Daines to Chair National Park Subcommittee

Senate subcommittee oversees much of the nation's natural resources, including national parks, trails

By Beacon Staff
Bob Brown, right, laughs as U.S. Sen. Steve Daines celebrates with fishing guide Irv Heitz after landing and releasing a rainbow trout on the North Fork Flathead River on Aug. 24, 2015. Daines float trip celebrated the passage of the North Fork Watershed Protect Act, a measure to ban new energy development on 430,000 acres of wild and scenic river corridor. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Montana U.S. Sen. Steve Daines is taking over as chair of the Senate subcommittee that oversees much of the nation’s natural resources, including national parks, trails and outdoor recreation resources.

The Bozeman Republican, who was first elected to the Senate in 2014, will serve as chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks. The subcommittee includes oversight and legislative responsibilities for the National Park System; Wild and Scenic Rivers System; National Trails System; national recreation areas; national monuments; historic sites; military parks and battlefields; Land and Water Conservation Fund; historic preservation; outdoor recreation resources; and preservation of prehistoric ruins and objects of interest on the public domain.

Daines is one of seven Republicans serving on the subcommittee alongside six Democrats.

“Growing up just a short drive away from Yellowstone National Park, I know the importance of our national parks to Montanans way of life,” Daines stated. “In this new role, I’ll continue to champion our national parks by working with the Trump administration to reduce the maintenance backlog and restore integrity to Park Service. We must create a National Park system that honors America’s Best Idea.”

Daines will also serve as a member of the Subcommittee on Energy and Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining.

Reaction to Daines’ appointment as chairman:

Joe Unterreiner, Kalispell Chamber of Commerce President:

“In combination with Secretary of Interior Zinke, Montana now has great leadership in place to secure the future of our national parks and public lands. Congratulations to Senator Daines on his appointment to chair the Energy Subcommittee on National Parks.”

Michael Jamison, Crown of the Continent Senior Program Manager:

“Senator Daines is an excellent choice for National Parks Subcommittee Chair, as a Montanan and long-time neighbor to treasures including Glacier and Yellowstone National Park. Senator Daines understands that National Parks have incredible value, beyond the millions of dollars they provide to our state’s tourism economy. America’s national parks and surrounding public lands support made-in-Montana jobs, protect priceless landscapes and safeguard our national heritage. The Senator inherits an important role of protecting our country’s finest places and stories, and we look forward to working with him.”

Montana Outfitters and Guides Association Executive Director Mac Minard:

“Visiting our National Parks allows people from all over the world to experience Montana’s treasures—unique wildlife, mountain peaks, glaciers, and geysers. Access to our National Parks is important for many of us that are small business owners and key parts to our local economies and our state’s robust tourism industry. We are looking forward to working with Senator Daines to strengthen our National Park System so that it sustains generations to come.”

Marne Hayes, Business for Montana’s Outdoors:

“Montana’s treasured National Parks are an incredible economic asset as well as a vibrant part of our state’s outdoor heritage.  We welcome the news that Senator Daines will be serving in this vital position as Chairman of the National Parks Subcommittee, and recognize that he will have the opportunity for direct input into the future of our National Parks.  We take great pride in our federally managed national park lands, and look forward to working with Senator Daines in his new role.”

Webb Brown, CEO, Montana Chamber of Commerce:

“The Montana Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to see Senator Daines announced as the Chair of the National Parks Subcommittee. Montana’s National Parks attract people from all over the world to see what our state offers, and our economy and many small businesses benefit. Senator Daines’ leadership on important issues facing our National Parks will strengthen our commitment to these assets as well as the businesses that depend on them.”

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