Zinke spares 17,300 acres of his home state's land from oil, gas drilling

On Monday, the Bureau of Land Management, which is part of Ryan Zinke’s Interior Department, removed 17,300 acres of Montana land from the threat of an impending oil and gas lease auction. During his first year as Interior Secretary, Zinke has handed over unprecedented chunks of public land across the country to the oil and gas industry, but residents of his home state argued that drilling on these 26 leasing areas could harm the Yellowstone River and other environmentally sensitive areas. Though he has ignored similar objections in other states, he apparently decided to listen to his former neighbors. “Secretary Zinke is once again treating America’s public lands like contestants on a reality show, handing out roses to the places he chooses to save while casting the rest aside,” said Jesse Prentice-Dunn, advocacy director for the Center for Western Priorities.

Related Content