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.
Secretary of the Interior @RyanZinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years. Ryan has accomplished much during his tenure and I want to thank him for his service to our Nation…….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2018