Ryan Zinke

Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke has backed off a decision to dramatically hike entrance fees to some National Parks. Since many of these iconic parks are in the Mountain West, this change may have an outsized effect on our region.

Democrats on Capitol Hill are calling for an investigation into the National Park Service, pointing to a report they say follows a "pattern" of censoring scientists who study climate change. So I checked in with the scientist who wrote the latest report and is now worried about her future.

Too many decisions about the West get made in Washington, D.C. At least, that's what the Secretary of the Interior thinks. Ryan Zinke plans to move thousands of the department’s employees out west to manage water, public lands and energy from there. How might this seemingly dull, bureaucratic plan affect the West in interesting ways? Here's how people with a vested interest responded–starting in Wyoming.  


Yellowstone
Nate Hegyi / Yellowstone Public Radio

Now that a National Parks entrance fee hike is on hold, competing legislation is floating through Congress that would permanently pay for the multi-billion dollar maintenance backlog using federal mineral revenues.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's call to increase peak-season entrance fees at 17 popular national parks appears to be an unpopular idea. The overwhelming majority of submitted comments were strongly opposed to it. Now, the National Park Service is rethinking the plan.

Matthew Allen used to lead the communications team at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Washington headquarters a couple of blocks from the White House.

Then he got demoted.

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.

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