Friday, October 19, 2018

RESIST: Zinke Edition (Updated Repost)

Original post from April (and originally appearing February 2018 in the final issue of The Ester Republic) this probably seals my fate as a forever former interpretive ranger. Can't say I wasn't warned, what with the vindictive vengeance of this openly corrupt administration. It's especially poignant what with the current politicization (and privitization) of previously apolitical positions in public service, particularly our public lands

On a technical note, render animals extending their middle fingers can be a challenge, especially when such ungulates & passeriformes lack the requisite digits to begin with. But this is why we draw to begin with. And nevertheless, they still get the point across…

Mighty appreciative of my editor for the placeholder: she emailed my plea for an extension on the deadline with this: “No way will I go to press without that cartoon!”


Also this particular panel incidentally illustrates the artistic trinity of exposure: in print + on web + on the wall (bonus in appearing in both the infamous annual retrospective and scoring an honorable mention at the Fairbanks Arts Association's annual juried exhibition (appropriately enough themed "Whimsy").

Add to all of that the sale of the original watercolored piece and you have a good run. Now all that's left is to personally deliver a signed copy to his office in the downtown Federal Building (suitable for framing).

Now as a break from the usual accompanying rant, I'm foregoing any annotated breakdown of citations in favor of simply reposting excerpts + direct links. To be honest, it's just basic goddamned outrage fatigue at this point: not being lazy - just can't keep up with the inexorable deluge of daily aberrations that make up this burgeoning backstory. It's only a partial snapshot of the spread of this systemic rot: virtually every agency head installed by the current administration has compromised the integrity of the United States by demonstrated astonishing degrees of hypocritical corruption, incompetence and/or a vested interest in undermining the very same agendas their departments are tasked with upholding and entrusted with defending in the public interest. Notwithstanding efforts at resistance, familiar examples are Education (DeVos), the FCC (Pai), the USDA (Clovis), Labor (Acosta), Justice (Sessions), Housing (Patton), Urban Development (Carson), and many, many more at every level of “governance” and “leadership.” And don’t even get me started on the E.P.A. (Pruitt).

So without any further ado, here's a running master list... so far...

(after the jump)


• “To attempt to link Lee’s achievements for the Confederacy which embraced White Supremacy to that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is not a slight oversight but a huge historical misappropriation that the descendants of enslaved Africans cannot accept or tolerate” (link)

• “The Justice Department is investigating Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for possibly using his office for personal gain, following a referral from Interior's inspector general, two sources familiar with the investigation say.” (link)

• "At last count, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was the subject of 14 separate government investigations. (A new record!) But that number could soon be zero. That’s because Zinke just fired the Department of the Interior’s acting inspector general." (link)
• “He’s not just a mouthpiece of the secretary. He’s the guy doing the dirty work.” (link)

• “The park service plans to close 20 feet of the 25-foot-wide White House sidewalk, limiting demonstrators to a 5-foot sliver along Pennsylvania Avenue. This is perhaps the most iconic public forum in America, allowing “We the People” to express our views directly to the chief executive, going back at least to the women’s suffrage movement 100 years ago.” (link)

• “The National Park Service proposed 14 changes to how they handle and define First Amendment protests. One of those proposals would put limits on spontaneous demonstrations, close 80 percent of the sidewalk in front of the White House and require protest organizers to reimburse the agency for the security and support it provides.” (link) (link)

• “The Interior Department took six months to respond to investigators probing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s apparent effort to bully Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) into supporting Obamacare repeal last year, and ultimately skirted their questions.” (link)

• “It’s a hell of a way to be treated at the end of four decades spent trying to do my best for the Park Service and places like Yellowstone but that’s how these guys are,” Wenk said, referring to Zinke’s Interior Department. “Throughout my career, I’ve not encountered anything like this, ever.” (link) (link)

