Tag Archives: Ryan Zinke

Leaked memo: national monument status suggested for Badger-Two Medicine

Badger-Two Medicine Region
Badger-Two Medicine Region

Well now, this is interesting. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke reportedly suggested the Badger-Two Medicine area be given national monument status . . .

Back in March, nine days into his new post as Interior Department secretary, Ryan Zinke accepted a blessing ceremony from Blackfeet tribal leaders, and heard their request to protect the Badger-Two Medicine area next to their reservation by Glacier National Park.

On Sunday, a leaked draft of Zinke’s report to President Donald Trump on revisions to national monument indicates he proposes to grant that wish.

On the next-to-last page of a 19-page memo advising Trump to amend the boundaries and management plans of 10 national monuments, Zinke suggested the creation of three new monuments:

  • the Union Army Camp Nelson training center for African-American soldiers in the Civil War in Kentucky,

  • the home of assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi.

  • And No. 3? The Badger-Two Medicine area.

Read more . . .

Leaked memo: Zinke to recommend reductions in four national monuments

Bears Ears National Monument - Bob Wick, BLM-Flickr
Bears Ears National Monument – At 1.35 million acres, it is among the largest national monuments in the country – Bob Wick, BLM-Flickr

Looks like at least four national monuments will be targeted for reductions . . .

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendation to shrink four sprawling national monuments in the U.S. West jeopardizes protections for ancient cliff dwellings, scenic canyons and habitat for endangered fish and threatened Mojave desert tortoises.

The recommendations, revealed in a leaked memo submitted to the White House, would scale back two huge Utah monuments – Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante – along with Nevada’s Gold Butte and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou.

The monuments encompass an area larger than Connecticut and were created by Democratic presidents under a century-old law. Three were created or expanded in President Barack Obama’s final weeks in office.

Read more . . .

Zinke won’t eliminate any national monuments

Bears Ears National Monument - Bob Wick, BLM-Flickr
Bears Ears National Monument – At 1.35 million acres, it is among the largest national monuments in the country – Bob Wick, BLM-Flickr

There may be a few (cough) adjustments, though . . .

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced Thursday he won’t seek to rescind any national monuments carved from the wilderness and oceans by past presidents. But he said he will press for some boundary changes and left open the possibility of allowing drilling, mining or other industries on the sites.

Twenty-seven monuments were put under review in April by President Donald Trump, who has charged that the millions of acres designated for protection by President Barack Obama were part of a “massive federal land grab.”

If Trump adopts Zinke’s recommendations, it could ease some of the worst fears of his opponents, who warn that vast public lands and marine areas could be stripped of federal protection.

Read more . . .

Zinke won’t mess with Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana - Bob Wicks/BLM
Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana – Bob Wicks/BLM

The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument is officially on the “do not touch” list . . .

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says he will not recommend changes to Montana’s Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument as he continues to review national monuments for possible elimination or reduction.

Zinke says the monument is one of the only free-flowing areas of the Missouri that remains as explorers Lewis and Clark saw it more than 200 years ago.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock had asked Zinke to keep the Breaks monument unchanged as he reviews 27 national monuments designated by previous presidents. President Donald Trump ordered the review, calling many monument designations land grabs by the federal government. Monument designations protect federal land from energy development and other activities.

Read more . . .

Upper Missouri Breaks to retain monument status

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana - Bob Wicks/BLM
Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana – Bob Wicks/BLM

It looks like the Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument is going to be safe from federal “review” . . .

Cutting off public campaigns by proponents and opponents, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Tuesday he plans to recommend the Upper Missouri Breaks retain its status as a national monument, effectively taking it off the list of monuments nationwide that could lose their status.

“My likely recommendation will be to leave the Missouri Breaks as is,” Zinke said. “I think it’s settled to a degree that I would rather not open up a wound that has been healed.” Zinke made his remarks at a press conference following his appearance at the Western Governors’ Association meeting.

The announcement shocked people on both sides of the issue.

Read more . . .

Rally for national monuments held at Western Governors’ Association meeting

Last Tuesday, a number of North Fork Preservation Association members participated in a rally to support national monuments at the Western Governors’ Association meeting in Whitefish. NFPA President Debo Powers addressed the crowd.

The Daily Inter Lake did a pretty good job of covering the event.

