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Department of Interior

Act Now And Save! Free Entrance Fees at All National Parks on Wednesday

in News/public land

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It’s like one of those crazy “Christmas in August” sales you used to see in the 1970s and 1980s where the prices are so low, its C-R-A-Z-Y!

Except this time, it’s not Crazy Eddie wearing a Santa hat and yelling about discounted boom-boxes, it’s Department of Interior Secretary David L. Bernhardt offering free entrance fees at all national parks on Wednesday.

This goes along with President Trump’s signing of the Great American Outdoors Act which will provide a sizable and long-term boost of funding to national parks and other federal lands.

“President Trump has just enacted the most consequential dedicated funding for national parks, wildlife refuges, public recreation facilities and American Indian school infrastructure in U.S. history,” Secretary Bernhardt said. “I’ve designated August 4th as Great American Outdoors Day and waived entrance fees to celebrate the passage of this historic conservation law.”

This means all entrance fees will be waived Wednesday on public lands managed by the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

And just like the Crazy Eddie commercials, there’s legalese at the very end of the announcement.

In this case, they just want to make sure you are aware that the fee waiver only applies to entrance fees. You don’t get a month of free camping if you act now, for example.

“Other fees, such as overnight camping, cabin rentals, group day use, and use of special areas, will remain in effect,” according to the Interior Department.

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Wyoming’s Wallace wins unanimous approval for Interior post from powerful US Senate committee

in News/Recreation/Tourism

WASHINGTON, DC — Wyoming resident Rob Wallace is one step closer to overseeing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service following unanimous approval of his appointment to the post by the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee on Wednesday morning. 

Wallace, nominated by President Donald Trump to be the next Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, received commendations from Republican and Democrats alike during the meeting of the 21-member committee.

“I’ve known Rob for over 35 years and without question Rob is the right person for the job,” said EPW Chairman Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY). “Stakeholders from across the political spectrum agree that Rob is an outstanding choice and I urge my Senate colleagues to support his nomination.”

Minority EPW Chairman Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) said Wallace was both qualified and ready to lead, noting that Wallace “pledged to uphold science and bolster the expertise of the career staff” at the Department of Interior.

“I believe he is up to the challenge to providing badly needed leadership within the Department of Interior,” Carper said. “I look forward to welcoming Mr. Wallace to Delaware.”

Following the vote, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said he was “delighted” to vote for Wallace and said the two had a “terrific conversation”.

“Even though the organization he would work for is called the Department of Interior, this is a country that has more than interior, it also has edges,” Whitehouse said.  “The edges are our coasts and our coasts are overlooked by the department and he agreed to sit down with a bipartisan group of coastal senators and begin a conversation as to how coastal communities can be treated with more attention and more fairly.”

The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a similar meeting on Thursday morning to consider the nomination of Wallace.

Wallace’s appointment must also be approved by the full Senate.

In Brief: Wyoming native Wallace to be nominated to Interior Department post

in News/wildlife
Rob Wallace

A Wyoming native who served as chief of staff to a former Wyoming governor and U.S. senator will be nominated to serve as an assistant secretary within the U.S. Department of Interior, President Donald Trump announced Friday.

Trump, in a news release, announced his intent to nominate Rob Wallace as assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks.

Wallace, now a Jackson resident, served as chief of staff for both former Wyoming Gov. Jim Geringer and the late U.S. Sen. Malcolm Wallop.

He has also served as assistant director of Legislative and Congressional Affairs for the National Park Service, Republican staff director of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and managed U.S. government relations for GE Energy for 17 years.

Wallace currently serves as president of the Upper Green River Conservancy, a group created to restore and manage healthy sage grouse landscapes while allowing for energy development and ranching.

Trump’s announcement was welcomed by members of Wyoming’s congressional delegation, who said Wallace’s experience has made him particularly well suited for the job.

“Throughout his long and distinguished career, Rob has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to striking the proper balance between wildlife conservation, habitat management and use of our public lands,” said U.S. Sen. John Barrasso. “His experience and leadership in Wyoming and in our nation’s capital are ideally suited for this critically important job.”

“Rob is a Wyoming native and has extensive experience in public service and in working with the National Park Service,” said U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi. “It is important to fill positions like this with qualified people who understand the West.”

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