The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Independent Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

Zinke Accepts Nod to Oversee Interior


Rep. Ryan Zinke announced Dec. 15 that he has accepted the offer to serve as the incoming Secretary of the Interior. In remarks announcing Zinke’s nomination, President-elect Donald Trump praised the Montana native’s positions, ranging from regulations and forest management to energy development and public land use. Trump stated, “America is the most beautiful country in the world and he is going to help keep it that way with smart management of our federal lands.”

Zinke accepted the nomination by quoting the Yellowstone Archway at Gardiner, Mont., saying in a press release, “I shall faithfully uphold Teddy Roosevelt’s belief that our treasured public lands are ‘for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.’”

In a show of support for Montana’s first cabinet appointment, Sen. Jon Tester and Gov. Steve Bullock both had words of encouragement for Zinke.

Tester issued a statement saying, “I’m pleased the President-elect nominated someone from the West for a post that’s critically important to Montana’s outdoor economy and way of life.”

Gov. Bullock offered a similar sentiment in a statement, “Montanans know how important the U.S. Department of the Interior is to protecting our natural resources and outdoor heritage and it is reassuring that a Western voice is being advanced for a post that is critical for Western states.”

Following his nomination, Zinke must undergo the Senate confirmation process before taking control of the Department of the Interior, which oversees a large portion of Montana’s Federal Lands.

In all, the DOI’s Bureau of Land Management oversees 8.1 million acres of Montana; Fish and Wildlife Service oversees 1.1 million acres, Bureau of Reclamation oversees 200,000 acres of land and 100,000 acres of water surface in Montana, and the National Parks Service oversees Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park and a number of national monuments, battlefields, historic trails and historic sites. At over 9.4 million total acres, Zinke will control the second-largest section of public lands in Montana, next to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, which controls over 16.8 million acres.


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