Alexander Discusses Sevier County Wildfires with Secretary of Interior Nominee Rep. Ryan Zinke

Posted on January 5, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 5, 2017 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement after meeting with U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) – President-elect Trump’s nominee to become the next United States Secretary of Interior:

“I had a good meeting today with Rep. Ryan Zinke - President-elect Trump's nominee for the Department of Interior. In my meeting, I talked with him about the Sevier County wildfires that originated in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I told him how impressed and thankful I was for the hard work and bravery of our firefighters, police and other first responders, and local, state and federal officials, who helped save lives and evacuated thousands of residents and visitors. And I emphasized to him how important it is for the Interior Department to have a careful review of the response to the fires to determine what lessons could be learned for the future."

Alexander continued: "It is important that we protect and preserve the Great American Outdoors so future generations have the same opportunity to enjoy them as we have. After our discussion, I am confident Rep. Zinke shares my commitment to public lands and recreational access—they are critical to a state like Tennessee that is home to more than 400,000 acres of land managed by the Department of Interior and the most visited national park in the country." 

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park attracts more than 10 million visitors each year and generates almost $900 million in economic activity for local communities. The National Park Service is a part of the Department of Interior.

Alexander is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. 

###

For access to this release and the senator’s other statements, click here.

To stay up-to-date on the senator’s latest actions, follow him on Twitter and YouTube.