Ahead of Trump’s Utah visit, Interior Secretary’s “monumental embarrassment” in the spotlight

Today, Western Values Project launched a new ad that is airing in Washington, D.C. and Utah that calls Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke an embarrassment and encourages President Trump to reject his recommendations to shrink national monuments. The ad, titled “One,” is part of a six-figure media buy and comes ahead of President Trump’s expected trip to Utah on Monday to announce a drastic reduction of both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

View the TV ad here.

Sage grouse deadline:

Meanwhile, today is the last day for the public to comment on the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed changes to sage grouse management plan in 11 states. WVP filed for an extension of the public comment period after the Department of the  Interior neglected to provide public documents related to the decision. But it’s no surprise they are keeping files secret as we already know 13 of the 15 proposed changes were drafted by oil and gas lobbyists.

Zinke Accountability Roundup:

Despite the multiple ongoing investigations into the Interior Secretary’s penchant for private planes and mixing political and department work, President Trump is considering accepting his recommendations to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante during his upcoming visit to Utah. Meanwhile, Trump and Zinke are still at odds over the decision to allow elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Trivia: Which member of the Department of Interior has been called “100 percent a corporation man?”

a)    James Cason, Associate Deputy Secretary of the Interior

b)    Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior

c)     David Bernhardt, Deputy Secretary of the Interior

d)    All the above

Answer: James Cason! Currently the associate deputy secretary of the Interior, Cason has spent his entire career going back and forth between the government-industry revolving door. Check out more on his ties to the coal lobby, the oil and gas lobby, and the timber lobby here.

Join the effort to strengthen the American West.