Science & Environment

Rep. Ryan Zinke Confuses Two Agencies He Once Led

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) has a go-to speaking level for condemning bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.: “You can’t manage the Yellowstone River if you don’t know where it is.”

But regardless of beforehand overseeing America’s nationwide parks, together with Yellowstone, which is named after the mighty river that cuts north via the park, Zinke appears to have forgotten which company manages the nation’s crown jewels.

In a letter this month to prime Biden administration officers, Zinke and fellow Montana Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale confused the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service, two businesses inside the Interior Department. Zinke served as secretary of the Interior Department underneath former President Donald Trump for practically two years, till he resigned underneath a cloud of scandal in early 2019.

“From National Parks to natural resources, the BLM’s management of land in Montana is of great concern to the people of our state,” Zinke and Rosendale wrote.

The National Park Service, not BLM, manages America’s nationwide parks. BLM is the nation’s largest land supervisor, overseeing greater than 245 million acres of public land throughout the West, in addition to 700 million subsurface mineral acres. BLM additionally manages or co-manages greater than two dozen nationwide monuments, a separate designation from a nationwide park.

But as soon as BLM-managed lands turn out to be a part of a nationwide park boundary, these lands fall underneath NPS’s purview.

Zinke and Rosendale didn’t reply to HuffPost’s request for remark Thursday. NPS and BLM additionally didn’t reply.

Then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wore a National Park Service ranger hat backwards whereas selling the NPS Junior Ranger program in 2018.

The letter, obtained by HuffPost, is addressed to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning and issues a brand new BLM proposal aimed toward inserting conservation “on equal footing with other uses,” together with power growth, timber harvest and grazing. Zinke and Rosendale informed the Biden administration officers they’re “disappointed” that the company isn’t planning to carry a public discussion board in Montana to offer their constituents a possibility to study and voice issues in regards to the proposed rule.

While on the helm of Interior, Zinke loyally superior the Trump administration’s pro-extraction, anti-conservation agenda and spearheaded the largest rollback of federal land protections in U.S. historical past. He additionally proposed drastically hiking entrance charges at 17 of America’s hottest nationwide parks because the administration tried to slash the National Park Service’s finances. Nearly each member of the National Park Service Advisory Board, which advises the secretary on points associated to the nationwide park system, resigned in protest of Zinke’s actions.

Now again in Congress, Zinke, who made a small fortune working for oil and different extractive industries after stepping down from Interior, is combating what he calls the Biden administration’s “radical” local weather and environmental agenda, together with BLM’s new public lands proposal.

In a fiery speech on the House flooring shortly after his return to Congress, Zinke ranted {that a} “covert” left-wing “deep state” is working to “destroy the American West.”

“In many cases, they want to wipe out the American cowboy completely, remove public access to our lands and turn Montana into a national park,” he stated.

A nationwide park managed by the BLM, apparently.

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