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.
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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.”
Hispano Round Table of New Mexico Chairman