• Trump Interior Department lifting rules to protect against another Deepwater Horizon: “As it has with so many regulations aimed at protecting worker safety or the environment, Trump’s team of swamp-dwelling lobbyists have concluded that the safety rules “created potentially unduly burdensome requirements.” (link)

• West Coast military installations eyed for US fuel exports: “Zinke said the administration was interested in partnering with private entities in the use of federal facilities designated to help handle exports and cautioned that the idea is still in its early stages. He specified only one site, for natural gas: the former Adak Naval Air Facility in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, which he suggested could receive fuel by barge from the North Slope. The base closed in 1997 and has been largely abandoned. Roughly 300 people live in the town of Adak, the westernmost community in the U.S.” (link)

• “Trump's Interior Secretary is now blacking out nearly all details of his calendar” (link) (link)

• Update:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is moving to reverse Obama-era rules barring hunters on some public lands in Alaska from baiting brown bears with bacon and doughnuts and using spotlights to shoot mother black bears and cubs hibernating in their dens. The National Park Service issued a notice Monday of its intent to amend regulations for sport hunting and trapping in national preserves to bring the federal rules in line with Alaska state law. Expanding hunting rights on federal lands has been a priority for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Under the proposed changes, hunters would also be allowed to hunt black bears with dogs, kill wolves and pups in their dens, and use motor boats to shoot swimming caribou.
• Update: "What I personally find ironic about this is that they can’t seem to find the time to perform the basic functions of government, such as nominating the director of the National Park Service after not having one for a year and a half,” said Hellmann, who sits on the executive council of the Coalition to Protect America’s Parks. “Yet they seem to find the time to enjoy all the perks that come with the office.” - The Washington Post - A perk for friends of the Zinkes: Guided tours through National Park Service sites

• Update: Classic bait & switch from a guy who doesn't even know how to wear the uniform:
"New joint op-ed touts legislation that would fund national parks' infrastructure repairs with leases for oil and gas drilling" (link)

• Update: "A critical provision of the Endangered Species Act is now under fire, showing that the U.S. Department of the Interior is no more immune to reckless ideas than other federal agencies have been as of late. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has asked the White House Office of Management and Budget to remove a long-standing regulation that provides default protection to threatened species." (link)

• Leaked Proposal Shows Trump Administration Planning to Kill Crucial Protections for Threatened Animals “This will certainly be a disaster.” (link)

• “This apparent discrimination is just wrong, and I am disturbed by reports that you have said repeatedly that you believe diversity isn’t important in the Interior Department.” (link)

• Egged on by industry lobbyists, Interior Dept. weakens bird protections (link)

• "When federal officials visited Alaska this month, they made it clear through their actions that they will disregard the voices and human rights of the Gwich’in people in favor of industry and politicians." (link)

• Interior Department Spokeswoman Calls CNN Reporter ‘A F**king Idiot’ For Doing Her Job: Correspondent RenĂ© Marsh had asked several questions about Zinke’s travel — now the focus of two investigation. (link)

• Two senior Trump administration officials were once registered as lobbyists for an investment company controlled by a Soviet-born industrialist who made billions doing business with newly sanctioned Russian oligarchs. [_] David Bernhardt is the No. 2 official in Trump’s Department of the Interior. (link)

• "But Zinke often seems caught in a time warp, waxing nostalgic to a time when mining, logging, and drilling on federal land outside town fueled local economies." (link)

• National Park Service officials have deleted every mention of humans’ role in causing climate change in drafts of a long-awaited report on sea level rise and storm surge, contradicting Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s vow to Congress that his department is not censoring science. (link)

• Making public lands white again: Ryan Zinke’s special brand of environmental racism (link)

• Three high-ranking Interior officials from three different divisions said that Zinke has made several comments with a similar theme, saying "diversity isn't important," or "I don't care about diversity," or "I don't really think that's important anymore." (link)

• Ex-Interior Chief Sally Jewell: I Didn’t Even Know I Had A Special Flag (link)

• The Fix Was In: Emails show Zinke staff focused on potential for drilling and mining in national monuments (link)

