EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The National Wild Turkey Federation applauds the confirmation of David Bernhardt as Secretary of the Interior. Bernhardt, who previously served as acting secretary and deputy secretary of the Department of the Interior, was confirmed Thursday by a vote in the U.S. Senate.
“The NWTF thanks the Senate for their prompt confirmation of David Bernhardt to the secretary of the interior,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “I also offer my congratulations to Secretary Bernhardt. The NWTF looks forward to working with the secretary to advance wildlife conservation and recreational access on DOI lands.”
Bernhardt, a Colorado native and avid sportsman, began working for the DOI in 2001, holding various roles within the department. As acting secretary and deputy secretary of the DOI, Bernhardt was instrumental in several wildlife habitat policies:
- Recently issued Secretarial Order 3373 to direct the Bureau of Land Management to consider outdoor recreation value before disposing or exchanging public lands.
- Oversaw the implementation of secretarial orders that expand public access and promote fish and wildlife conservation, including S.O. 3362 that encourages collaboration between DOI and western state fish and wildlife agencies for the conservation of big-game winter range and migration corridors.
- Through S.O. 3356, Bernhardt worked to expand hunting and fishing opportunities on more than 250,000 acres within the National Wildlife Refuge System, while working to significantly increase migratory waterfowl populations.
Bernhardt will oversee about 500 million acres of publicly owned land, which is roughly 20 percent of the country’s land and includes the Bureau of Land Management property and National Wildlife Refuges in addition to all national parks. The DOI sets critical policies that direct habitat management, guide threatened and endangered species management and listing, and manage energy production on federal lands.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to raise $1.2 billion to conserve and enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org