ASA Applauds Secretary of Interior Nominee

Alexandria, VA – The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), along with other associations in the outdoor recreation industry, expressed support today for the nomination of Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) to be the next Secretary of the Interior.
“In Rep. Zinke, President-Elect Trump has tapped a true leader and a sportsman to run the agency that oversees much of America’s natural resources and public parks and lands that are so important to fishing and hunting” said Scott Gudes, ASA’s vice president of Government Affairs. “Rep. Zinke has served as an active member of the House Natural Resources Committee. He is an angler and a hunter who hails from a state where the importance of the outdoor recreation economy is understood and valued.”

Rep. Zinke was elected to Congress in 2014 after a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy where he served as a Commander.

Rep. Zinke was a recent cosponsor of the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act of 2016, which was passed and signed into law this month. The Act will lead to the U.S. economic agencies, like the Bureau of Economic Analysis, providing economic statistics and forecasts for the outdoor recreation economy. It is currently estimated that this outdoor sector, including sportfishing and boating, contributes approximately $646 billion per year to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.

As Secretary of the Interior, Zinke will lead 70,000 Interior Department employees ranging from fisheries specialists in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Rangers in the National Park Service.  The Department of the Interior administers the $600 million per year in excise taxes collected from sportfishing companies, anglers and boaters which is then used to fund conservation programs in state fish and wildlife agencies in the 50 states. ASA is a member of the Sportfish and Boating Partnership Council which the Secretary chairs.

“Rep. Zinke has visited with ASA members in his home state and has seen first-hand that sportfishing is about outdoor recreation, quality of life and also about jobs and economic growth,” said Gudes. “For anglers, the biggest issue nationally is access. Secretary-designee Zinke understands that public lands and waters belong to the public and access is critically important.”