Breaking! Trophy Hunting U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Resigns From Controversial Position Under Trump Administration

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Photo from @SecretaryZinke via Twitter

No stranger to headline-making news, embattled United States Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has announced that he will be resigning from his position in response to numerous ethics investigations.

The news has many animal welfare and conservation organizations speaking out against the pro-hunting former Montana Senator.

“Secretary Zinke didn’t protect and conserve our nation’s wildlife and our public lands and waters, a fundamental responsibility the Secretary of the Interior owes to all Americans. During his tenure, he issued policies that would allow for extreme hunting practices for bears and wolves in Alaska, negligent killing of migratory birds and oil and gas drilling that threatens imperiled species across the country,” Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife said in a statement. “At every turn, our nation’s outgoing natural resources chief prioritized development over conservation. Zinke has left a legacy of destruction in his wake.”

While Zinke maintains that he will be cleared and has followed all department ethical rules, he tweeted over the weekend that after three decades of public service, “I cannot justify spending thousands of dollars defending myself and my family against false allegations.”

But he can justify the senseless killing of innocent animals or any of the other ways he harmed and threatened wildlife and the environment?

The timing of Zinke’s departure strategically precedes the Democrats taking over the House. They have expressed that they are planning to hold Zinke accountable for controversial administration moves, including lessening protections for endangered species, and expanding off-shore drilling.

Zinke “will go down as the worst Interior secretary in history,” Kieran Suckling, Executive Director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said on the organization’s Facebook page. “His slash-and-burn approach was absolutely destructive for public lands and wildlife.”

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) which has long advocated for Trump to fire Zinke also publicly responded to the news of his resignation.

“Ryan Zinke was wholly unqualified to lead the Department of Interior,” Ana Unruh Cohen, Managing Director of Government Affairs at NRDC, shared in a post on their Facebook pageHe lacks the ethics, integrity, and the dedication to the agency’s core mission to act as a steward for America’s public lands, wildlife, and natural resources.”

As previously reported by WAN, Zinke also caused controversy by appointing hobbyist hunters, including the NRA’s director of hunting policy, to his hypocritically named International Wildlife Conservation Council.

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