U.S. Interior Secretary

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.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will decide whether to shrink or eliminate 22 national monuments later this month. As Yellowstone Public Radio’s Brie Ripley reports, these monuments are significant money-makers for business owners across the West, who met in Helena and Great Falls Wednesday to discuss their concerns.

In Montana outdoor recreation generates nearly $6 billion in consumer spending annually, and supports over 60,000 jobs.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has halted a proposal to transfer the National Bison Range into tribal control.

In an email to the Missoulian, Secretary Zinke says he is committed to not selling or transferring public lands, but hopes the tribes will, "play a pivotal role in our discussions about the best path forward."

Northern Cheyenne Tribe Sues Trump Administration

Apr 3, 2017
(WildEarth Guardians)

The Northern Cheyenne tribe, along with a coalition of conservation groups, sued the Trump administration Wednesday for lifting a moratorium on coal leases on public lands.

The southeastern Montana tribe filed the lawsuit in response to Interior Secretary Zinke’s decision to lift the moratorium on coal leasing.

(Photo courtesy of the Office of Steve Daines)

The U.S. Senate today confirmed Montana's former Republican Congressman, Ryan Zinke, as Secretary of Interior. Zinke resigned his House seat following the 68 to 31 vote triggering a special election in Montana to fill his congressional seat. Governor Steve Bullock made that announcement this morning just minutes after Zinke's confirmation.

Montana Legislature

A legislator from Billings is the latest candidate to announce he’ll seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for the U.S. House seat expected to open up when incumbent Ryan Zinke likely will become the next U.S. Interior Secretary.

State Representative Kelly McCarthy made the announcement last night in an email. He said he wanted to get the word out before the start of 2017 Montana Legislature on Monday.

When  US Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-MT, accepts the appointment as Interior Secretary in President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet and is confirmed, then the process begins to fill his House seat.

The open seat will ultimately filled by a special election. But there is disagreement between Montana statute and the US Constitution and the House of Representatives on some of the details.