“You are now responsible for the actions that Ryan Zinke will take as Secretary of the Interior,” reads a letter aimed at 16 Democrats and Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine. “I plan to hold you accountable.”
Ryan Zinke, a now former Congressman from Montana, has just been confirmed to lead the Department of Interior. He has a lifetime record of voting against the environment 96% of the time. His confirmation jeopardizes the future of our public lands, and the people, wildlife, and economies that depend on them.
Zinke’s answers to questions during the confirmation process provide insight into how he envisions the Department of Interior will manage millions of acres of federal lands and the natural resources under and on our wild places. When asked if humans have contributed to climate change, he questioned whether we are the driving force. When asked about protecting public lands, he refused to commit to keeping dirty fuels in the ground. He even said that the recent designation of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, lands that are sacred to five Native American tribes with ancestral and spiritual ties to these lands, was one of the “pending problems we need to address quickly.”
Our public lands allow us to experience the majesty of the great outdoors, learn about our country’s history, and honor those whose cultural history dates back millennia. It’s now become imperative that we step up and fight so that future generations can enjoy these places, too.
- Ryan Zinke’s Environmental Scorecard, League of Conservation Voters.
- Ryan Zinke is one step closer to becoming interior secretary Washington Post. 1/31/2017.
- Interior nominee: President has power to amend, maybe remove, monument designation Salt Lake Tribune. 1/17/2017.