Montana Public Radio

U.S. Department of the Interior

Ryan Zinke.
(PD)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Democrats in Congress are asking U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to explain the reassignments of dozens of senior agency officials, most recently Yellowstone National Park's superintendent who was offered an unwanted transfer and then told he'd be gone in August.

Scaffolding at the scorched Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park, Oct. 2017.
Glacier National Park Conservancy

The National Park Service Thurs released details of an investigation of the fire that burned the Sperry Chalet’s dormitory in Glacier National Park last August.

The review found a windblown ember, or “firebrand,” likely entered the Chalet’s dormitory through a gap where a wooden timber passed through the stone wall in the second story.

Land Deal Ties Interior Secretary's Family, Halliburton Boss

Jun 19, 2018
Ryan Zinke.
(PD)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's family is involved in a land deal in his Montana hometown with the head of an energy services giant that does business with the Interior Department, according to records and interviews Tuesday.

The Zinkes' dealings with Halliburton chairman David Lesar, which were first reported by Politico, raise questions of the appearance of a conflict of interest between Zinke and Halliburton, critics said.

Leaders from the Blackfeet Nation and U.S. Interior Department signed documents Tuesday implementing a $471 million settlement over water rights claims.

Nicky Ouellet

At the top of Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, a giant rotary plow shoots snow 40 feet up into the air before it arcs into a free-falling cascade over the eastern edge of the Continental Divide.

Plow crews hit asphalt along the entire length of Going-To-The-Sun Road Thursday. There’s still no opening date set. Right now, cars are being stopped at the Avalanche Creek parking lot on the West Side and the Jackson Glacier Overlook on the East Side.

Scaffolding at the scorched Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park, Oct. 2017.
Glacier National Park Conservancy

The U.S. Department of Interior Wednesday announced it’s secured $12 million to fund reconstruction of the Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park.

Bull elk
(PD)

This  story was updated May 22, 2018 at 6:00 pm.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is making a push to open up more federal land for people who hunt and fish. On Monday, he announced plans to expand or create new hunting and fishing opportunities on 30 National Wildlife Refuges, including two in Montana.

Trump Proposes Easing Oil, Gas Leasing Restrictions In West

May 2, 2018

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration is proposing to ease restrictions on oil and gas leasing and other activities across a huge swath of the American West that were enacted to protect a declining bird species.

Interior Department officials on Wednesday released a draft of their proposed changes to conservation plans for the greater sage grouse in seven states.

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

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Environmental groups sued the Trump administration on Monday for selling oil and gas leases on huge swaths of Western public lands while allegedly ignoring policies meant to protect an imperiled bird.

Attorneys for Western Watersheds Project and Center for Biological Diversity asked a federal judge in Idaho to reverse lease sales totaling 475 square miles (1,230 square kilometers) in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada.

Watchdog: Zinke Charter Flight Approved Without Full Info

Apr 16, 2018
Former Interior secretary and Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke.
Nicky Ouellet / Montana Public Radio

WASHINGTON (AP) — A $12,000 charter flight by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was reviewed and approved by department ethics officials without complete information, because staffers who helped schedule the trip did not provide sufficient details, an internal watchdog said Monday.

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