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WASHINGTON December 9, 2016 – Below is a statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO of National Parks Conservation Association, following news reports of the pending nomination of Cathy McMorris Rodgers to serve as Secretary of the Interior in the Trump Administration:

“For the last 100 years, Americans have had the privilege of visiting places that have stood the test of time. More than just stunning landscapes and rich history, our national parks attract visitors from across the country and around the world, supporting local businesses and generating tens of thousands of jobs. It is up to all of us to protect our national parks, including the President-elect and his new Interior Secretary.

“The Secretary of Interior has a solemn duty to protect our national parks, a duty that Ms. McMorris Rodgers will be challenged to fulfill if her voting record is any indication of her future actions as Secretary. She has voted against protections for national parks and their wildlife, air and water, and introduced legislation to sell park land to private interests. Through her votes, she chose mining and oil and gas development at the expense of clean air, water, healthy wildlife, and treasured lands. Ms. McMorris Rodgers also questions climate science, and has voted to block efforts to designate new national parks that celebrate our history and diversify of the National Park System.

“If confirmed, our national parks will be the responsibility of Ms. McMorris Rodgers. She will inherit a Park System that is more expansive, diverse and reflective of the American story than ever before, but also a system facing many challenges. It is critical that if confirmed, Ms. McMorris Rodgers address the needs of our national parks, with recognition of their immense benefits to our nation’s natural resources and cultural history.

“National parks belong to all of us. The president and his administration have the authority and the privilege to protect the air we breathe, the water that sustains us, the wildlife that draw wonder and the sites that serve as living classrooms. Our next president and Interior Secretary should embrace and uphold the values of our national parks, remembering that the decisions made today will be those that our children and grandchildren inherit.”

About National Parks Conservation Association

Since 1919, the nonpartisan has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.