For Immediate Release

Expected Trump Interior Secretary has Terrible Environmental Record, Supports Selling Public Lands

Steve Pedery (503) 283-6343 x212
Conservation Director

PORTLAND -- December 9, 2016

Oregonians who hike, camp, hunt, or fish in places like Mount Hood National Forest, the Eagle Cap Wilderness, and the Wild Rogue should be shocked and angered by President-elect Donald Trump’s expected selection of Cathy McMorris Rodgers to head the US Department of Interior.  Trump has repeatedly promised to oppose privatizing America’s National Parks, Forests, Wildlife Refuges, and other public lands. Yet in nominating McMorris Rodgers he has selected a person with a record of trying to dismantle Teddy Roosevelt’s legacy, and sell-off America’s public lands heritage.

The legacy and stewardship of America’s public lands deserve better.

In 2015, McMorris Rodgers managed to earn a 0% score on the environment from the nonpartisan League of Conservation voters.  Her lifetime average is just 4%.

In 2011, Cathy McMorris Rodgers co-sponsored a Bundy-esque bill which would have directed the Secretary of the Interior to privatize more than 3 million acres of public land, including lands in Oregon, without any local public hearings.

In 2013 she co-sponsored legislation that would strip management authority of National Forest areas from the Forest Service and would prioritize clearcut logging over existing conservation measures. This July, she voted against an amendment that would have prevented efforts to sell off public lands outside of the established planning process.

In 2014, McMorris Rodgers voted for Rep. Rob Bishop’s bill aimed at undermining the president’s authority to create new national monuments – an authority that has been used by Republican and Democratic presidents since 1906 to protect places like the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, and the Stonewall Inn. Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader was the only Democrat to join with Republicans supporting this bill.

Given her horrendous record on the environment, it is no surprise that McMorris Rodgers is one of the largest recipients in Congress of campaign donations from polluting industries. Rep. McMorris Rodgers has takennearly $400,000 in campaign contributions from logging corporations and more than $350,000 from the oil and coal lobby.  

The Secretary of the Interior is supposed to serve the American people, not corporate lobbyists who would clearcut and strip mine our public land’s heritage.  Oregon Wild and it’s members will fight tooth and nail to defend our state’s public lands from privatization, and to ensure our natural heritage is protected as a legacy for future generations, not abused by political appointees who want to reward campaign contributors and lobbyists.