President-Elect Donald Trump has officially announced Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) as his nominee for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI). During his time in Congress, Zinke has addressed various DOI issues regarding federal mineral leases, public land conservation, tribal law enforcement needs, Indian water settlements and other matters of importance to Indian Country.
"I will work tirelessly to ensure our public lands are managed and preserved in a way that benefits everyone for generations to come," Zinke said in a news release from the Trump Transition office on Dec. 15, 2016. "Most important, our sovereign Indian Nations and territories must have the respect and freedom they deserve."
During the 114th Congress, Zinke introduced and advanced legislation to extend and improve the Indian coal production tax credit, authorized a water settlement for Blackfeet Tribe and re-established the Royalty Policy Committee to further a more consultative process with key federal, state, tribal, environmental and energy stakeholders. Zinke also helped introduce a resolution to designate May 5, 2017, as a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.