Congressman Zinke Statement by Vet Voice Foundation

 ·  Major General (ret.) Paul Eaton, Vet Voice Foundation

I am optimistic about and support the nomination of Congressman Ryan Zinke to lead the Department of the Interior.

Congressman Zinke calls himself a Teddy Roosevelt Republican, after the great outdoorsman President whose legacy of preservation of America's most treasured public lands endures today. As a veteran, with over twenty years as a Navy SEAL, the Congressman understands the great value veterans assign our public lands and our focus upon their preservation. Importantly, he opposed a GOP platform plank calling for the transfer of federal  lands to the states.

Critically, he supports the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

As Congressman Zinke's mission focus shifts from the state of Montana to the United States, I am optimistic that his previous opposition to the Department of the Interior coal leasing review and other extraction rules reviews will change, and that he will insist that our extraction industries will do business in the right places, assuring our rich heritage will be preserved and with a fair return to the taxpayer.

I further expect this outdoorsman, popular with Montana Indian Tribal leaders, to protect our existing monuments, in particular those recently designated like California Desert and Browns Canyon. I further expect he will consider favorably, future potential monument designations like culturally rich Bears Ears in Utah, and Gold Butte in Nevada, where American Indian artifacts and petroglyphs are now being looted and vandalized due to lack of federal protection.

The Vet Voice Foundation stands by to support future Secretary of the Interior Zinke as he maintains and adds to the legacy of President Teddy Roosevelt, and protects our public lands and works to assure full funding for and reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Paul D. Eaton
Major General, US Army (Ret)
Managing Director, Vet Voice Foundation