Washington Post

By Juliet Eilperin


March 26, 2018


Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has appointed 15 representatives of the outdoor recreation industry to advise him on how to operate public lands, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post, including three people whom department officials flagged as potentially having a conflict of interest on the matter.


The membership of the “Made in America” Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee, which Zinke launched in November, marks the third time the secretary has assembled panels dominated by industry players to help chart policies affecting their businesses.


Many of the members of the Royalty Policy Committee hail from the oil, gas and mining industries; the new International Wildlife Conservation Council is largely composed of people with ties to trophy hunting.


Records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that industry representatives urged Zinke to establish the new recreation panel to provide their clients a greater voice in shaping Interior Department policies. The appointments — which the department announced shortly after The Post made the appointments public — include officials representing companies with National Park Service contracts, such as those in the hospitality sector, as well as those from the manufacturing, fishing, boating and all-terrain-vehicle industries.