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Sportsmen and sportswomen have the responsibility of being stewards of the land, not only for the fish and game we chase, but for all species and the habitat that they rely on. That’s why it baffles me that any sportsman or sportswoman would ever support the confirmation of David Bernhardt as the secretary of Interior.

When former Secretary Ryan Zinke was confirmed, there was some confidence in the sporting community that he would work in good faith to promote conservation through the policies that manage our public lands. He did exactly the opposite, attacking national monuments, attempting to roll back conservation policies that protect critical wildlife habitat, and promoting a reckless “energy dominance” policy that completely reduced the opportunity for the public to weigh in on agency decisions.

It is now clear that the man working behind the scenes to drive these policies forward was none other than David Bernhardt. As a former oil and gas lobbyist, it makes sense that Bernhardt has been deadset on promoting anti- conservation agendas on our public lands. This is not somebody who represents sportsmen’s interests and we should all be paying attention to how he influences the Interior Department’s decisions.

Evan Rindal

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Missoula

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