A CAES Report-card on Ryan Zinke
2017 CAES© permission to use any part of this article not in it’s entirety is required.
©U.S. Department of the Interior
In a September, 2017 draft, obtained by obtained by Defenders of Wildlife, the Department of Interior, led by Secretary Zinke outlines the nefarious plan for our public lands.
We’ve done a little scorecard on how this plan weighs when compared to a transparent, receptive, forward-looking Interior Department serving the the majority of American’s by continuing and strengthening our natural heritage, cultures, treaties, and astute, science-based use and/or protection of our natural resources.
MISSION AREA 1: Conserving Our Land and Water
GOAL #1: Utilize science in land, water, species and habitat management supporting decisions and activities
GOAL #2 Manage DOI water storage and delivery to resolve conflicts and expand capacity
GOAL #3: Foster partnerships to achieve balanced stewardship and use of our public lands
GOAL #4: Inform land use planning processes especially for public use and access
Teddy: established Ryan: strip protections from
A. 150 national forests A. 11.3 million acres of public lands
B. 51 wildlife refuges B. 218 million acres of marine environment
C. 5 national parks C. Reducing National Monuments
D. 18 national monuments D. Dismantling wildlife refuges E. Gutting endangered and critical species protections
Teddy Roosevelt, would tell Ryan he needs to he protect our national monuments, institute better protections of our wildlife, land air and water.
MISSION AREA 2 Generating Revenue and Utilizing Our Natural Resources
GOAL #1 Ensure energy and economic security for America
GOAL #2: Ensure access to mineral resources
GOAL #3: Ensure public receives fair market value for resources; fees are reasonable and recover cost
GOAL #4: Focus timber programs on “healthy forests” lifecycle
GOAL #5: Manage grazing resources
A. Vocabulary error
“Sustainability” is a word that Ryan uses often, but doesn’t appear to have done his homework and looked up the definition.
1. Cancelled moratorium on coal leases, while announcing a new round of leasing in the Powder River Basin, WY
2. Ryan announced offshore oil and gas leases in a 77 million-acre region of the Gulf of Mexico, while still recovering from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster
3. Ryan joked to the National Petroleum Council that “fracking is proof that God’s got a good sense of humor and he loves us.”
Ryan demonstrates that his understanding of “sustainability” is that; limited resources (oil, gas, minerals, etc.) will secure a sustainable future for the American people. This misunderstanding will be devastating and possibly irreversably damaging to our evnironment, wildlife, and overall quality of life.
MISSION AREA 3 Expanding Outdoor Recreation and Access
GOAL #1: Expand hunting, fishing, and other recreation on DOI lands and waters
GOAL #2: Enhance public satisfaction at DOI sites
A. Ryan has created trust issues with the majority of Americans
1. closed-door dealings and speeches
2. refusal to publicly release his national monuments report
3. ethically questionable business travel
4. suspicious relationships with Political Action Committees
5. special attention to special interests
6. considering drilling adjacent to and even inside 30 national parks
7. ignored stakeholders of planning process for conservation of greater-sage grouse and how to balance that with other nultiple uses across the west. (A move that promotes continuing decline of the bird and likely putting it on the endangeres species list.)
Ryan fails to recognize people outside special interest groups, and does not know how to communicate with those outside his usual group of friends. He has total disregard, and no respect for the hard work of others who contributed work before him, nor how his changes will negatively impact them, the environment or the wildlife. He will also be throwing out not only the work already done, but also significant tax dolaars wasted that were used in developing exisiting protections and plans.
MISSION AREA 4 Fulfilling Our Trust and Insular Responsibilities
GOAL #1: Support tribal self‐determination, self‐governance, and sovereignty
GOAL #2: Fulfill fiduciary trust
GOAL #3: Strengthen economic and health capacities in the US Territories, and fulfill US compact obligations to the freely associated states
A. Vocabulary error
“Sovereignty” is a word that Ryan uses as a noun, or a thing that can be supported. This demonstrates his lack of homework doing with his vocabulary list and looking up definitions once again.
1. Reccomendation to shrink Bears Ears National Monument
2. Recommendation will stop protection of Indigenous artifacts
3. Recommendation will lift protections of Indigenous sacred sites.
4. Recommendation is in opposition to member tribes of the Bears Ears Commission.
On the heels of a new administration failing to hear, respect or honor Indigenous rights, or treaties, Ryan deals another blow to our First People recommending the decrease in size of National monuments such as Bears Ears, and lowering the protections for those very things that ought to be the decision of the tribes based on the sovereignty. If Ryan believes in sovereignty, he must learn the it is the right for our Indigenous Peoples “to make their own laws and be governed by them.”
