Congressman Ryan Zinke, a geologist and former Navy SEAL in his first term as Montana's at-large representative, is a member of the Natural Resources Committee. He opposed the Interior Department's moratorium on new coal leases on public lands and said that its rule to reduce methane emissions by oil and gas operations on public lands was unnecessary. He has a track record of supporting land conservation, voting against a budget because it sold public lands, and even resigned as a delegate to the RNC this summer because the party platform included language calling for the sale of public lands. Zinke has also opposed efforts by House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) to transfer land and other GOP measures to hand over millions of acres of public land from the U.S. Forest Service to the state.
Read the AAAS letter to Secretary of Interior nominee, Ryan Zinke.
Why is this department important to the science community?
Scientific research on human behavior can yield important insights for informing effective management of park resources, and the National Parks are unique locations for hosting researchers to advance conservation science that can be used to inform stewardship of natural and cultural resources. Department of Interior funded research and development, largely through the work of the U.S. Geological Survey, is crucial to our understanding and management of the nation's natural resources and can help guide policy and business decisions throughout the nation.