Now that it seems Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has fully embraced the Trump strategy of distracting from one scandal by starting another, it’s probably challenging to keep track, so we thought we’d drop in with another update.
Hard to believe that the Congressman who made his political mark selling out his comrades in the military and meeting with a general who called for a coup would turn out so bad, right?
The Trump Administration\’s Fishy Proposal To Sell Land Cut From A Utah Monument–One parcel ? a 120-acre piece of land east of Kanab ? sits adjacent to 40 acres that are owned by Utah state Rep. Mike Noel (R) and which were removed from the monument. A staunch opponent of the Clinton-era monument, Noel advocated for shrinking the protected site and applauded Trump’s decision to do so. In fact, he unsuccessfully attempted to rename a Utah highway after Trump as a thank-you. HuffPost
Zinke said he would never sell public land. But the Interior is considering it.–The Trump administration is proposing to dispose of federal land in Utah that was protected within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument until its boundary was redrawn by the Interior Department earlier this year — despite Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s assurance last year that he would not sell public lands. Washington Post
On second thought, Zinke nixes Interior’s plan to possibly sell public land–The Interior Department canceled a proposal to potentially sell public land that was once protected inside the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument before its boundary was redrawn, saying it contradicted Secretary Ryan Zinke’s assurance last year that he would not do so.Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt issued a statement Friday taking responsibility for an oversight that led to the bid to dispose of 1,600 acres outside the redrawn boundary despite Zinke’s vow during his Senate confirmation hearing, and to department staff members shortly after he took office. “The failure to capture this inconsistency stops with me,” Bernhardt wrote. Washington Post
Climate Has a Role in Wildfires? No. Wait, Yes.–Mr. Zinke later clarified that he accepted that climate change was a factor. But his earlier comments, and those of the president, drew condemnation from scientists and environmental groups. Philip B. Duffy, executive director of the Woods Hole Research Center, a climate change research group in Massachusetts, said the comments were “clearly and demonstrably incorrect.” www.nytimes.com
Ryan Zinke Finally Admits That Climate Change Is Making Wildfires Worse–Unlike Zinke, climate scientists are not equivocating on the issue. They’ve been saying for weeks that two reasons for the fast-spreading, highly destructive fires are searing temperatures and prolonged drought brought upon by a warming climate. “To dismiss the role of climate change on these fires is simply incorrect,” Michael Wehner of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory told the Times this month. Daniel Berlant, assistant deputy director of California’s fire agency, put a finer point on it. “Let’s be clear: It’s our changing climate that is leading to more severe and destructive fires,” he said. Daily Intelligencer
Interior secretary blames environmentalists, not climate, for fires–Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s claim that “environmental terrorist groups” created the conditions that enabled California’s wildfires triggered substantial blowback from environmental groups, who chastised the Trump administration official for downplaying the role of climate change in the blazes. NBC News
DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke’s Logging Plan As Outlined Might Make Catastrophic Wildfire And Smoke Worse–"The net result of Zinke's big idea as-is will be that catastrophic wildfires and smoke will be made even worse, not better by logging and prescribed burning. And I say this even though I love the idea of monetizing our forests once again via a sustainable logging industry as opposed to monetizing it via a fire-suppression business model."
A modernized and ecologically-balanced sustainable logging industry could devolve catastrophic wildfire and toxic smoke while contemporaneously enhancing local economies. But such a vision requires the reestablishment of depleted megafauna in and around our forests. Benzinga
Gov. Inslee: Interior Sec. Zinke would sell his grandchildren for big oil–Inslee believes the administration is putting emphasis on protecting the carbon economy as firest burn and get worse. "That man (Zinke) would sell his grandchildren for the oil industry," said Inslee. "We have just seen the beginning of the firestorm," he added. www.seattlepi.com
More proof that Ryan Zinke is an industry stooge who misled and lied to the American public–Facing criticisms from sportsmen and conservationists, Zinke’s above claims of stewardship were in response to charges that his recommendations to shrink Grand Staircase Escalante by 47 percent and Bears Ears by a staggering 85 percent were not, in fact, motivated by a desire to “listen to the voices of the people” as he and others had repeatedly claimed. Rather, they formed part of an effort to open up land protected inside the two national monuments to coal, oil and gas extraction and uranium mining; the fruits of years of lobbying efforts at both the federal and state levels by the fossil fuel and mining industries. www.hatchmag.com