Quantcast
Popular
Badger-Two Medicine. Tony Bynum

Zinke Proposes New National Monument in His Home State But Wants to Shrink Them Elsewhere

Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke wants to reshape and repurpose 10 national monuments for drilling, logging and other commercial activities, but you wont see the same recommendations for existing monuments in Montana—Zinke's home state.

Notably, if the former Congressman's plans take shape, Montanans might even find themselves with a new, 130,000-acre national monument in their state.


Tucked in the second-to-last page of the interior secretary's review of national monuments over the summer was the suggestion of creating three new monuments, including the Badger-Two Medicine area next to the Blackfeet Nation reservation by Glacier National Park in Montana.

National Parks Conservation Association spokesman Michael Jamison said it was confusing that Zinke is recommending protection for the Badger-Two Medicine while proposing to shrink other national monuments.

"Everyone is grateful to see Secretary Zinke paying attention to permanent protection of the Badger-Two Medicine," Jamison told the Missoulian in September. "But it's not acceptable to propose monument protection of the Badger while at same time proposing to strip protections from Bears Ears and other sacred places for Native Americans. If monuments aren't permanent, we don't want monument status. If it's so transitory and impermanent it can be undone by the stroke of a pen in some future administration, it's not permanent protection."

The Badger-Two Medicine area of Montana's Rocky Mountain Front has been threatened by oil and gas development for decades, according to the Wilderness Society. National monument status would give it protection from new development.

As the Huffington Post pointed out, in Zinke's review of national monuments, he noted that the Badger-Two Medicine site is considered sacred to the Blackfeet Nation. By the same token, the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah is also a sacred site to Navajo people and other tribes.

Montana residents are also "scratching their heads" over Zinke's new monument suggestion, NPR reported.

Land Tawney, head of the Montana-based Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, told the national radio station that Zinke wants to create a new monument due to political aspirations.

"I think the secretary has talked about wanting to come back to Montana after he's done being secretary and potentially run for governor," Tawney said.

Zinke has also called for mining bans near Yellowstone National Park.

"I think the people of Montana hold our special places very near and dear," he added. "If you do not protect those places I think it's a political nightmare for you in this state."

David Parker, a political scientist at Montana State University, also told NPR that Zinke might even run for president.

"Whatever his ambitions are, Montana is important to that moving forward," Parker said. "You can't say you're going to be on a national stage and be a serious candidate if you don't have strong support in your home state."

In his review, Zinke also suggested monument status for Camp Nelson in Kentucky where African-American soldiers received training during the Civil War and the home of assassinated Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers in Jackson, Miss.

President Trump is expected to announce his decision about monuments in December.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Politics
Jess Lundgren / CC BY 2.0

The Trump Administration’s ‘Dishonest’ Attack on Fuel-Economy Standards

By John R. Platt

The Trump administration's plan to freeze fuel-economy standards is "the most spectacular regulatory flip-flop in history," said a retired EPA engineer who helped to develop new the standards under the Obama administration.

Keep reading... Show less
Adventure
Lizzie Carr traveling down the Hudson River on her stand-up paddleboard. Max Guliani / The Hudson Project

Her Stand-Up Paddleboard Is a Platform for Campaigning Against Plastic Pollution

By Patrick Rogers

Lizzie Carr was navigating a stretch of the Hudson River north of Yonkers, New York, recently when she spotted it—a hunk of plastic so large and out of place that she was momentarily at a loss to describe it.

Keep reading... Show less
Science
The Ross Ice Shelf at the Bay of Whales. Michael Van Woert, NOAA

Scientists Study Ice Shelf by Listening to Its Changing Sounds

By Marlene Cimons

Researchers monitoring vibrations from Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf were flabbergasted not long ago to hear something unexpected—the ice was "singing" to them. "We were stunned by a rich variety of time-varying tones that make up this newly described sort of signal," said Rick Aster, professor of geosciences at Colorado State University, one of the scientists involved in the study.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics
DSLRVideo.com / Flicker / CC BY-SA 2.0

'Go Out and Vote' Patagonia Endorses Candidates For First Time in Its History

Outdoor brand Patagonia is endorsing candidates for the first time in its history in an effort to protect the country's at-risk public lands and waters.

The civic-minded retailer is backing two Democrats in two crucial Senate races: the re-election of Sen. Jon Tester of Montana; and Rep. Jacky Rosen, who is trying to unseat Republican Sen. Dean Heller in Nevada.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Animals
Desert Bighorn Sheep in Joshua Tree National Park. Kjaergaard / CC BY 3.0

Leaked Trump Administration Memo: Keep Public in Dark About How Endangered Species Decisions Are Made

In a Trump administration memorandum leaked to the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is directing its staff to withhold, or delay releasing, certain public records about how the Endangered Species Act is carried out. That includes records where the advice of career wildlife scientists may be overridden by political appointees in the Trump administration.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Disposable diapers add staggering amounts of waste to landfills. Pxhere

Dirty Diapers Could Be Recycled Into Fabrics, Furniture Under P&G Joint Venture

Disposal diapers can take an estimated 500 years to decompose. That means if Henry VIII wore disposables, they'd probably still be around today.

Although throwaway nappies are undoubtedly convenient, these mostly-synthetic items cause never-ending steams of waste that will take centuries to disappear.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
The swelling barrier lake after a landslide forced evacuations along the Yarlung Zangbo River. YouTube screenshot / CCTV+

6,000 Evacuated After Tibet Landslide

Six thousand people have been evacuated after a landslide in Tibet Wednesday blocked a river that flows downstream into India, creating a lake that could cause major flooding in the subcontinent once the debris is cleared, The Associated Press reported.

Chinese emergency officials announced the evacuations Thursday. The landslide impacted a village in Menling County, but no one was killed or injured, Chinese officials said.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
Pexels

Carbon Capture: What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Climate Change

By Daniel Ross

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report lays out a rather grim set of observations, predictions and warnings. Perhaps the biggest takeaway? That the world cannot warm more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (1.5°C) over pre-industrial levels without significant impacts.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!