Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Trump’s Interior Pick Supports Federal Ownership Of Western Land

by Chris White

Trump’s choice to run the Department of the Interior, Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke, opposes one of the Republican Party’s major planks: transferring public land ownership back to the states. In fact, Zinke resigned as a delegate to the Republican National Committee earlier this summer because of the GOP’s position on federal land ownership. The Montana Republican pushed back against efforts by Utah Republican Sen. Rob Bishop, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, to transfer millions of acres of public land from the U.S. Forest Service to the state. Bishop’s committee oversees the Department of the Interior. Conservation groups are concerned Zinke will fold under pressure and sell off public land, despite his public opposition to land transfers. Zinke’s position on climate change could also propose a problem for the former Navy Seal commander. He believes the Trump administration needs to carefully balance coal and natural gas production with that of preserving public lands. Climate change should also be factored into that balance, Zinke told reporters last year. “You know, if you go up to Glacier Park and you have your lunch on one of the glaciers, you will see the glacier recede while you eat lunch. So you know I have seen the change in my lifetime,” he said...more

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