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New Interior Secretary Zinke is Off to Good Start

By  |  March 6, 2017, 12:00am  |  @Gabby_Hoffman

Former Montana Congressman and Navy SEAL Ryan Zinke was sworn in as the 52nd Secretary of Interior last week. Not only does his selection fare well for the department, it’s quite historic. He’s the first Montanan to serve in the post.

Zinke marked his first day, March 2nd, on the job by riding a horse alongside nine U.S. Park Police to his new office. Below are some tweets commemorating the occasion:

He even boldly declared that he’ll make his department the best governmental department.

Also on his first day at the Department of Interior, Zinke signed two secretarial order to expanding access to public lands and increase hunting, fishing, and recreational opportunities on public lands –especially to undue Order 219, the last-mine ban on lead tackle and ammunition on U.S. Fish & Wildlife public lands.

“Outdoor recreation is about both our heritage and our economy. Between hunting, fishing, motorized recreation, camping and more, the industry generates thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity,” said Zinke in a press release. “Over the past eight years however, hunting, and recreation enthusiasts have seen trails closed and dramatic decreases in access to public lands across the board. It worries me to think about hunting and fishing becoming activities for the land-owning elite. This package of secretarial orders will expand access for outdoor enthusiasts and also make sure the community’s voice is heard.”

Here’s more on the secretarial orders:

Secretarial Order No. 3346 overturns the recent ban of lead ammunition and fish tackle used on Fish and Wildlife Service lands, waters, and facilities. The order highlights the need for additional review and consultation with local stakeholders.

Secretarial Order No. 3347 advances conservation stewardship, improves game and habitat management, and increases outdoor recreation opportunities by directing bureaus and agencies to immediately identify areas where recreation and fishing can be expanded. The order also requests input from the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council and Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council to provide recommendations on enhancing and expanding access on public lands and improving habitat for fish and wildlife.

Zinke was joined by some of leaders of the country’s foremost hunting and fishing groups when he signed these secretarial orders:

Zinke is expected to restore balance between economic development and preservation of nature to his department. What a refreshing start! We’ll be watching what goes on and wish Zinke success.