Salazar: National Park Service Criticism 'Wrongheaded'

Charles Dharapak/AP

Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar took a swipe Thursday at Republicans who have called out the National Park Service for shutdown closures they claim are politically motivated. "It's wrongheaded and unfair that there are some Republicans who are targeting the National Park Service," Salazar said. "The approach that's being taken by criticizing the public servants who are doing their jobs here is wrongheaded."

Salazar, who held the position for four years under President Obama, spoke on a Center for American Progress press call along with Lynn Scarlett, deputy Interior secretary under President George W. Bush. Scarlett also offered support to Interior employees who have taken heat during the shutdown. "We need to honor the rules and give encouragement to the federal employees who need to abide by the rules," she said.

Two GOP-led House committees are planning a hearing next week to question the National Park Service on how the shutdown has been conducted.

Salazar also rejected the piecemeal approach put forward by Republicans to fund some aspects of government, including the national parks. Congress should fund "not some of it—all of it," Salazar said.

The shutdown is having an impact on energy development, Salazar said, especially on the Gulf Coast. Some drilling permits have slowed, and leasing auctions have been canceled. "The sooner Congress moves to fund the government, the better off it's going to be for the energy future of the country."

The former officials also lamented setbacks to hunters, vacationers, and tribal communities on federal land. "There's a lot of frustration among the public that many of their favorite places are closed," Scarlett said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.