MISSION AREA 5 Protecting Our People and the Border
GOAL 1: Ensure emergency preparedness & DOI law enforcement staffing addresses public safety risks
GOAL 2: Support securing our southern continental US border
GOAL #3: Manage wildland fire to reduce risk and improve ecosystem and community resilience
GOAL #4: Provide science to safeguard communities against natural hazards
As the Secretary of the Interior, Ryan should be asking for more money for his department right? He is failing this part of his job by recommending cuts during his testimony to the Senate in 2017 for the FY 2018 budget.
Recommendations made for the FY 2018 budget:
13% cut for the BLM, USFWS, Bureau of Reclamation & US Geological Survey (Nearly half from Office of Surface Mining & Reclamation)
11% cut for the National Park Service
Rescinded policy that would make companies pay fair market value for oil, gas and coal extraction on federal lands (loss of revenue to taxpayers $75 million)
Ryan again seems to be leaning in favor of special interest, profit makong ventures, and not increasing funding to protects our heritage, resources or even our tax dollars. Instead the only way he has made any recommendation that would increas income for the department is the idea to triple fees to be admitted to our National Parks.
MISSION AREA 6 Modernizing Our Organization and Infrastructure for the Next 100 Years
GOAL #1: Align DOI organizational structure and workforce to improve partnership engagement and mission delivery
GOAL #2: Reduce administrative and regulatory burden
GOAL #3: Prioritize DOI infrastructure needs and reduce deferred maintenance backlog
A clear agenda that is contrary to the job he is in.
A. Ryan doesn’t seem to understand that the Deparment of Interior doesn’t oversee the Customs and Border Protection, whic is actually acomponent of the Department of Homeland Security.
B. Ryan claims conservation, safety and public health policies are “burdensome” on energy production (oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear) in a report issued in response to Executive Order 13783. The Dept of Interior feel that protections for wildlife and habitat, science consultation for critical species and areas deemed areas of critical concern are among these burdensome things. But that’s not all, he also feels that planning & appeals processes (that pesky public involvement component) and of course all those exhaustive permits to satisfy legislative and administrative requirements. These all just get in the way of making “America Energy Dominant”.
C. The National Park System has a $12 billion maintenance backlog, and the National Wildlife Refuge System is suffering a $2.7 billion backlog yet Ryan calls for a $1.6 billion budget cut for his department.
D. Ryan’s “reorganization” through the reassignment of over 50 top staffers at the DOI was done involuntarily and often to new positions in which the staffer had no expertise. This can never be productive for an organization to function efficiently.
E. Ryan supports the elimination of about 4,000 jobs at the DOI. Further adding insult to injury many more will be uprooted with his plans to move 3 DOI agency headquarters to Denver from Washington DC, a move that is clearly an attempt to further keep the states that are not the west out of the loop on western land issues, such as the push to transfer federal lands to states.
The only issue that hould concern him with the border should be effects of a border wallon wildlife and habitat, including endangered species and several national wildlife refuges. Ryan needs to focus on a fair nd healthy balance between energy development and resource conservation that protects our future, not seeing these protections and policies as burdensome. While we agree that some positions in the Department of Interior could be eliminated, we disagree with moves or eliminations due to retaliation on those who disagree with Ryan and the special interest group he clearly works for. We do not believe moving offices that deal primarily with issues that are western issues to western offices is an appropriate way to represent those public land owners who live in the eastern states. This limits the information and public meetings access, along with contributing to a feeling of secrecy and “good old boy club” atmosphere. Taunting his own staff saying 30% are not loyal is not a professional way to handle human resources, and is not going to breed a healthy work environment, thus furthering the feeling of mistrust and division.
∑ Overall Reportcard Score – is that Ryan moved up a grade when he clearly was not ready.
Ryan Zinke’s actions are contrary to his job description, he has a clear dislike and disregard for conservation, preservation and majority interests. We believe it is time for Ryan to change jobs. He is no more qualified for this job than was the scientists he put into an accounting position. We believe that Ryan Zinke cannot achieve the goals of the Department of the Interior when he fails to realize that the goal is to protect and preserve, conserve and respect…not profit.