Lack of diversity in Trump cabinet concerns parks group
WASHINGTON – Below is a statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO of National Parks Conservation Association, following the announcement that President-elect Trump nominated former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to be Secretary of Agriculture:
“The Secretary of Agriculture is responsible for policies that can have a tremendous impact on our national parks. Many national forests stand at the border of parks, including Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain, sharing ecosystems that are critical to both landscapes and the resources they support. Unfortunately, many members of Congress have pushed policies prioritizing logging, mining and drilling in and around our national forests over the kind of good stewardship that is necessary to protect these ecosystems. It will be up to Mr. Perdue to stand up against these policies that could degrade our forests and parks.
“The new administration will take on the Farm Bill this year—a major undertaking that facilitates a number of programs, including agriculture conservation. This program is critical in the effort to clean up national park waterways, protect view sheds and provide habitat for wildlife as they move beyond park boundaries. Wildlife and waterways do not know park boundaries, so we must manage these ecosystems as a whole even when a park ends and a forest begins.
“As Governor, Perdue expressed support for preserving public lands and waters for public use. He supported legislative efforts to conserve state lands for recreation and conservation. If confirmed, Perdue must continue to embrace those conservation values, ensure responsible management of our national forests and recognize that what happens in forests and waterways can affect our nation’s parks.
“The nomination of Perdue completes the President-elect’s cabinet. The lack of diversity among the nominees is deeply disconcerting. In no way does his cabinet reflect the diversity of our nation, something all federal departments need to emphasize from the top down. NPCA supports diversification of the workforce of federal land and water management agencies to attract a greater diversity of visitors to our national parks and public lands. A federal workforce that better reflects the American public it serves will be stronger and better able to tackle the challenges we as a nation face. We hope that the incoming administration and Perdue will, support these principles that serve to strengthen our parks and our nation.”
About National Parks Conservation Association Since 1919, the nonpartisan has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
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