Under Swirl of Controversy, Zinke Faces Ire of Veterans as He Testifies This Week

WASHINGTON, DC – Thousands of veterans have called on Secretary Zinke to stand up for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a retired Major General is speaking out against the Secretary, and the Vet Voice Foundation is running a full page ad in Politico, all this morning, as Secretary Ryan Zinke appears before two important Congressional committees this week.

The ad, in Politico, can be viewed here: Full Ad (PDF, 21 MB)

Earlier this week, the Vet Voice Foundation sent out a petition, calling on Zinke to stand up for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which gained over 7000 petition signatures in less than 24 hours.

And, this past Friday, Managing Director of the Vet Voice Foundation, retired Major General Paul Eaton, joined Twitter, saying, “I’’ve joined twitter so I can fight Ryan Zinke’s plans to destroy our public lands. We must fight to protect the lands we have fought for.”  That tweet gained over 4,500 retweets and 11,000 likes.

Despite Zinke’s promise during his confirmation hearings to protect the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Trump budget zeroes out the program, which is funded entirely by fees on offshore drilling. The program protects and maintains America’s public lands that many veterans use to heal from the mental wounds of war, as well as many important historical battlefields, through its Battlefield Protection Program.

Though the budget zeroes out funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Zinke’s department was able to find money to build a special “secretary’s door” that cost over $139,000 dollars. That decision has Zinke coming to Congress under a swirl of controversy.

Zinke is testifying before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today, and the House Committee on Natural Resources on Thursday.

Vet Voice Foundation mobilizes veterans to become leaders in our nation’s democracy through participation in the civic process. VVF offers veterans the opportunity to continue serving their communities by finding a new mission in domestic and foreign policy campaigns that are important to America.

Vet Voice Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, for charitable and educational purposes.