Ryan Zinke

EarthFix

An agriculture group says the cost of saving salmon in the Northwest’s largest river system is unsustainable. Now, the Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association is turning to the Trump administration to try and sidestep endangered species laws.


sage grouse, wildlife
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr Creative Commons

The Trump Administration plans to change how an iconic western species is managed. The new approach comes after Republican governors lobbied for a review of a plan to protect the greater sage grouse.


Jim Urquhart / AP Photo

Protections that have been in place for more than 40 years for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area will be lifted this summer after U.S. government officials ruled Thursday that the population is no longer threatened.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Wednesday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced a departmental review of how the greater sage grouse is protected. 

The sage grouse lives in 11 western states, and its habitat spans more than 40 million acres. The bird’s population has declined significantly in recent decades, as natural resource development expanded in some states.

In 2015, the Obama administration decided not to put the bird on the Endangered Species List, in exchange for a habitat-wide approach to preserving the animal. That plan restricts oil, gas and mining development in sage grouse country.

Zinke Perdue Agriculture Interior
Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Friday morning two U.S. Cabinet members visited Boise: Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. 

In a conference room high about the Boise State University football stadium, Secretaries Perdue and Zinke spoke about land management.

They were introduced by Celia Gould, Idaho's Director of Agriculture, who observed that the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture cover a lot of ground in the state. "This is possibly the first time in Idaho's history," she quipped, "that we have had the two largest land-owners in the state."

Keith Ridler / AP

Friday morning, two U.S. Cabinet members made a visit to Boise. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke appeared at Boise State University. Tom Michael attended the event and sent this report.

For more local news, follow the KBSX newsroom on Twitter @KBSX915

Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The Trump administration has proposed an 11 percent decrease in funding for the Interior Department.

If approved by Congress, the Interior Department would receive $11.7 billion for fiscal year 2018. That’s more than the president had originally outlined in an earlier budget draft, but still would be a hit to department funding.

Troy Smith / Flickr Creative Commons

President Donald Trump signed an executive order that questions the validity of some national monuments in the West.  The order applies to any national monument created after 1995 that totals at least 100,000 acres.

Friday, the Interior Department released the list of monuments up for review and announced the first-ever public comment period on the topic. In a new twist, Idaho's Craters of the Moon National Monument made the list.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

About 2,000 people gathered at the steps of the Idaho Statehouse Saturday. A coalition of conservation and environmental groups organized the rally.

People traveled from all over the state to rally in support of public lands. They held signs and led chants, many dressed in hunter orange and camo.

About 60 percent of the state is owned by the federal government, a fact that was repeated several times by organizers of the event.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Images

President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Interior Department was questioned by a senate committee Tuesday. Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke was pushed on several hot button land use issues -- issues he’s well acquainted with as a Montana congressman.

 

When it comes to questions about how he would manage the relationship between states and federal land managers, the greater sage grouse inevitably came up. The imperiled bird narrowly avoided landing on the Endangered Species List, but the debate over how to save the bird remains contentious.  

AP

A change in U.S. House rules making it easier to transfer millions of acres of federal public lands to states is worrying hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts across the West who fear losing access.

Lawmakers earlier this month passed a rule eliminating a significant budget hurdle and written so broadly that it includes national parks.

President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Interior secretary, Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke, voted for the rule change as did many other Republicans. The Senate would have to weigh in on public land transfers as well.

Rick Bowmer / AP Images

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell made her final stop in Boise Tuesday during her last month as an Obama administration official. Jewell was briefed by wildfire officials at the National Interagency Fire Center about a landmark policy she put in place during her tenure.

Richard Drew / AP Images

According to the Washington Post, Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) has been tapped to lead the Interior Department under Donald Trump. The cabinet position oversees key agencies pertinent to life in the West, including the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.