RTF statement: Record of Zinke, Trump's nominee for Interior, cause for caution on wild horse issue, Dec. 15, 2016

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Wild horses in the Sand Wash Herd Management Area, west of Craig, Colo. Denver Post file photo.


President-elect Donald Trump has announced as his nominee to lead the Department of the Interior Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont. The freshman congressman’s poor voting record on animal-welfare and environmental issues and his routine support of energy interest raise concerns for Return to Freedom.

Zinke, who grew up near Glacier National Park and served in our military, has described himself as a “Teddy Roosevelt conservationist” and avid sportsman, however. Encouragingly, he has broken with his party’s platform in opposing the transfer of federal lands into state or private hands.

RTF hopes that he will be similarly open to scrapping the old, broken and costly system of Bureau of Land Management helicopter roundups and long-term holding in favor of forward-thinking, sustainable – and above all humane — on-range solutions for our nation’s free-roaming wild horses and burros.

In a statement, Zinke said, “I will work tirelessly to ensure our public lands are managed and preserved in a way that benefits everyone for generations to come.”

RTF strives to preserve wild horses and burros and their habitat for those same future generations. We will hold him to his promise.

Its RTF’s hope that Zinke will recognize the vital role that horses and burros have played in America’s history and that, if confirmed, he will respect — and celebrate — the value that wild horses contribute to our country’s spirit – a value far exceeding any that can be measured in dollars and cents.