American Rivers statement on nomination of Cathy McMorris Rodgers as Secretary of the Interior

December 9, 2016

December 9, 2016
Contact Amy Kober, 503-708-1145

Washington –President-elect Donald Trump is expected to appoint Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) as Secretary of the Interior to oversee conservation and management of thousands of miles of rivers and 500 million acres of public lands including National Parks, Forests, Wildlife Refuges and the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers, made the following statement:

“President-elect Trump’s choice of Cathy McMorris Rodgers for Secretary of the Interior raises concerns about what kind of Interior Secretary she will be and her commitment to conserving our rivers, clean water supplies, wild salmon and our nation’s priceless natural heritage.”

“Over the past two years, Rep. McMorris Rodgers authored and championed legislation to roll back protections at hydropower dams, weakening safeguards for clean water, fish and wildlife and public lands, and undermining the protection of tribal lands in hydroelectric dam relicensing proceedings. By contrast, in 2013 Rep. McMorris Rodgers worked with American Rivers on successful legislation to promote hydropower without undermining bedrock environmental laws like the Clean Water Act. We hope that, if confirmed as Interior Secretary, she will return to that approach and work for the conservation interests of the American people, not just the interests of large energy companies.”

“Important river restoration and water supply agreements such as those on the Klamath, San Joaquin, and Colorado are at stake, along with the health of thousands of miles of rivers and streams nationwide. With drought gripping western states, wild salmon runs on the brink of extinction in the Columbia and Snake rivers, and climate change threatening local communities and economies nationwide, we need a Secretary of the Interior who will prioritize restoration, protection and stewardship of our nation’s natural resources.”

“Our rivers and public lands are vital to the health and well-being of our nation. They provide clean drinking water sources for downstream communities, economic engines for local businesses, and backyard escapes for families to experience the joy of the outdoors. We must protect these special places, not open them even more to unfettered oil and gas development, mining, and new dams and diversions.”

“With the 50th anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act approaching in 2018, American Rivers is committed to protecting and defending our nation’s free-flowing, wild rivers.”

“We hope that the Senate will carefully scrutinize Rep. McMorris Rodgers’s record on clean water, public lands, fish and wildlife, climate change, and other environmental issues in deciding whether to confirm her to lead the Department of the Interior.”


American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 250,000 members, supporters and volunteers.

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