President Donald Trump says he wants Aurelia Skipwith to head the Fish and Wildlife Service. Skipwith is a former executive at Monsanto, now owned by Bayer. Skipwith is a biologist and lawyer who spent more than six years at Monsanto who is currently the deputy assistant Interior secretary for fish, wildlife and parks. If confirmed by the Senate, she would be the first African-American to head the wildlife agency. The Fish and Wildlife Service has 9,000 employees with a $2.8 billion annual budget.
Duties of leading the Fish and Wildlife Service include “…enforcing federal wildlife laws, protecting endangered species, managing migratory birds, restoring nationally significant fisheries, conserving and restoring wildlife habitat (such as wetlands), helping foreign governments with their international conservation efforts, and distributing money to states’ fish and wildlife agencies through the Wildlife Sport Fish and Restoration program,” according to Wikipedia.
Skipwith, as deputy assistant secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks at the Interior Department, has been responsible for the protecting national parks and the wildlife refuge system. Environmental and conservation groups are condemning the nomination in large part because Skipwith has been helping to dismantle wildlife and national monument protections.
Ms. Skipwith’s nomination is business as usual for an administration that has sought to reward its allies at the expense of public lands and wildlife.” – Chris Saeger, executive director of the Western Values Project