• Interior Secretary Zinke blames proposal to raise national park fees on discounts for veterans and the disabled (link)

• Interior Department plans to move thousands of workers in its biggest reorganization ever (link)

• US Interior Department blasts resigning National Parks board members (link)

• Zinke Pushes Majority Of National Park Service Advisory Panel To Resign: Nine members of the citizen board are reportedly leaving because the Interior secretary has refused meetings and discussions. (link)

• Ryan Zinke spent his first year in office selling off rights to our public lands: The Interior secretary is taking extraordinary steps to put public lands in private hands (link)

• “In their own words: Interior Department admits it’s helping oil and gas companies at the expense of taxpayers, clean air. After the Senate voted against killing methane safeguards, Secretary Ryan Zinke vows to finish the job” (link)

• “Interior Secretary Zinke held private meeting with executives of a company he still owns shares in” (link)

• Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Held Onto Undisclosed Shares In Gun Company: It’s unclear exactly how much Zinke’s shares in PROOF Research Inc. are worth, but his relationship to the Montana company raises questions of access. (link)

• Trump's Interior Secretary Claimed Wind Power Leads to Global Warming. (link)

• CREW explained the requested records likely will shed light on the extent to which Secretary Zinke has used government funds for travel and the justification for that use at a time of expected deep cuts to the federal budget. (link)

• These 16 Major Environmental Protections Were Cut in 2017: The Trump administration had a very busy year attacking nature. (link)

• Interior Department Spent $138,670 On A Door For Zinke’s Office: The office features a slew of taxidermied animals and a knife collection. (link)

• 2 scientists have left the Interior Department after Zinke demanded confidential data on NPR-A (link)

• Nine of the 12 board members quit Monday night, citing Zinke’s refusal to convene the citizen advisory panel or discuss matters with it since he came into office last March. (link) (link) (link)

• The U.S. Interior Department on Wednesday said it welcomed the mass resignation of members of the National Parks Service advisory board, saying they had ignored sexual harassment cases and lied about how they were treated by the Trump administration. (link)

• “They politicized the good work of citizen volunteers who represent both a broad political spectrum and a broad background and expertise,” Long said. Long added that she was “shocked” to see the Interior Department put out such a “slanderous” statement. “I think that the degrading style of the response and the dishonesty of the response is quite unsettling just from a point of view of an American citizen,” she said. (link)

• Secretary Zinke Gets Caught Raiding Wildfire Funds for Expensive Travel (link) (link)

• “Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, said in a statement that the draft infrastructure plan is the latest example of Zinke saying one thing and doing another.” (link)

• “WC hopes you didn’t think that Secretary Zinke had awoken one morning and discovered he was a conservationist. Instead, he instituted a land swap that conveyed the land for the King Cove road to the Village, in exchange for village land elsewhere. It’s an end run around the law.” (link)

• “The proposed infrastructure plan would give the secretary of interior broad authority to issue right-of-way approvals for natural gas pipelines that cross National Park Service-owned land.” (link)

• Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke defended his surprise decision to exempt Florida waters from the Trump administration's push for new offshore drilling, saying in an exclusive interview with CNN that the state's coastline is unique. "The coastal currents are different, the layout of where the geology is," Zinke said Sunday. (link)

• “The emperor of the outdoors rode into town on a horse named Tonto, and soon demanded that his own special flag fly outside his headquarters whenever he was in Washington. He believes fracking is proof that “God loves us” and, despite being from Montana, doesn’t know how to properly set up his fly line when fishing in front of the cameras.” Timothy Egan, NYT Opinion (link)

• “Still, Zinke manages to stand out for the damage he is doing. Essential to protecting wilderness is that there be places wild enough to merit protection.” Slash & Burn: The Damage Done by Trump’s Department of the Interior - Under Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of the Interior, it’s a sell-off from sea to shining sea. - Elizabeth Kolbert (link)

