Committee Reviews Nominee for Fish and Wildlife and Parks

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today chaired a hearing of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to consider the nomination of Robert Wallace to be Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the Department of the Interior. This position oversees both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.

Murkowski opened the hearing with a brief tribute to two Park Service employees who were tragically killed in a plane crash near Whitehorse, Canada last week while on a personal trip. She then spoke to the nomination of Mr. Wallace.

“This is a critical position, which is tasked with overseeing 170 million acres of land in the United States across two agencies, of which 129 million acres are in Alaska,” Murkowski said. “I’m confident that Mr. Wallace is an excellent choice for this role. He brings decades of experience, including his time at the National Park Service and here in the Senate. He understands the importance of public lands and the complex issues that affect them. I intend to move his nomination as soon as possible.”

During the hearing, Murkowski noted that Wallace would likely spend a lot of time in Alaska and on Alaska-related issues, based on the amount of acreage in the state controlled by the agencies he will oversee. She also asked Wallace about the wide range of issues that need to be addressed by the Department in Alaska and at the national level.

The Senate has not confirmed an Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks since 2011, but Wallace’s nomination has drawn bipartisan support in the Senate and from a wide range of outside stakeholders, including Ducks Unlimited and the National Park Conservation Association.

Murkowski is chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. An archived video of today’s hearing can be found on the committee’s website. Click here and here to view Murkowski’s questions for Wallace.

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