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Deputy Assistant Secretary Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Since September 16, 2017, Casey Hammond has been serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary, Fish Wildlife and Parks at the Interior Department. From January 20, 2017 until September 15, 2017, he served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior.

Casey Hammond has worked on Capitol Hill for nearly two decades. Hammond worked his way up from being a clerk to becoming a senior advisor on the House Natural Resources Committee. During his time on the committee, Hammond said he’s been “protecting property rights, empowering state and local governments, and reducing federal land acquisition.”

Sources: [Corbin Hiar and Emily Yehle, “Hill, think tank vets populate political team,” Greenwire, 03/10/17, and Casey Hammond, OGE Form 278e, 2017]

Special Interests

Property Rights Foundation of America (Political Extremism)

Hammond spoke at a PRFA event in 2009. PRFA bills itself as a resource for those fighting the "government abuses of the civil rights of private property owners." PRFA has also said that their work is "constrained by… traditional western moral values."

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also connected to:

Subsea 7 (Resource Development on Public Lands)

According to his 2017 financial disclosure, Hammond owns between $1,000 and $15,000 of stock in Subsea 7, an engineering, construction and services company that works in subsea development and serves the offshore energy industry.

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also connected to:

Independent Petroleum Association of America (Resource Development on Public Lands)

Hammond spoke at the Independent Petroleum Association of America's Regulators' Forum on October 17, 2017.

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Background Information

Previous Employers

Additional Background on Employers of Note:

Since 2001, congressional staffer Casey Hammond has been paid nearly $1.4 million by the federal government.

Casey Hammond, since 2001, has been paid $1,398,819.92 as a congressional staffer.

[Legistorm bio for Casey Hammond, accessed 07/13/17]

In 2009, Casey Hammond went on a congressional trip to Spain that cost $9,453.

In 2009, Casey Hammond went on a congressional trip to Spain with the House Natural Resources Committee. Hammond left for Spain on June 21, 2009, and returned to the United States on July 1, 2009. The trip cost $9,453. Hammond went on the trip “as a member of the U.S. delegation to the meeting of the World Heritage Site convention in Spain” with “representatives of the National Park Service and the State Department.”

[“Congressional Record,” Congress.gov, 09/16/09 and “Speech Summary: United Nations World Heritage Sites,” Property Rights Foundation of America, accessed 02/16/17]

Current Activity

Casey Hammond was a member of Secretary Zinke’s Sage-Grouse Review Team, the team tasked with examining sage grouse management plans “in light of policies set forth in Secretarial Order 3349, American Energy Independence.”

The Obama administration’s 2015 sage grouse management plan “set new management standards for federally owned land in the bird’s 11-state range and sought to coordinate with states on other policies. It was seen at the time as a way to avoid listing the sage grouse as threatened or endangered, a more blunt instrument that would have been far more restrictive.”

[Timothy Cama, “Trump administration to overhaul sage grouse conservation strategy,” The Hill, 08/07/17]

On June 8, 2017, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3353, which “established an internal review team” to “evaluate both Federal sage-grouse plans and state plans and programs to ensure they are complementary.” The sage grouse review team was instructed to “examine the plans in light of policies set forth in Secretarial Order 3349, American Energy Independence,” and as such, the sage grouse review team was to consider adjusting or rescinding “plan provisions… based on the potential for energy and other development on public lands.”

[Press Release, Department of the Interior, 06/08/17]

Casey Hammond was a member of the Sage-Grouse Review Team.

[Sage Grouse Review, Department of the Interior, 08/07/17]

As a member of the Sage-Grouse Review Team, Casey Hammond was in close contact with the oil and gas industry in the months before Interior published its sage grouse report in August 2017. Many industry requests that various trade groups made to Williams were included in the report.

In July 2017, Samantha McDonald, the Director of Government Relations for IPAA, reached out to Casey Hammond. She asked them to talk with IPAA Treasurer Diemer True, who wanted “to see a reference to the merits” of the captive raising of sage grouse in the final report. Hammond said he would be “happy to talk,” and the two did. The August 2017 memo Interior’s sage grouse review team gave to Secretary Zinke concluded that while “further work” was “needed to evaluate captive breeding of sage-grouse,” it “recommend[ed] that new captive breeding efforts continue to be investigated to improve effectiveness.” Captive breeding of sage grouse has been described as “discredited” and “ill-advised,” as it is “expensive, technically demanding and capable of producing very few chicks.”

