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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke at Grand Canyon Nation Park on Sept. 22. U.S. Department of the Interior

Report: Zinke Plans to Resign, Explores Fox News, Energy Company Boards

From taxpayer-funded trips with his wife to shrinking national monuments for fossil fuel interests, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is one of President Trump's most scandal-ridden cabinet members.

Now, the embattled official, who is facing several federal investigations of alleged misconduct, could be on his way out.

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Politics
Ryan Zinke visits Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota on May 25. Sherman Hogue / U.S. Dept. of the Interior

Report: Trump Admin. Suppressing Media Access of Government Scientists

A new Trump administration protocol requires U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists to run interview requests with the Department of the Interior, its parent agency, before speaking to journalists, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The move is a departure from past media practices that allowed government scientists to quickly respond to journalists' inquiries, according to unnamed USGS employees interviewed by the Times.

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Adventure
The Salado Creek Greenway in San Antonio, Texas. dq5studios / CC BY 3.0

19 New Trails to Explore as the National Trails System Turns 50

This Saturday, the American Hiking Society is celebrating a very special National Trails Day—2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the National Trails System Act, which created and protected some of the U.S.'s most loved scenic and historic walks.

Now, just in time for Saturday's festivities, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has announced in a Department of the Interior (DOI) press release Wednesday that he is adding 19 new recreation trails to the national network in 17 different states.

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Energy
Sow and cub polar bears in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Alan D. Wilson/ Nature's Pics Online / CC BY-SA 3.0

Feds Receive First Application to Explore ANWR for Oil

The Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management office in Alaska received a plan to conduct extensive, 3-D seismic testing in search of oil on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) this winter.

The plan—submitted by surveying services SAExploration, Inc. and its partners Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and the Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation—is the first step in opening up Alaska's pristine refuge for oil exploration and drilling, the Washington Post reported.

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Climate
Simulated flooding caused by a Category 3 hurricane striking Theodore Roosevelt Island in Washington, DC. NPS

National Park Service Releases Climate Report That Officials Tried to Censor

The National Parks Service (NPS) quietly released a long-delayed report that mentions humanity's role in climate change, which officials had removed in earlier drafts.

The report, published Friday without a press release or any social media activity from the parks department or Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, shows estimates of sea level change for 118 coastal national park sites and estimates of storm surge for 79 of the sites.

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Animals
Brown bears in Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska. NPS Photo / B. Plog

Trump Admin. Wants to Reinstate 'Cruel' Hunting Tactics in Alaska, Conservation Groups Say

The Trump administration has proposed new regulations to overturn an Obama-era rule that protects iconic predators in Alaska's national preserves.

Wildlife protection organizations condemned the move, as it would allow hunters to go to den sites to shoot wolf pups and bear cubs, lure and kill bears over bait, hunt bears with dogs and use motor boats to shoot swimming caribou. Such hunting methods were banned on federal lands in 2015 that are otherwise permitted by the state.

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Popular
Utah's Zion National Park. Jared / Flickr

National Parks Added $36 Billion to U.S. Economy Last Year

As the nation observes National Park Week, the Interior Department released a report Wednesday touting that visits to national parks added $35.8 billion to the U.S. economy in 2017—a nearly $1 billion increase from the year prior—and supported 306,000 jobs.

The National Park Service said more than 330 million visitors spent $18.2 billion in the communities near the national parks last year.

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Polar Bear sow and two cubs in the Arctic Refuge's 1002 area targeted for oil drilling. Wikimedia Commons

Trump Admin Begins Process to Open Pristine Arctic Refuge for Drilling

The Interior Department has launched the process of holding lease sales for oil and gas drilling in the 1.6-million-acre coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Despite decades of fierce resistance from Democrats and conservation groups, pro-drilling Republicans were able to realize their goal of opening the refuge after quietly including the measure in last year's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

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Popular
Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke in Sedro-Woolley, Washington on March 22, 2018. U.S. Department of the Interior / Flickr

Zinke's New Outdoor Recreation Panel Dominated by Industry Execs

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has assembled a new outdoor recreation advisory panel dominated by top executives from the industry.

The 15-member "Made in America" Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee will advise Sec. Zinke on issues surrounding public lands. They include officials that represent fishing, shooting sports, motorized vehicles and hospitality as well as national park concessionaires.

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