Rounding out a team that's poised to ramp up energy exploration on federal lands and move away from a focus on climate change, President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday officially tapped Rep. Ryan Zinke to head the Interior Department.
He is a geologist, and as the at-large representative for a rural Western state, his work has focused in large part on public lands, natural resources, and tribal issues-the primary responsibilities of the Interior Department. In fact, he's made the issue something of a calling card. So would the government's handling of many endangered species through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau, who challenged Ryan Zinke but lost by 16 percentage points November 8, did not respond to a message from The Gazette inquiring about whether she would run again. "That is to manage and protect our wildlife, our public lands and waters, and our cultural heritage for the benefit of all Americans, today and tomorrow". And we need to transfer that land back to the states or, even better, back to the people. As long as the federal government owns these lands, they can be protected from business interests who want to drill or log or develop real estate projects or otherwise exploit them for profit.
"He has been an ardent supporter of all-of-the-above energy policies and responsible land management". It's important to distinguish between those Trump actions that really do risk taking public policy in a radical direction or that threaten democratic norms and institutions, and those that could be considered "normal politics", or what we'd expect if a more conventional Republican - say Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney - were moving into the White House.
Democrats have attempted to label Zinke as a radical who would sell off federal lands to private interests or transfer them to state control. When he left the Navy, Zinke returned to his native Montana and embarked on a political career, winning a 2008 election to the state Senate representing a district that includes his northern Montana home of Whitefish. The state's economic reliance on outdoor recreation is a ideal microcosm of the contribution that industry brings to the nation.
If confirmed by the Senate, Zinke would be on the front line of Trump's campaign promises; the agency under President Barack Obama temporarily banned the sale of new federally owned coal in January, limited the sale of new offshore drilling rights in the Arctic and Atlantic and has imposed new rules on wells on public land. "He really prides himself on being a Theodore Roosevelt Republican and he lives that a little bit more than other people", Land Tawney, the CEO of Backcountry Hunter and Anglers, told the Washington Post.
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Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump all were present when their father met with top tech executives at Trump Tower on Wednesday. The ability to hunt on public land and the animal conservation that activity provides in this country is fundamental to the egalitarian identity of the American hunter.
While attending the University of Oregon on an athletic scholarship, Zinke played four years for the Oregon Ducks football team.
Energy developers have criticized the Interior Department's handling of endangered species and recent Bureau of Land Management regulations governing oil development on public land, including limits on methane emissions and standards for hydraulic fracturing that have been blocked by a federal court. "We can not afford to have someone in charge who traffics in climate denial and acts accordingly".
Conservationists are optimistic about the possibility of a Zinke-led Department of the Interior. Its president, Whit Fosburgh, stated, "He's shown courage and commitment to public lands and conservation and is someone we think would be an excellent secretary of Interior".