Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Trump chooses congressman, former SEAL Zinke as interior secretary
President-elect Donald Trump has chosen first-term Republican U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke of Montana, a former Navy SEAL commander, as his interior secretary, a senior transition official said on Tuesday.
Zinke, 55, will be nominated to head the Interior Department, which employs more than 70,000 people across the United States and oversees more than 20 percent of federal land, including national parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite.
Zinke's choice was something of a surprise since some Republican officials wanted him to challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Tester of Montana in the 2018 elections.
Zinke emerged after Trump had toyed with the idea of nominating U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state for the position.
He is a proponent of keeping public lands under federal ownership, putting him at odds with some in his Republican Party who are more favorable to privatization or placing them under the control of states...Zinke, a member of the House of Representatives subcommittee on natural resources, has voted for legislation that would weaken environmental safeguards on public land.
But, unlike other candidates who were on the short list for the interior secretary job, Zinke opposes the transfer of public lands to the states, a position that echoes Trump's. Trump has said he does not think public land should be turned over to the states and should be protected.
"I don’t like the idea because I want to keep the lands great, and you don’t know what the state is going to do," Trump said in an interview with Field & Stream magazine in January. In July, Zinke resigned as a delegate to the Republican nominating
convention because the party platform called for transferring public
lands to the states. "What I saw was a platform that was more divisive than uniting,"
Zinke told the Billings Gazette. "At this point, I think it's better to
show leadership." Public land comprises more than 30 percent of Montana, according to the Montana Wilderness Association. The League of Conservation Voters, which ranks lawmakers on their
environmental record, gave Zinke an extremely low lifetime score of 3
percent. The Wilderness Society, a leading conservation group, said it was
concerned by Zinke's support for logging, drilling and mining on public
Disappointing pick. Will explain my initial thoughts later.