Ryan Zinke

Interior Department: Zinke Dismisses Criticism Of Travel, Climate Scientist From Maine Resigns

Oct 5, 2017
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

FOLKSTON, Ga. — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Wednesday strongly defended his use of private charter flights for government business, calling criticism of his taxpayer-financed travel "complete and utter bull----" and driven by politics.

Zinke brushed off news reports that he took at least three private flights costing taxpayers a total of $20,000 since taking office in March, saying all his travel is "legal, ethical. All the trips went through absolute due diligence."

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, arms outstreached, visits the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in June 2017.
Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Supporters of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument are going to have to wait to find out what’s in store for the project that encompasses nearly 88,000 acres.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke talks with reporters with part of Mount Katahdin in the background at the Katahdin Woods And Waters National Monument near Staceyville, Maine, Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
Patrick Whittle / AP Photo

Sometime in the next 24 hours, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is expected to recommend what, if any, changes he thinks should be made to Maine’s Katahdin Woods and

Waters National Monument. Friday marks the one year anniversary since the monument’s designation by President Obama and supporters have a celebration and fundraiser planned. But the party could turn into a strategy session depending on Zinke’s decision.

A commission set up to advise the U.S. secretary of the interior on matters related to management and development of Acadia National Park will be able to meet again in September after being suspended in May. In May, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke suspended all 220 federal advisory boards across the country.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Thursday that supporters of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument would likely be pleased with the recommendation he plans to make to President Trump on the monument's future.  That assessment comes a day after the interior chief got a whirlwind tour of the property that was a little bit like a speed date.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

MEDWAY, Maine - U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is sounding a positive note about the fate of a national monument in Maine that's under review.
 
He said Wednesday that he's comfortable with Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument remaining in "public hands.'' He also praised the forested scenery, calling it "beautiful.''
 
President Donald Trump has ordered the review of more than two dozen national monuments, including the one in Maine.