Published since 1946
Montana Rep. Zinke Nominated as Interior Secretary
President-elect Donald Trump tapped freshman Congressman Ryan Zinke of Montana to serve as the next Secretary of the Interior, pending Senate confirmation. Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, served in Montana?s state Senate for three years before being elected as Montana?s only congressman in 2014. The nomination of Zinke is receiving mixed reviews from some in the environmental community, but many other conservation groups are expressing their support for the congressman who has been independent on issues such as public lands transfer and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Zinke was the sole Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee to vote in favor of permanent reauthorization of LWCF. In addition, Zinke is an avid outdoorsman and he has regularly voiced his opposition to proposals to sell or transfer federal public lands and instead improving how the lands are managed. Zinke has been a strong supporter of energy independence and supports energy policy that boosts development of fossil fuels as well as alternative sources.
According to Zinke?s House website: ?In Montana, our land is our way of life: its beauty and bounty provide us with world-class recreation, hunting, fishing, natural resources, and economic activity. It is of utmost importance that we preserve the public?s access to these lands. However, too often outside and special interests get in the way of us conserving our land, developing our resources, and growing our communities. Developing our resources and conserving the natural environment are a top priority and not mutually exclusive.?