Washington, DC - While faced with communications challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, SCI continues to engage government leaders at the highest level on issues related to hunting and wildlife conservation. SCI CEO W. Laird Hamberlin recently "virtually" visited with Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, for an exclusive, wide-ranging interview on topics of interest to outdoorsmen across the country.
Hamberlin and Secretary Bernhardt discussed the role the U.S. Department of the Interior plays in managing a portfolio of public lands that comprises almost 500 million acres of public land distributed amongst the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service , U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other federal agencies. Much of the conversation focused on work underway to expand hunting and fishing access and other outdoor opportunities on public land. Additionally, Secretary Bernhardt described the efforts the Department is taking to implement recent legislation that provides historic levels of funding for wildlife conservation and public access projects.
The Secretary also provided updates on steps the Department has taken to ensure safe and responsible access to public land during the coronavirus pandemic, the importance of applying science and not emotion to wildlife management decisions, and the positive impact the hunting community has had on wildlife conservation efforts.
Secretary Bernhardt shared some of his own personal hunting and fishing stories as well, from his days growing up in Colorado, surrounded by public access to the great outdoors.