Click here to watch Chairman Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), delivered the following remarks at a hearing titled “Hearing on the Nomination of Robert Wallace to be Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks at the Department of the Interior.”
The hearing featured testimony from Robert Wallace, nominee to be assistant secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks at the Department of the Interior. Wallace currently serves as the president of the Upper Green River Conservancy in Wyoming.
For more information on witness testimony click here.
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Today, we will consider the nomination of Rob Wallace to be assistant secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks at the Department of the Interior.
“Once confirmed, he will oversee the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.
“His confirmation will be especially important as neither of these agencies have Senate-confirmed leadership at this time.
“He will play a central role in managing fish and wildlife for the American public.
“That includes combatting invasive species, recovering endangered species, protecting migratory birds, restoring fisheries, and conserving and enhancing wildlife habitat.
“I have known Rob Wallace for over 35 years.
“Without question, Rob is the right person for this job.
“Throughout his long and distinguished career, Rob has struck the proper balance between wildlife conservation, habitat management, and the use of our public lands.
“Rob’s experience and leadership in Wyoming and in our nation’s capital are ideally suited for this critically important position.
“Throughout his 45 year career, Rob has served in a variety of jobs that directly relate to the two federal agencies that he has been nominated to oversee.
“Rob began his career as a seasonal park ranger in Grand Teton National Park.
“Since then, Rob has served as: assistant director of the National Park Service; as chief of staff for Wyoming Senator Malcolm Wallop; as staff director of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; as chief of staff for Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer, and as manager of U.S. Government Relations for GE Energy.
“Rob currently serves as president of the Upper Green River Conservancy, the nation’s first cooperative conservation bank.
“Rob co-founded the Upper Green River Conservancy to protect core sage grouse habitat in the ecologically and energy rich Upper Green River watershed in southwest Wyoming.
“He built an innovative partnership of ranchers, conservation groups, energy companies, investors, and other stakeholders.
“Rob is also a founding member of the board of the Grand Teton National Park Foundation, which promotes the park’s cultural, historic, and natural resources.
“He is a member of the board of the Jackson Hole Land Trust, which protects open spaces, wildlife habitat, and working lands across northwest Wyoming.
“In addition, Rob serves as a member of the University of Wyoming’s Energy Resources Council. The council sets priorities for energy-related academics, research, and outreach.
“He has also previously served on the boards of numerous other organizations dedicated to conserving wildlife and enhancing our national parks.
“With credentials like these, it is no surprise that stakeholders from across the political spectrum have enthusiastically endorsed Rob’s nomination.
“Dan Ashe, former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service during the Obama administration and now president of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, wrote: ‘I have a good context for what creates success in this important and challenging position: a passion for the mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service; an appreciation and admiration for the people who do the work; a penchant for listening; and a dedication to inclusive problem-solving. In my view, Rob displays all of these crucial characteristics.’
“Richie Jones, the state director for The Nature Conservancy in Delaware also endorsed Rob’s nomination.
“He has also received the support of over 40 environmental, conservation, and recreational organizations, including: National Parks Conservation Association, National Wildlife Refuge Association, Public Lands Council, Ducks Unlimited, American Sport Fishing Association, Congressional Sportsman Foundation, and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.
“Confirming Rob is important to the work of this committee.
“The Environment and Public Works Committee has jurisdiction over fish and wildlife policy, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“Earlier this year, Congress enacted the Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver Act, also known as the WILD Act,. We did so to combat invasive species, to prevent wildlife poaching and trafficking, to promote wildlife conservation, and to protect endangered species.
“I look forward to working with Rob to implement the WILD Act.
“I am in the process of developing legislation to modernize the Endangered Species Act.
“I continue to engage with state fish and wildlife agencies, environmental groups, conservation organizations, ranchers, farmers, energy producers, and others from across the political spectrum.
“I hope to gain their support and ultimately the support of a bipartisan group of senators for a bill that modernizes the Endangered Species Act so it works better for species and for people.
“Rob demonstrated through the Upper Green River Conservancy that it is possible to build such a coalition focused on solving the problems of the Endangered Species Act.
“I look forward to working with him on modernizing this important law.
“Rob Wallace is an outstanding choice for the position of assistant secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
“I look forward to moving his nomination expeditiously through the confirmation process.”