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President-elect Donald Trump Now Said to Pick Rep Ryan Zinke for Interior


In an unexpected turn of events, President-elect Donald Trump is now said to have picked Montana Representative Ryan Zinke, a Republican who gets low marks from environmental groups but has bucked his party to protect public land, as his nominee for Interior secretary, according to two sources familiar with the transition planning.

Zinke’s repeated support for logging, drilling and mining on cherished public lands is out of step with most Americans, however.

The League of Conservation Voters gave Zinke a 3 percent score in the group’s 100-point National Environmental Scorecard, based on lawmakers’ votes on the organization’s top issues, including energy, climate change, public health, wildlife conservation and spending for environmental programs. The average score in the group’s ratings for all House members in 2015 was 41 percent.

During Zinke’s brief time in office, the freshman congressman has not been a friend to endangered species or the Endangered Species Act. In 2016 Zinke led efforts to strip federal protections for critically endangered Mexican gray wolves even though a mere 97 remain in the wild.

As leader of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Secretary of Interior is charged to use sound science to manage and sustain America’s lands, water, wildlife, and energy resources. As keeper of our nation’s legacy, the Secretary manages the resources in his/her care to benefit Americans now and in the future.

Zinke’s lack of support for Endangered Species Act clearly stands in opposition to the Wolf Conservation Center’s core beliefs and mission.

The Wolf Conservation Center is carefully reviewing Zinke’s record, stay tuned for updates.