Gov. Steve Bullock statement on the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana - Bob Wicks/BLM
Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana – Bob Wicks/BLM

This is a direct, to-the-point statement just released by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock concerning efforts to “review” the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument . . .

Today, I sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke urging that no changes be made to the designation of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.

In May, Secretary Zinke began a review of over 20 National Monuments from around the country pursuant to an Executive Order issued by President Donald Trump. The Missouri River Breaks was one of the monuments designated for review. As part of this process, Secretary Zinke reached out to me for my comments and recommendations regarding the Missouri Breaks National Monument.

The Missouri River Breaks offers world-class, once-in-a-lifetime public lands hunting opportunities for trophy mule-deer, elk, and bighorn sheep. Opportunities like these attract over 130,000 visitors to the area every year and provide an annual influx of $10 million to the local economy. The local economy has come to depend on this. In addition to attracting more visitors, the region has sustained growth in many measures of local economic health and prosperity—including a 23 percent increase in real capita income.

Finally, the Missouri Breaks has remained largely unchanged for over 200 years. The monument designation helps keep it that way for our children and grandchildren to share. For these reasons, I strongly recommended that no changes in the size or to the designation of the Monument should be made.

Places like the Missouri River Breaks are important to Montanans and play a significant role in our way of life. These public lands are our heritage and support an unmatched quality of life. I will continue to fight to preserve public access to our lands, rivers, and streams and I oppose any effort that jeopardizes or calls into question the future of the Missouri River Breaks or any other part of our public lands heritage.

As Secretary Zinke continues his review of the Missouri River Breaks National Monument designation, I urge you to reach out to him HERE to share your own comments and experiences within the area.

Sincerely,

STEVE BULLOCK
Governor

Show your support for our national monuments

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana - Bob Wicks/BLM
Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana – Bob Wicks/BLM

Our national monuments are under attack! Please speak out in support of them by writing a letter to Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke. In Montana, the Upper Missouri River Breaks is one of the monuments under review. (See the recent NFPA letter to Ryan Zinke for ideas and for Secretary Zinke’s mailing address.)

Also, there will be a Rally for National Monuments in Whitefish where Secretary Zinke will be addressing the Western Governor’s Conference on Tuesday, June 27 at noon in Depot Park. This rally is being organized by a group of conservation organizations in our area. We need as many people to attend as possible so please pass the word …and bring friends and family members.

Interior Secretary Zinke to review sage grouse protections

Sage Grouse - BLM photo
Sage Grouse – BLM photo

This is the NPR version of this story, including a pretty neat sage grouse video . . .

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has announced that regulations protecting the sage grouse – rules which have been subject to years of negotiation and controversy in Western states – are once again under review.

This puts the Greater Sage Grouse Conservation plan, finalized in 2015, in a state of flux.

Zinke stressed that the Trump administration wants to see improvement in the bird’s conservation, but also wants to make sure that state agencies are “heard on this issue.” He said that possible modifications would take into account “local economic growth and job creation.”

It’s safe to say that the sage grouse, found only in North America, is a singular, strange bird that elicits strong feelings…

Read more . . .

Also read: Interior Chief to Review Sage-Grouse Conservation Plan (Flathead Beacon)

NYT: Public Lands in Private Hands?

Three Types of Public Lands
Three types of public lands: Flathead National Forest is in the foreground, left and right; Montana’s Coal Creek State Forest, including Cyclone Lake, is in the middle distance; Glacier National Park stretches across the background.

Jimmy Tobias, currently an environmental reporter and, for three summers, a trail crew worker in this corner of the country, has a strongly worded op-ed in the New York Times regarding public lands transfer . . .

The Senate’s confirmation this week of the former Montana congressman Ryan Zinke as secretary of the interior has revived concerns about the future of public lands in the Trump administration. While Mr. Zinke has branded himself as a Teddy Roosevelt-style conservationist — and resigned as a delegate to the Republican National Convention last year to protest the party’s support for transferring federal lands to states or private groups — his record is spotty…

My generation and those that follow have much at stake in this battle. We stand to lose our ability to hike and camp, to bike and boat, to hunt and fish and explore freely in these superlative places. We also stand to lose the opportunities for meaningful work, civic engagement and spiritual fulfillment that our public lands provide…

Read more . . .