FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2017
DENVER—Today the United States Senate voted to confirm Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Interior Department. Zinke served as U.S. Representative from Montana from 2015 through 2017.
The Center for Western Priorities issued the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala following the vote:
“Ryan Zinke has said he wants to follow in the footsteps of Teddy Roosevelt, arguably our greatest conservation president. As Interior Secretary, he’ll have a chance to put those words to action. Starting on day one at the Interior Department we’ll see which Ryan Zinke shows up: the one who voted to grease the skids for selling our national public lands or the one with a backbone to stand up to some of Congress’ very worst instincts.
“Some in Congress are already asking Secretary Zinke and the Trump administration to eliminate one of our newest national monuments from the map. We’ll be watching closely to see whether Secretary Zinke lives up to the legacy of Teddy Roosevelt, or simply caters to campaign donors.”
A former Navy SEAL, Ryan Zinke is an avid sportsman who is a self-proclaimed opponent of selling or otherwise disposing of U.S. public lands. In 2016, Zinke resigned as a delegate from the Republican National Convention over an anti-public lands platform plank. During his confirmation hearing, Zinke said he was “absolutely against transfer or sale of public land.”
However, in 2017, he voted for a House rules package that included a provision valuing public lands at $0, an accounting gimmick making it easier to pass legislation disposing of public lands into state and private.