[Press Release, Department of Interior, 06/08/17; “Diemer True,” IPAA, accessed 01/23/18; OS-2017-001063 (Sage Grouse Comms from Industry), Pages 89-91, 92-93, 481, 105-107, 123; Jamila Blake, “Review team submits sage-grouse management recommendations,” Wildlife Society, 08/09/17; Sage Grouse Review, Department of the Interior, 08/07/17; Jacques Leslie, “The Trump administration vs. the sage grouse — one more way to undermine the Endangered Species Act,” Los Angeles Times, 08/03/17]

On July 19, 2017, Tripp Parks, Western Energy Alliance’s Manager of Government Affairs, emailed members of Interior’s sage grouse review team, including Casey Hammond, a letter “regarding the economic impacts of the Greater Sage-Grouse land use plans.” The letter has been described as “an industry wish list,” and the sage grouse review team granted 13 of WEA’s 15 requests.

[OS-2017-001063 (Sage Grouse Comms from Industry), Pages 108 – 112; Jayson O’Neill, “Western Values Project opens investigation in response to leaked document revealing industry influence of Interior’s sage-grouse review,” Western Values Project, 08/21/17]

Casey Hammond also receives daily news clips from the Independent Petroleum Association of America monitoring the Endangered Species Act.

[OS-2017-001063 (Sage Grouse Comms from Industry), Page 1, 4, 81, 212, 414]

Financials

Financial Disclosure

[Office of Government Ethics]

Department of the Interior salary: $131,767

[Casey Hammond, ProPublica’s Trump Town, accessed 03/15/18]

Other Information

In 2009, Casey Hammond spoke at the Property Rights Foundation of America’s (PRFA) annual conference.

In his speech, he said that the “National Park Service and State Department work against local interests.” He also assured the audience that “there are still people who understand private property rights” in Congress. PRFA advertises itself as a resource for citizens and policymakers who are fighting against “government abuses of the civil rights of private property owners in the name of environmentalism, zoning, and other causes.”

Casey Hammond spoke at the PRFA’s Thirteenth Annual National Conference on Private Property Rights. His speech focused on United Nations World Heritage Sites and “drew a parallel between the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the proposed BLM National Landscape Conservation system.” In this speech, he said the “National Park Service and State Department work against local interests,” but “in the Congress there are still people who understand private property rights.”

[“Annual Conferences,” Property Rights Foundation of America, accessed 02/16/17, and “Speech Summary: United Nations World Heritage Sites,” Property Rights Foundation of America, accessed 02/16/17]

PRFA is a non-profit organization “dedicated to the right to own and use private property in all its fullness as guaranteed in the United States Constitution.” It advertises itself as a “clearinghouse for information and assistance for citizens, policy makers and media concerned with restraining the government abuses of the civil rights of private property owners in the name of environmentalism, zoning, and other causes.” A previous version of PRFA’s website said that the organization’s work was “constrained by the highest standards of accuracy and traditional western moral values.”

[“About Us,” Property Rights Foundation of America, “About Us,” Property Rights Foundation of America, accessed via Wayback Machine, and “Property Rights Foundation of America 990 Form,” Guidestar, accessed 02/23/17]

In 2015, Casey Hammond sent a memo suggesting that the Interior Department allowed its employees to “‘fabricate'” science to “justify their purposes,” and then “rewarded” employees for the fabrication.

Casey Hammond, on April 27, 2015, sent a memo for a congressional hearing on “the Consequences of Politically Driven Science” that criticized “government employees carrying the federal mantle” who manipulate scientific outcomes to reach “predesigned” ends. In the memo, he suggested that the Interior Department allowed its employees to “‘fabricate the science'” in order to “justify their purposes,” and then “rewarded” employees for the fabrication.

[“Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Hearing Memorandum,” U.S. House of Representatives, 04/27/15]