Gun, conservation groups support nomination of David Bernhardt as Interior boss
By Chris Eger
Bernhardt shown addressing U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees in June 2018 while he was Deputy Secretary of the Interior. (Photo: DOI)
President Trump on Monday nominated longtime Interior Department administrator David Bernhardt to head the Cabinet-level post charged with stewardship of most of the public land in the country.
Bernhardt, who currently serves as the Acting Secretary of the Interior since the departure of Ryan Zinke last month, had been confirmed by the Senate to the department’s number two position in 2017. The one-time lobbyist and outdoorsman who spent eight years in the Department in various high-ranking positions during previous administrations said, “It’s a humbling privilege to be nominated to lead a Department whose mission I love, to accomplish the balanced, common sense vision of our President.”
A member of the president’s Cabinet who stands eighth in line of succession just behind the attorney general, the chief of the Interior Department oversees the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the National Park Service, among others. As such, they are in charge of some 20 percent of the land in the country, a budget of $11 billion and over 70,000 federal employees.
In the past two