WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 02, 2017 – On his first official day as the 52nd Secretary of the Department of Interior, Ryan Zinke issued his first two secretarial orders benefitting the sportsmen and outdoor communities. Zinke invited various members from the sportsmen's community for the signing ceremony of the secretarial orders that help expand public land access, as well as opportunities to hunt, fish and recreate across the country. Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall was present for the signing ceremony.
"Today's actions by Secretary Zinke are a clear indication that sportsmen and women around the country will have a voice at the Department of Interior," said Dale Hall. "Providing places for all Americans to hunt, fish and recreate is vitally important, as hunters and anglers are North America's greatest conservationists. I want to thank Secretary Zinke for his strong commitment and look forward to working with him in his new capacity at the Department of Interior."
Order 3346 overturns the lead ammunition and fishing tackle ban on Fish and Wildlife Service lands, waters, and facilities, but does not apply to waterfowl hunting. Lead shot has been banned for waterfowl hunting since 1991, and Secretary Zinke’s orders do not affect waterfowl hunters on public lands. The second order, 3347, advances conservation stewardship, improves game and habitat management and increases outdoor recreation opportunities by directing bureaus and agencies to immediately identify areas where recreation and fishing can be expanded. The order also requests the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council and Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council to provide recommendations on enhancing and expanding access on public lands and improving habitat for fish and wildlife.
Secretary Zinke was confirmed with bipartisan support by the Senate on March 1, 2017 with a vote of 68 to 31. Before joining the Department of Interior, Zinke came to Congress in January 2014 after a 23-year career with the U.S. Navy. In 2008, he was elected as a state senator in Montana, where he led the chamber's Education and Cultural Resources Committee. During his tenure in Congress he has served as a member of the House Natural Resources Committee and has been a strong advocate of keeping public lands open to public use, as well as funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, an important conservation program.
For more information about DU, visit www.ducks.org.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13.8 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.
Tucker Clare Nelson