MTPR

U.S. Department of Interior

In Montana's Paradise Valley, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signs an order extending an Obama administration ban on new mining in the mountains north of Yellowstone National Park by 20 years, October 8, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order yesterday extending an Obama administration ban on new mining in the mountains north of Yellowstone National Park by 20 years.

Zinke stood with this back to the Absarkoa Mountain Range, the peaks half hidden in clouds hanging low over the Paradise Valley, as he said some places should not be mined, even though he describes himself as “a pro-mining guy”.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Courtesy Ryan Zinke

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has scheduled a visit next week to Montana, where he's expected to finalize a proposal to block new mining claims on the forested public lands just outside Yellowstone National Park.

Zinke, a former Montana congressman, plans to sign documents and make a "major announcement" about conservation on Monday in the Paradise Valley area, Zinke spokeswoman Heather Swift said Thursday.

Swift declined to give further details except to say it was an issue Zinke had been working on for years.

Methane flaring.
WildEarth Guardians (CC-BY-NC-ND-2)

Tuesday, two states announced they’re suing the Trump administration just hours after it announced sweeping rollbacks of Obama-era regulations on methane pollution from oil and gas production.

Attorneys general from California and New Mexico filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in California over the rule revision just hours after it was announced by the U.S. Interior Department.

Yellowstone Park Superintendent Dan Wenk on the front step of the superintendent's residence in Yellowstone.
Jacob W. Frank/NPS

Yellowstone National Park’s departing superintendent says he can’t quite shake the feeling that he is being punished for disagreeing with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke about bison management. He held a press conference about his departure Thursday.

Sage grouse.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (PD)

The federal government’s most recent sage grouse public comment period wrapped up Thursday.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has proposed tweaking conservation plans that were hammered out back in 2015. That’s unnerved some of the people and groups who were involved in that process.

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