Local rancher shares conservation concerns in Zinke leadership - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Local rancher shares conservation concerns in Zinke leadership

Posted: Updated:

As Congressman Ryan Zinke shares his goals before the U.S. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, one local conservationist and Montana rancher worries Zinke's priorities as the potential Secretary of the Interior may actually be harmful to our state and its taxpayers.

Mark Fix is a longtime member and former chair of the Northern Plains Resource Council, but he's also got his hands in the dirt as a rancher in rural Montana.

"I have BLM land, state land, private land, and there's lot of minerals under that land," Fix said.

Fix also knows a thing or two about how coal operations affect neighboring lands.

"I irrigate out of the Tongue River, and salty water from coal plants nearby can harm the land and soil."

Fix's experience prompted the rancher to write an editorial addressed to Congressman Zinke, in which Fix highlights his conservation concerns in Zinke leadership.

"He's done things that have been kind of more towards helping the coal company and maybe not paying attention to all the taxpayers and the water."

Fix said Zinke showed more support towards coal companies than taxpayers during his last term in Congress when Zinke introduced legislation reinstating loyalty loopholes allowing energy companies to sell publicly-owned coal to themselves.

When addressing concerns over water conservation, Fix said the Congressman is a vocal opponent of the Stream Protection Rule, a reform to the federal strip mine law the rancher said would protect neighboring landowners and their water from the impacts of mining.

Fix also writes the following statement:

"If he is to succeed as Secretary of Interior, he will need to learn to represent the interest of all Americans, not just coal companies. As the top public custodian of our country's natural resources and public lands, he will need to understand the value that Americans put on the fair and wise management of public lands and public resources."  -Mark Fix, Northern Plains Resource Council

Fix said, ultimately, Secretaries of the Interior are called to be public stewards.

"I wish Congressman Zinke well in his potential new role," Fix added. "I hope he will make stewardship his highest priority - stewardship of land, air, water, taxpayers, and the sovereign treaty rights of the American Indians."

More from Congressman Ryan Zinke, including Tuesday's confirmation before the U.S. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, can be found on kulr8.com.

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • City of Laurel investigating SRO after reports of sexual contact with student

    City of Laurel investigating SRO after reports of sexual contact with student

    Monday, October 15 2018 9:15 PM EDT2018-10-16 01:15:27 GMT

    A Laurel school resource officer has been placed on administrative leave after allegations of sexual contact with a student.  

    A Laurel school resource officer has been placed on administrative leave after allegations of sexual contact with a student.  

  • Eastern Montana deputy charged with sexual abuse of child

    Eastern Montana deputy charged with sexual abuse of child

    Monday, October 15 2018 6:58 PM EDT2018-10-15 22:58:39 GMT

    An eastern Montana sheriff's deputy, who had been running for sheriff, faces a charge of sexual abuse of a child.

    An eastern Montana sheriff's deputy, who had been running for sheriff, faces a charge of sexual abuse of a child.

  • Idaho wildlife official kills baboon family, shares photos

    Idaho wildlife official kills baboon family, shares photos

    Saturday, October 13 2018 1:43 PM EDT2018-10-13 17:43:30 GMT

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The judgment of an Idaho Fish and Game Commission member is being questioned after he shared photos of himself posing with a family of baboons, including young baboons, he killed while hunting in Africa.    Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter spokesman Jon Hanian tells The Idaho Statesman in a story on Friday that the governor's office is looking into the matter involving Commissioner Blake Fischer.

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The judgment of an Idaho Fish and Game Commission member is being questioned after he shared photos of himself posing with a family of baboons, including young baboons, he killed while hunting in Africa.    Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter spokesman Jon Hanian tells The Idaho Statesman in a story on Friday that the governor's office is looking into the matter involving Commissioner Blake Fischer.

  • Idaho man shares story of Grizzly attack while bow hunting in Montana

    Idaho man shares story of Grizzly attack while bow hunting in Montana

    Sunday, October 14 2018 12:16 PM EDT2018-10-14 16:16:12 GMT
    Bob Legasa Facebook Page Public PostingBob Legasa Facebook Page Public Posting
    Bob Legasa Facebook Page Public PostingBob Legasa Facebook Page Public Posting

    A Facebook post by Bob Legasa of Idaho is going viral after he survived a grizzly attack while bow hunting in Montana. 

    A Facebook post by Bob Legasa of Idaho is going viral after he survived a grizzly attack while bow hunting in Montana. 

  • Jeff Bridges visiting Bozeman to support Sen. Jon Tester

    Jeff Bridges visiting Bozeman to support Sen. Jon Tester

    Monday, October 15 2018 1:35 PM EDT2018-10-15 17:35:24 GMT

    BOZEMAN - Actor Jeff Bridges is appearing at a meet and greet in Montana to support Sen. Jon Tester's reelection campaign. 

    BOZEMAN - Actor Jeff Bridges is appearing at a meet and greet in Montana to support Sen. Jon Tester's reelection campaign. 

  • Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner resigns amid graphic baboon hunting photo controversy

    Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner resigns amid graphic baboon hunting photo controversy

    Monday, October 15 2018 6:29 PM EDT2018-10-15 22:29:39 GMT

    BOISE, Idaho - Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer has resigned, effective immediately, after photos involving a dead baboon family surfaced from an African hunting trip. Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter announced Monday afternoon that he asked for and received the resignation from Fischer, who was under intense criticism for the graphic photos from last month.

    BOISE, Idaho - Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer has resigned, effective immediately, after photos involving a dead baboon family surfaced from an African hunting trip. Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter announced Monday afternoon that he asked for and received the resignation from Fischer, who was under intense criticism for the graphic photos from last month.

  • President Trump coming to Missoula

    President Trump coming to Missoula

    Saturday, October 13 2018 10:27 PM EDT2018-10-14 02:27:02 GMT

    Details on President Donald Trump's third visit to Montana have been released.

    Details on President Donald Trump's third visit to Montana have been released.

  • Body found in Missouri River

    Body found in Missouri River

    Saturday, October 13 2018 12:43 PM EDT2018-10-13 16:43:59 GMT
    Monday, October 15 2018 2:00 PM EDT2018-10-15 18:00:18 GMT

    A body has been located in the Missouri River in Great Falls near Electric City Water Park.

    We have a crew on the scene and will update with additional information as we can get it.

    Please avoid the area to allow law enforcement to do their work.

    A body has been located in the Missouri River in Great Falls near Electric City Water Park.

    We have a crew on the scene and will update with additional information as we can get it.

    Please avoid the area to allow law enforcement to do their work.