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In Sequoia Visit Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Pledges Park Support

Ezra David Romero
Valley Public Radio
U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke visited Kings Canyon National Park Friday April 14, 2017.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is defending the Trump administration’s policies on public land. The secretary took his message Friday to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.  

Zinke says he came out west to reaffirm his commitment to federally managed lands, including national parks. He spoke with reporters at an event in Kings Canyon National Park, a day after meeting with California Governor Jerry Brown, one of the president’s harshest critics.

"President Trump's a good boss. He doesn't micromanage. He gives me a call once a week and asks me how I'm doing. And up front I am not a sell or transfer public land. We need to be stewards of it," - Ryan Zinke

“Up front I am not a sell or transfer public land," Zinke says. "We need to look at the managing of it and that’s what I’m doing here going out on the front line."

President Trump’s budget calls for a one-and-a half billion dollar cut to the park system’s funding, and the president has faced criticism for talk of loosening rules on the use of public land.

“President Trump’s a good boss," Zinke says. "He doesn’t micromanage. He gives me a call once a week and asks me how I’m doing. And up front I am not a sell or transfer public land. We need to be stewards of it.”

Zinke also says he’d like the department to focus on finding a remedy for the massive tree die off brought on by drought and bark beetles.

“Nobody wants catastrophic forest fires," Zinke says. "We got to make sure that we have a program that looks at our dead and dying trees and restores the health of our forests.”

According to Zinke, the administration plans to reorganize resources from operations in Washington DC to the parks themselves.  He also says even if there’s a government shutdown under the President’s budget resolution later this month, parks like Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon won’t stop operating.

Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of Valley Public Radio. During his tenure, he's helped lead the station through major programming changes and the COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining the station's financial health. From 2010-2018 he served as the station's Director of Program Content. In that role, he also served as the host of Valley Edition, and helped launch and grow the station's award-winning local news department. He is a Fresno native and a graduate of California State University, Fresno.
Ezra David Romero is an award-winning radio reporter and producer. His stories have run on Morning Edition, Morning Edition Saturday, Morning Edition Sunday, All Things Considered, Here & Now, The Salt, Latino USA, KQED, KALW, Harvest Public Radio, etc.
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