Daines Celebrates Bernhardt’s Confirmation as Victory for Montana and the West

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today voted to confirm David Bernhardt as the 53rd U.S. Secretary of the Department of the Interior.

“David Bernhardt understands the importance of protecting access to our public lands, our commitment to tribal nations, and responsible energy development,” Daines said. “As a fellow westerner, I have complete confidence in David’s ability to lead the Department of the Interior and was glad to cast my vote for him this afternoon along with a bipartisan majority on the floor of the United States Senate. I look forward to continuing to work together to advance Montana priorities.”


In a hearing earlier this month, Daines pressed Bernhardt on his commitment to important conservation programs in Montana including the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Bernhardt responded that he is a “believe in the program” and will work on securing robust funding.

Earlier this month, Bernhardt also signed a Secretarial Order to prioritize implementation of the bipartisan public lands bill to ensure swift implementation. The package includes permanent reauthorization of LWCF and the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act which protects the Paradise Valley from future mineral development. Daines was instrumental in getting the package signed into law. For more information on the package click HERE.

Daines worked with Bernhardt and the Department on the Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act since 2017, when Bernhardt, then Deputy Secretary, visited Paradise Valley and helped secure administrative action to protect the Valley from large scale mining.

 Support from Stakeholders:

“RMEF and other sportsmen led-conservation organizations have enjoyed unprecedented opportunities to advance their priorities to Interior Department leadership during this Administration. Acting Secretary Bernhardt has consistently consulted these organizations on departmental policies and directives that impact wildlife and federal land management. We expect this trusted relationship to grow and further benefit Americans who hunt, fish, hike and camp on federal lands if Acting Secretary Bernhardt is confirmed as Secretary.” – R. Kyle Weaver , President & CEO, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

“The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership has worked closely with Mr. Bernhardt in his roles as Deputy Secretary and Acting Secretary, and we have found him to be accessible, fair, and true to his word. We support Mr. Bernhardt’s nomination for Secretary of the Interior to advance pragmatic conservation, and we pledge to hold him accountable to the sportsmen and women we represent.” – Whit Fosburgh, President and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership

“The Boone and Crockett Club and much of our nation’s sportsmen’s community support the nomination of David Bernhardt to be the new Secretary of the Interior.  Having an avid sportsmen leading Interior who understands wildlife and natural resource issues and management is a huge plus. When it comes to those things that are important to sportsmen, including healthy populations of fish and wildlife, and open access to them, having a proven leader like Bernhardt makes all the difference.  We’ve worked with Acting Secretary Bernhardt already through the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council, and he has expressed a keen interest in listening and then acting on common sense recommendations that will benefit wildlife and all those who value these resources.” – Timothy C. Brady, president of the Boone and Crockett Club

“We appreciate Acting Secretary Bernhardt’s emphasis on stakeholder outreach and engagement. The recent Secretarial Order to establish a Departmental task force to facilitate and prioritize the implementation of S. 47, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (Dingell Act) is another example of his commitment to sportsmen and women. We thank him for his efforts and look forward to continuing our relationship after his confirmation.” – Howard Vincent, president and CEO of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever