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Bishop Applauds DOI’s Steps to Combat Human Rights Violations
Department Takes Action in Response to Committee’s Ongoing Bipartisan Inquiry

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 18, 2019 -

Today, Ranking Republican Rob Bishop (R-Utah) released the following statement regarding the letter sent last night by Department of the Interior (DOI) Assistant Secretary Susan Combs in response to a House Committee on Natural Resources bipartisan investigation into taxpayer funded conservation grants and human rights abuse overseas. The letter indicates DOI will begin to take steps to ensure taxpayer dollars distributed through international conservation grants are being protected and allocated properly. This approach balances the need to continue conservation efforts while ensuring that the rights of indigenous and vulnerable people are protected.

“This bipartisan investigation was born of a concern for human rights and the prudent use of American taxes. I appreciate Secretary Bernhardt's thorough response to the Committee's inquiries and his recognition that it is wholly unacceptable to have U.S. taxpayers inadvertently support human rights violations. Additionally, it is heartening to have Chairman Grijalva as a partner in this effort to protect human dignity and increase accountability.”

Read letter HERE.


May 6, 2019 – Bishop and Grijalva send letter to GAO requesting review on federal funding of anti-poaching efforts that were in support of human rights abuses.

June 6, 2019 – Bishop and Grijalva request briefing from the Department of the Interior about international conservation grants with concerns about human rights abuses.

July 1, 2019 – Bishop and Grijalva expand probe on human rights abuses with letter to WWF CEO and President, Carter Roberts.

July 23, 2019 – Bishop and Grijalva continue probe on human rights abuses with letter to Department of the Interior Secretary Bernhardt.

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-225-2761

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