As Zinke Swaggers Through Parks, His Staff Rolls Back Regulations

"WASHINGTON — Ryan Zinke, a former member of the Navy SEALs and lifelong Montana outdoorsman who now heads the Interior Department, loves to compare himself to Theodore Roosevelt, the father of American conservation.

'I’m a Teddy Roosevelt guy!' the interior secretary said in an April announcement that he would commence a review of the boundaries of the nation’s national monuments. 'No one loves public lands more than I do.'

But as the secretary hopscotches across millions of acres of Western parks, monuments and wilderness with his Stetson-sporting swagger, a crew of political appointees in Washington has begun rolling back the conservation efforts put in effect over the eight years of the Obama administration. Many of those appointees spent the Obama years working for the oil and gas industry — and they come to the Interior Department with an insider’s knowledge of how its levers work and a wish list of policies from their former employers."

Coral Davenport and Nicholas Fandos report for the New York Times July 25, 2017.

Source: NY Times, 07/26/2017