Chris Saeger

Special interests win with committee vote on Interior appointees

View Interior appointees’ profiles on www.departmentofinfluence.org The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted to advance the nominations of two more special interest political appointees to powerful positions at the Department of the Interior. On a voice vote, the committee confirmed Joe Balash to be Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Land and Minerals Management and Ryan Nelson to be Solicitor […]

Zinke’s national monuments plan a threat to Western communities

Secretary Zinke’s secretive effort hands over thousands of acres of public lands to special interests with no accountability After weeks of secrecy, the results of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s monuments review have been revealed. Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project, released the following statement in response:  These recommendations put at risk our […]

Secretary Zinke’s “sportsmen” announcement obscures historic reductions to protected public lands

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced a proposal to supersede local on the ground land and wildlife managers to distract from his unprecedented secret recommendations to reduce the size of national monuments and protections for public land. Statement of the proposal by Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project: This announcement is […]

Zinke’s glass house

Ryan Zinke collects on rundown rentals in Montana while refusing to pay the bill for his multi-million dollar DC home In case you missed it, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and his wife Lolita have finally agreed to terms with Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral over an Embassy Row home they agreed to lease […]

ICYMI: Interior caught handing over millions to Bernhardt clients

Inspector general’s report shows Bureau of Reclamation improperly gave millions in funds It didn’t take long for David Bernhardt’s record as a lobbyist to catch up with him. Now the Deputy Secretary at the Department of the Interior, Bernhardt left his job at a Washington, D.C. lobbying firm earlier this year to take the post. The Washington Post broke […]

Zinke continues to add lobbyists and DC insiders to Interior

Ahead of potential confirmation votes, check out profiles of Interior nominees at https://departmentofinfluence.org/ The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is expected to vote on the nominations of Joseph Balash and Ryan Nelson to the Interior Department. Ahead of the vote, Western Values Project has taken a look at how the revolving door continues to spin between special interests, their […]

New ad: Secretary Zinke’s sham review puts public lands at risk

Comes after poll shows Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s popularity falling in home state of Montana The Western Values Project (WVP) released a new ad calling Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s review of national monuments a sham and his recommendations to the President a threat to public lands. The ad will run throughout Montana and is the […]

NEW POLL: Zinke’s popularity tanks as Montanans learn about monuments review

Zinke sees 7 point drop in job approval after announcing plans to alter national monuments The Western Values Project released the results of a new poll showing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s popularity falling in his home state of Montana. The survey, conducted just after his recommendation to shrink national monuments was released, shows Zinke with […]

Western Values Project files suit after inspector general abruptly closes investigation

Government investigators close the file on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s threatening phone calls, fail to provide any answers The Western Values Project (WVP) filed suit requesting documents from the Department of the Interior related to threats Secretary Ryan Zinke made to Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan. The suit comes after the Office of […]

Zinke’s Interior considers drilling near Teddy Roosevelt National Park

News comes as embattled Secretary touts mining ban near Yellowstone Park in desperate attempt to restore conservation credentials The Department of Interior today came a step closer to allowing drilling in areas directly adjacent to Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota with an announcement on the consideration of a new oil and gas lease sale. […]

Hard pill to swallow: Zinke falsely claims no cuts to National Park Service staff

Trump/Zinke budget would cut 1,242 full-time employees   While celebrating the 101st birthday of America’s National Park Service (NPS), Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told ABC affiliate WLOS News 13: ‘there wouldn’t be any cuts to staffing, instead, restructuring the way the National Parks Service operates.’ But earlier this year, Secretary Zinke was advocating for a […]

Exactly what “unspecified boundary adjustments” is Zinke proposing?

Today, the Western Values Project filed an expedited Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of the Interior seeking information on the monument review that was submitted to the White House. The Associated Press reported that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is proposing “unspecified boundary adjustments” to a “handful” of monuments, but the Interior Department is refusing […]

Rigged: Deadbeat tenants

Industry loves to complain about regulatory burdens and “red tape” on federal public lands. The reality, however, is that these same companies are systematically exploiting loopholes, subsidies and other special advantages that they enjoy. The system is actually rigged in such a way that allows companies to lease millions of acres of public lands for […]

Three reasons why the Daneros uranium mine is a bad deal for Bears Ears, Utah, and the United States

One of the little-told stories in the debate over the fate of Bears Ears National Monument is the Daneros uranium mine. While the boundaries of Bears Ears were drawn explicitly to allow for the mine’s projected expansion, Daneros opposes the monument. Apparently, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and President Trump are on their side. […]

WVP files lawsuit after DOI fails to release public records on Bears Ears 

Government accountability watchdog Western Values Project (WVP) today filed suit in federal court to force the release of documents from the Obama administration’s deliberations over the Bears Ears National Monument, among others. At President Trump’s direction, the Department of the Interior is considering reversing Bears Ears and other monument declarations, based in part on the […]

Zinke fails to “fight” for a better budget, praises cuts as eliminating “wasteful spending

Today, the Trump administration released a 2018 budget request that would gut funding for agencies that manage and protect our nation’s public lands. The proposal would slash the Interior Department’s budget by nearly 11 percent, or 1.5 billion. When the initial budget proposal was released in March, Secretary Zinke vowed to fight drastic cuts to his […]

Update: News report confirms Secretary Zinke’s sham review of Bears Ears

After Utah Senator Mike Lee declared that Bears Ears monument will be eliminated or “significantly” reduced in size, E&E news is reporting that Zinke told anti-public lands critics that he’ll recommend a full repeal to President Trump. Lawbreaking anti-public land zealot and San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman had this to say: “He [Zinke] said, ‘Well, let […]

WVP statement on Senate’s courage on BLM rule sends a message to special interests

Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project, released the following statement in response to the Senate’s refusal to advance a plan to reject the Bureau of Land Management’s rule to combat wasted natural gas and tax dollars on public lands: “Every Senator who voted against this plan deserves our thanks for standing up […]

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