MTPR

Colin Davis

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.

Emigrant Peak in Montana's Paradise Valley north of Yellowstone Park.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio


Federal officials are recommending approval of a plan to block new mining claims for 20 years on public lands in the mountains north of Yellowstone National Park.

Emigrant Peak in Montana's Paradise Valley north of Yellowstone Park.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

A proposal to ban mining near Yellowstone National Park got its first hearing in the U.S. House today. It has the unconditional support of Montana’s lone representative, Republican Greg Gianforte.

Congressman Gianforte is an ardent supporter of the natural resources extraction industries. Even so, he testified against mining before a House Natural Resources subcommittee Thursday.