President Trump announces Ryan Zinke is leaving Interior Department

Posted at 11:37 AM, Dec 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-15 21:57:51-05


WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump announced Saturday morning that Ryan Zinke would step down as Secretary of the Interior at the end of the year.

Zinke, a Navy SEAL veteran from Whitefish, served in the post for almost two years. He was nominated to the post about a month before President Trump took office.

During his time as Interior Secretary, he eased regulations and opened land for exploration by fossil fuel developers as well as worked to address a backlog of maintenance at national parks. He also placed a mining ban on 30,000 acres outside of Yellowstone National Park.

He faced numerous investigations and scrutiny over spending and travel.

In a statement on Twitter, Senator Steve Daines thanked Zinke for “restoring commonsense management of our public lands, fighting to end the war on coal and for making the U.S. energy dominant.”

The Trump administration stated it plans to announce a new Interior Secretary next week.