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Horse Slaughter Proponent “Dinky” Zinke Caught Raising Political Funds During Taxpayer-Funded Trips

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  1. From Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)

    Diverted to Pick Up Wife, Aunt, and Guests He Classified as “Technical Experts”
    Posted on Oct 04, 2017

    Exorbitant travel by the Interior Secretary is not limited to charter planes but includes seagoing vessels, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). In mid-April, Ryan Zinke diverted a National Park Service (NPS) boat to pick him and family members up for a three-hour island tour featuring a Junior Ranger swearing-in ceremony.
    On April 18th, the NPS boat Ocean Ranger left its Ventura, California port to travel to Santa Barbara Harbor to pick up Zinke, his wife, and aunt to take them and other members of his party to Santa Rosa Island, part of the Channel Islands National Park, and back that same day.
    The party spent more time at sea than on the island, with a three-hour itinerary that consisted largely of photo ops, a tour, lunch, and Zinke swearing in middle school students as Junior Rangers. Notably –
    • Use of the government ship cost taxpayers around $4,000 dollars, including fuel and crew overtime, an estimate that does not include significant time by several NPS staff people;
    • Zinke also brought along two local fishermen whom he classified as “technical experts” though on what issue is unclear. As such, they traveled free; and
    • To pay for his wife and aunt, NPS presented Zinke with a bill for $142, which by mid-June increased to $152 in late fees. The bill appears to have been paid by late June.
    “There is nothing deeply wrong with this ‘grip-and-grin’ tour but it is galling when the Secretary is telling everyone else to tighten their belts,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch who obtained the documents under the Freedom of Information Act after employees complained of the time and expense lost for no discernible purpose. “Taxpayers should not foot the bill for public officials acting as tourists.”
    The records also describe Zinke expressing a desire to open a “working demonstration ranch” on Santa Rosa Island to “highlight the island’s ranching heritage,” quoting a note from the park superintendent. The Zinke tour group also included members of the Vail family which ran a cattle ranch on the island until 1998 and a commercial hunting operation there until 2011.
    The Channel Islands are often called “the Galapagos Islands of North America” due to the unique and wide diversity of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. In recent years, NPS has undertaken a major and costly effort to preserve and protect these native resources, including removal of nonnative plants and animals, recovery of island foxes, and reestablishment of bald eagles.
    “Cattle and imported game animals are not the ‘heritage’ of Santa Rosa but an aberrant moment in its history,” added Ruch, noting a recent Zinke directive to maximize hunting opportunities even on national park lands. “Our major concern is that Ryan Zinke wants to turn this ecological jewel back into a game preserve.”


  2. Why can’t we ever get a decent Interior Secretary? And the previous administration’s (environmentally clueless and not a priority) choices were poor too – Ken Salazar, and Sally Jewell, who really did nothing but be a placeholder, and a politically correct choice as a woman. She and the administration set the scene for what’s happening now by doing nothing for the horses, not listing animals for protection who desperately need it such as the sage grouse and wolverine, despite the NAS report she said she was waiting for. Even signing a bill that allows guns in the National Parks!


  3. pls on top of being illegal..this is a pic of him eating FILLY steak. poor horses cant get a break. he has to go NOW..right now. he is sick in the head and he is not listening to us and he wont. pls protest and sh this pls call dc and demand the safe act from criminals who are taking them to extinction. ideas? supreme court. facts needed. pls do all u can its not just horses extinction its all wildlife and yr land. he is eating fillys!

    Horse Slaughter Proponent “Dinky” Zinke Caught Raising Political Funds During Taxpayer-Funded Trips
    By Lorraine Chow as published on EcoWatch…


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