• “…the proposed route would jeopardize important migratory bird habitat and set a bad precedent by revoking wilderness protections.” King Cove and feds sign deal to advance proposed road through wildlife refuge - Nathaniel Herz (link)

• Zinke has denied that mining interests played a role in his recommendation to reduce the size of the monument. But Energy Fuels happens to own a third of the uranium claims within the original Bears Ears designation, The Times reported. (link)

• In this Jan. 10 letter, a bipartisan group of former Interior officials who worked at the department over the last half-century question Secretary Zinke's new policy on killing birds. (link)

• The U.S. Interior Department will now funnel certain grants through a political screening intended to ensure the federal dollars "better align" with the administration's "priorities," according to a newly revealed memo. (link) (link)

• "This would be from moving people, giving up leases before maturity, potential severance costs, and substantial disruption to productivity," [...] "Just trying to look at a map and saying we're going to take Interior and organize it this way may be inconsistent with the mission of Interior." (link)

• The Interior Department Has Cleared the Way for Energy Developers to Destroy Natural Habitats (link)

• Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has proposed a sweeping new offshore drilling plan aimed at opening huge swaths of the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific oceans to oil exploration as part of the Trump administration’s plan to transform the United States into a fossil fuel juggernaut. (link)

• Official who improperly helped Redskins owner cut down trees picked as National Park Service deputy director (link)

• Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke refuses to provide documentation in taxpayer funded travel investigation: inspector (link)


• Trump’s interior secretary seems to be a nexus between shady government deals, private spies and white supremacists (link) (link) (link)

• Interior secretary: 30 percent of employees “not loyal to the flag”: Zinke echoes Red Scare-era McCarthyism while telling the oil industry that he’s working for them (link) (link) (link) (link)

• Freedom Means Shooting Bear Cubs While They're Hibernating [Eagle caw]: Under the bill, the National Park Service would be prevented from regulating the hunting of bears and wolves in Alaska wildlife preserves, including the practice of killing bear cubs in their dens. It also would be prevented from regulating commercial and recreational fishing within park boundaries and from commenting on development projects outside park boundaries that could affect the parks. (link)

• David O’Neill, chief conservation officer at the Audubon Society, called the Migratory Bird Treaty Act “one of the most important conservation laws” on the books. “Christmas came early for bird killers,” he said in a statement. “By acting to end industries’ responsibility to avoid millions of gruesome bird deaths per year, the White House is parting ways with more than 100 years of conservation legacy.” (link)

• Just before Christmas, the Interior Department quietly rescinded an array of policies designed to elevate climate change and conservation in decisions on managing public lands, waters, and wildlife. Order 3360, signed by Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt, explains that the policies were rescinded because they were “potential burdens” to energy development. (link)

• National Park Service officials have deleted every mention of humans’ role in causing climate change in drafts of a long-awaited report on sea-level rise and storm surge, contradicting Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s vow to Congress that his department is not censoring science. (link)

• Zinke stacks the deck on outdoor recreation committee: The private company that trademarked “Yosemite National Park?” Yep, they’re included. (link)

Special shout-out to Patagonia for taking an ethical stand against the Department of the Interior. Every single retailer and business that profits from the outdoors should take such a stand, as they have a vested interest in marketing off the image of wilderness and the outdoors.

• “That’s why I call this administration evil. They know what they’re doing, and they’re doing it to make more money.” (link)

• The Patagonia founder didn’t mince words in his letter to the House of Representatives. (link)

• Brands are aware that in a hyper-partisan climate, it can be conspicuous not to weigh in on heated debates. (link)

• WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and House Republicans have escalated their feud with Patagonia after the outdoor retailer told Americans that President Donald Trump “stole your land” in his move to shrink two sprawling Utah national monuments. (link)

In closing, here's Edward Abbey & Robert Crumb @ Arches National Park, Utah 1985, on the release of an illustrated anniversary edition of “The Monkey Wrench Gang.”

Resist. Even the smallest thing adds up.

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