Hunting and Fishing month.

Given that rejoining Interior two years ago, Bernhardt, who is an avid hunter, has worked with the sportsmen’s neighborhood to talk about policy priorities and has assisted with implementing suggestions from the newly-formed Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council, an advisory group tasked with supplying feedback to the Division to advantage wildlife as nicely as the hunting and shooting sports.

His confirmation was supported by a coalition of extra than 30 groups representing millions of sportsmen ranging from the Mule Deer Foundation and National Wild Turkey Federation to Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association.

“As an avid hunter, shooter and fisherman, Secretary Bernhardt is committed to conserving America’s outside heritage,” mentioned Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s lobbying arm. “Under his leadership, the Division of Interior will continue to pursue conservation policies that respect the rights of America’s outdoorsmen and females.”


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