I wrote to Ryan Zinke to congratulate him on his many successes in life, especially the latest pending appointment and congressional acceptance as the new secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior ... which includes eight different resource agencies, excluding only the Forest Service (which is under the Department of Agriculture). Zinke will rule it all. He will be in charge of everything of interest to me in my world. He wrote back thanking me.
The reason I wrote to Ryan (we have met a couple of times) is that while I admire his getting this latest position, I had to remind him that I am an independent, progressive, environmentalist and I fight like hell on behalf of wildlife and wilderness (public land stewardship) and global warming issues as my current life’s missions. That means upholding the Endangered Species Act, and especially preventing the delisting and subsequent hunting of grizzly bears, among many other species too long to list here, and stopping the mining of Montana “dirty” coal and never developing the Keystone XL pipeline (atmospheric heating and trapping greenhouse gases), et al. I work all these issues pro bono, and plan on holding Ryan’s feet to the fire to accomplish my missions. Humans should be merely observers in wildlife’s forest domain.
Understandably, Zinke has no jurisdiction over the Forest Service to protect wildlife habitat from excessive logging (trees capture carbon dioxide and, in return, release oxygen), recreational motorized (adding carbon dioxide into the atmosphere due to fossil fuel combustion) and mechanized vehicle access, and hunting and trapping in that habitat, but he does have influence and persuasiveness using his considerable public speaking skills and charisma with them.
I ask that Zinke rise up to the occasion to be great and oppose President Donald Trump (yuck!), with his habitual, ideological, pathological lies to suppress scientific inputs based on research and innovation, and that Ryan do us all proud on behalf of the animals that do not get to vote nor come to the bargaining table nor have representation on his staff. They very much deserve to live in peace with us and survive life on Earth. After all, wildlife and plant life are part of Mother Nature’s ecosystem, but not humans.
Someday, Ryan Zinke will complete his mission with Interior and then take his next step and run for the U.S. Senate, or even possibly president of the United States. He will need to plan far ahead and pre-establish the support of many more Americans than merely conservative and Tea Party and Trump Republican capitalists. He will also need the support of independents, and moderate Teddy Roosevelt Republicans, and conservative and liberal and progressive Democrats, and Democratic Party split-offs known as environmentalists. It will take Ryan considerable thought, insight, and a “gut feeling” for the land and the animals and ecological environment we must live in on this only inhabitable planet we know of: Earth. Is Ryan Zinke up to the challenge of it? He is our only chance.
Bill Baum is a resident of Martin City.