NPCA submitted the following position to members of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resouces and Committee on Environment & Public Works in advance of anticipated nomination hearings.
NPCA urges senators to support the nomination of Rob Wallace as Assistant Secretary for Fish Wildlife and Parks – responsible for oversight of the National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
On May 3, President Donald Trump nominated Mr. Wallace for this important Interior post. If confirmed, Wallace would play an instrumental role in supporting the mission of NPS to protect and keep unimpaired our most incredible resources – natural, cultural and historic –for future generations to experience and enjoy.
Wallace would bring 45 years of public service to the position, including serving as the head of congressional affairs for NPS. Wallace is a Wyoming native and currently a 5-year resident of Teton Village, Wyoming, adjacent to Grand Teton National Park. In fact, he began his career as a seasonal Grand Teton National Park river ranger.
Most recently, he led the Upper Green River Conservancy, which included a diverse group of stakeholders, including ranchers, conservation groups and industry representatives working together to preserve sage grouse habitat in the Upper Green River watershed in Wyoming. Wallace led the group to a successful resolution and management plan intended to balance the habitat needs of the grouse with other industry and agricultural uses in the area. Wallace has served on many philanthropic educational and conservation-oriented boards in Wyoming and has a deep understanding of the importance of the national parks and the iconic beauty and rich and diverse wildlife of Grand Teton National Park. Wallace was instrumental in supporting protection and acquisition of state-owned inholdings within the park in 2016. He understands the complexity of local issues that impact national parks; as well as the breadth of the work that the NPS faces across the country.
In NPCA’s experience, Wallace understands the many diverse opinions surrounding national parks and has shown his commitment to inclusive community-based dialogue and solutions. He has been a dedicated participant and leader in public lands and wildlife management and most recently has demonstrated his ability to bring diverse stakeholders together to preserve sage grouse habitat in Wyoming. Wallace has demonstrated his ability to work in bi-partisan manner–working effectively with both Republican and Democratic administrations.
We are confident that Mr. Wallace will bring experience and sound decision-making to his post as Assistant Secretary for Fish Wildlife and Parks. We believe he is capable of and willing to tackle the obstacles facing our parks and other public lands, including threats from development, air and water pollution, climate change, record visitation and ever-present funding challenges for the agencies managing these resources.
Recognizing how long this important Department of the Interior post has been vacant, we applaud Mr. Wallace’s nomination and we look forward to his timely confirmation as Assistant Secretary for Fish Wildlife and Parks. NPCA supports him and all the important work ahead to ensure the protection and future of our national parks.
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Former Deputy Vice President, Government Affairs