Collegians talk shop with Dept. of Interior Officials

CFACT Staff and interns listen as DOI officials explain the problems with land management under the current federal organization structure.

While other organizations talk a big game about trying to make a difference, CFACT actually steps up and makes meaningful progress towards impacting public policy and our political discourse.
In that vein, CFACT Collegians staff and interns met with officials within the Department of the Interior (DOI) to discuss the priorities of the Trump administration in managing our national parks and energy production. The meeting also provided CFACT with the unique opportunity to tour the Department and the Secretary’s office.
“The officials we met with, some working in Intergovernmental and External Affairs,

Collegians and DOI officials walk along the Department halls during the tour.

others with the Office of Water and Science, were very welcoming and knowledgeable,” explained Grayson Murray, a CFACT intern and student at Hillsdale College. “We went over their plans for streamlining government, cutting red tape, and how to improve the management of our energy production and species preservation.”
The DOI is second only to the IRS in generating revenue for the federal government. That is because DOI handles leases for energy production on public lands. When DOI is managed well, America’s energy production, and the general prosperity of every American, improves.
“We also discussed the idea of focusing more of the activities in managing federal land under one roof – DOI,” said Adam Houser, CFACT’s National Collegians Director. “Currently there are 4 or 5 different agencies and departments managing everything from forest management, fisheries, energy production, and more on federal land. It takes months if not years or decades to get approval for even minor changes and improvements with all the officials who need to be included.”

CFACT poses on the DOI roof with an incredible view of the Washington Monument.

In addition to discussing these important initiatives, CFACT toured the office of Secretary Ryan Zinke, who leads the DOI. In his office were four animals hunted and stuffed by Theodore Roosevelt, the grandfather of America’s national parks. These included a grizzly bear, an elk, and a bison. None of these were in the office during the Obama Administration.
“I enjoyed learning about the sage grouse, a small bird under environmental scrutiny in the West” said Graham Beduze, Associate Director of Collegians for CFACT. “DOI explained how the sage grouse population is actually doing very well, but private ranchers are still being penalized with rules that limit grazing for their herds in an effort to help the bird. What these rules ignore is that as ranchers graze and support larger herds, they have more of an ability to clear noxious weeds that hurt all animals and brush that can contribute to wildfires. If you want to help the sage grouse, you help private ranchers and land owners.”
The tour and discussions held with DOI were very fruitful, and provided CFACT interns with a hands-on glimpse into the difficulties of untangling the bureaucratic overreach that has plagued environmental policy. As the Trump administration continues to make strides to bring common sense to these regulations, CFACT will do all it can to promote free market, limited government policies in public debate and policy.