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The big day: Will Zinke rise to the task of Interior Secretary?

When Rep. Ryan Zinke, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Interior Secretary, goes before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for his confirmation hearing today, Westerners will find out which Ryan Zinke plans to show up for the job: Will it be the Ryan Zinke who says he will defend our public lands, or the Ryan Zinke who votes to undermine them?

In an op-ed in today’s Denver Post, Center for Western Priorities Executive Director Jennifer Rokala has called on the committee members to “insist Zinke give them straight answers on his agenda at Interior.” Here are three questions the senators should consider asking.

The Interior Secretary is arguably the most important Cabinet position in the West. Over the weekend, Westerners urged Rep. Zinke to confirm his commitment to the balanced management of our public lands and resources.

Watch the live webcast of Rep. Zinke’s confirmation hearing, which is set to begin at 12:15 MT, here.

Quick hits

Rep. Zinke’s donors include oil and gas companies drilling on U.S. public lands


At the urging of Wyoming outdoor retailers and sportsmen, support for land seizure amendment waivers

Casper Star-Tribune | Letter from Wyoming’s Outdoor Retailers

The New York Times asks: Can Western states actually afford a land transfer?

New York Times

BLM methane rule to go into effect today after judge denies efforts to halt its implementation

Casper Star-Tribune

Editorial: Wyoming’s proposed bill to penalize utilities for using wind or solar is “fundamentally problematic”

Casper Star-Tribune

State trust land swap inside the new Bears Ears National Monument stalls

Deseret News

BLM to lease parcels near Zion National Park for oil drilling

Salt Lake Tribune

Utah politicians lobby for public lands extremist Mike Noel as BLM director

Center for Western Priorities

Quote of the day

“We look forward to finding out which Ryan Zinke intends to run the Department of the Interior—the Ryan Zinke who speaks up for our parks and wildlife refuges, or the Ryan Zinke who votes to undermine them?”

—Executive Director Jennifer Rokala,

Center for Western Priorities

Latest News

@WstrnPriorities on Twitter

4 days ago
A riveting first-person account from @JessiJohnson89 of @artemis_nwf about how her first bow hunt turned her into a public lands advocate for life.
5 days ago
NEW PODCAST: @JessiJohnson89 of @artemis_nwf describes how her first bowhunt turned her into a public lands activist for life.
6 days ago
UPDATE on Rep. Mike Noel’s undisclosed land that magically got cut out of Grand Staircase-Escalante NM. Fact-check from @Western_Values:
6 days ago
New from @GregorZimmer: The Land & Water Conservation Fund is wildly popular with Republicans and Democrats in Montana. So why is @SecretaryZinke trying to defund it?
WstrnPriorities photo


Interior Secretary Zinke wants to defund a vital land conservation program he supposedly supports

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has turned his back on Montana, a state he represented in Congress until last year. The...

February 15th, 2018

In their own words: Interior Department admits it’s helping oil and gas companies at the expense of taxpayers, clean air

At the direction of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the Bureau of Land Management has announced it will effectively eliminate a...

February 15th, 2018

Trump’s “Energy Dominance” Reality Check

The fact is, U.S. oil production hit new heights during the Obama administration. Same with natural gas. The Trump administration’s...

February 8th, 2018