Rep. Ryan Zinke
Rep. Ryan Zinke

Backcountry Hunters and AnglersMISSOULA, Mont.-( In response to yesterday’s speech by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke before the National Petroleum Council, during which he claimed that a third of his staff at the Interior Department is “not loyal to the flag,” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers President and CEO Land Tawney issued the following statement:

“Each and every day, we at Backcountry Hunters & Anglers work with the public servants who are entrusted as caretakers of our vast natural resources – lands and waters that are owned by every American citizen. We are proud to stand side by side with these dedicated individuals.

“In my 17 years of working in this field – including close to five years at BHA – I never once have questioned the patriotism of our public land managers. While we don’t always agree on policy, their commitment – to our country, their jobs and, fundamentally, to our visionary approach to natural resources management in America – never wavers.

“The secretary’s comments are uncalled for. They demean the hardworking individuals who fight on the front lines for conservation and public access. Instead of levying unfair criticism against some of our greatest allies, the secretary should recommit to restoring morale within the Interior Department and to the proud agencies of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management.”

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the sportsmen’s voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.

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