In his opening statement at yesterday’s confirmation hearing, Interior Secretary-designate Ryan Zinke described himself as an “unapologetic admirer of Teddy Roosevelt.” As he steps into the shoes of America’s greatest conservation leader, Rep. Zinke has a lot to prove.

During the hearing, Rep. Zinke repeatedly expressed his support for tribal sovereignty. If this is in fact the case, one would hope that the Congressman will give his full support to Bears Ears National Monument—a tribally-led proposal to protect ancestral lands in Southeast Utah. However, Rep. Zinke says a visit to Utah to address what he calls “pending problems” is at the top of his list.

The Congressman’s stated support for rolling back BLM’s new methane rule raises serious questions about his commitment to ensuring that taxpayers receive a fair return for the use of their natural resources.

Rep. Zinke did reaffirm his support for keeping federal lands in federal hands—saying, “I am absolutely against transfer or sale of public lands“—but expressed openness to turning over management to the states.

Quick hits

Poll: Americans want strong environmental regulations under President-elect Trump

Reuters

GOP targets landmark Endangered Species Act

Associated Press

In 2016, natural gas replaced coal as the main source of U.S. energy

Houston Chronicle

Congress takes aim at two environmental rules

Washington Post

Outdoor industry leaders: We “strongly oppose” any proposal that compromises our national public lands

Gear Junkie

Struggling with funding cuts, state parks across the country get creative

Wall Street Journal

Land seizure backers seek state convention to amend the Constitution and turn over U.S. lands

Capital Press

Letter: A 210-million-year-old marvel inside Bears Ears

Washington Post

Quote of the day

“President Obama’s lands legacy will be noted as one of intertwining the preservation of our natural wonders while also highlighting American cultural heritage.”

Ralph Arellanes,
Hispano Round Table of New Mexico Chairman

Written by on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017