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Zinke’s public lands sell-off is undermining the “frontline”
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Zinke’s public lands sell-off is undermining the “frontline”

Ryan Richards writes about the contradictory nature of Interior Secretary Zinke's statements at the Western Governors Association.

As any rancher, logger, guide or hiker can tell you, the public lands that the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management oversee are a big part of Western life. When the Western Governors Association met in Whitefish last week, their agenda included the management of these multi-use properties — and the governors took time at the meeting to pass resolutions supporting sound forest and rangeland policy that balances environmental, social and economic needs.

In attendance at the WGA meeting was Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a Whitefish native whose department includes BLM. Zinke has been vocal about his vision for the Department of the Interior, saying that he wants to support “frontline staff” and “restore trust” with communities neighboring federal land. But his statements in Whitefish — presumably geared toward appeasing energy interests — contradict these principles.

The above excerpt was originally published in Missoulian. Click here to view the full article.

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Ryan Richards

Former Senior Policy Analyst, Public Lands