Ryan Zinke

Jim Peaco, Yellowstone National Park (PD)

Yellowstone National Park has opened a criminal investigation to determine how more than 50 of its bison escaped through a cut fence at a quarantine facility. Authorities say it appears somebody cut the fence with bolt cutters.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke calls the incident “devastating.”

C-SPAN

When President Donald Trump announced big cuts to national monuments in Utah Monday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke also recommended Trump create three new monuments, including one in his home state of Montana. 

This program is a production of Inside Energy

President Trump is traveling to Salt Lake City on Monday to announce he will downsize two of Utah’s national monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante.

That message is in line with recommendations from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.  Like Trump, Zinke favors boosting production of oil and gas resources on federal lands to create jobs and enhance the nation’s energy security.  At the same time, Zinke touts himself not only as an avid outdoorsman, but a follower of the conservation ideals of the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt.

Bureau of Land Management

In the next month or so, the Trump administration will announce its plan to shrink or modify large national monuments across the country. Some people are heralding the decision, saying these designations are federal land grabs that strangle local economies and kill jobs. 

Others say national monuments help local economies by boosting tourism. But an economist from Utah told a crowd in Bozeman on Thursday they might both be wrong.

Murray Foubister / Flickr

The Trump administration has cancelled funding for the Blackfeet Nation’s range rider program. These are tribal members who inspect cattle and make sure the land isn’t overgrazed. Now they could potentially lose their jobs and the Blackfeet tribal council isn’t pleased.

Department of the Interior

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and other federal officials are distancing themselves from a multi-million dollar contract between a small Montana company and Puerto Rico’s electric utility.

Blackfeet tribal council member Roland Kennerly sits at the edge of the Badger-Two Medicine area near the Blackfeet Reservation.
Nate Hegyi / YPR

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended a new national monument at Badger-Two Medicine. While the Blackfeet Nation says the proposal is a good start, they’re also hesitant to fully embrace it before having a say in how the proposed monument is managed.


Lodgepole Complex Fire
Nate Hegyi / YPR

This has been the most expensive fire season in Montana since at least 1999. Both the state and federal governments have spent a combined $378 million dollars so far battling blazes.

Eric Whitney

As fires continue to rage, some in Montana are calling for fundamental changes in government forest management policies. That sentiment is being echoed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Zinke was a guest on the Northern Broadcasting Network’s radio program Voices of Montana Tuesday. Just he came on, host Jon Arneson took a call from a longtime listener.

"Lets go to Diane in Marion, Montana on line 2. Diane?"

The fate of over two dozen national monuments on federal land will be determined in just over a week. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will present his recommendations to President Donald Trump on August 24. They’ll outline which national monuments should be left alone, which should be scaled back, or perhaps even scrapped altogether.

Trump called the monument areas "a massive federal land grab" by previous administrations.

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