EDITORIAL: Interior split may benefit Montana

Print Article

Seems like since Ryan Zinke has been the head of the U.S. Interior Department, there has been no shortage of news.

Unlike some of the headlines coming out of the department, we hope the one announcing a proposed reorganization of how public lands are administered does not prove controversial.

Currently, the Cabinet department, which includes the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is divided into eight regions whose boundaries correspond to state lines. Montana falls into the Denver region.

Zinke has proposed looking at “reshaping our current bureau-based system of management, and moving to a system based on ecosystems, watersheds and science, rather than the current state or regional boundaries.”

Of course, as anyone who knows our state could tell you, that would result in a logical division that would mostly parallel the Continental Divide.

Glacier National Park, the Blackfeet reservation, and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai reservation would fall within Region Eight, which encompasses most of Idaho and parts of Eastern Oregon and Washington.

Montana east of the divide would fall into Region Five, a vast territory covering most of the Great Plains and corresponding to the Missouri River Basin. A great deal of the federal land in that region falls under the aegis of the Bureau of Land Management.

Interior press secretary Heather Swift told the Inter Lake that “there is no final plan for reorganization,” and that a meeting about the topic “was an internal brainstorming session with career officials to talk about options and ideas.”

Well, that’s understandable. This is the federal government, after all, and no one expects change to happen at faster than glacial speed. But we do think this proposal has the potential to actually improve services and accountability, so it’s one to keep an eye on.

Print Article

Read More Editorial

Good programs needs reliable funding

July 15, 2018 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake The afterschool programs in Bigfork, Deer Park, Kila and Marion learned a hard lesson recently when they found out they had lost the federal grant money that had allowed the programs to operate for t...

Comments

Read More

Hospital needs a new approach

July 08, 2018 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake It was just two weeks ago when the Inter Lake published an editorial calling for greater financial transparency at Kalispell Regional Healthcare. That conclusion followed revelations that the hospit...

Comments

Read More

Court’s union ruling is common sense

July 01, 2018 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Public-sector unions were dealt a serious blow by the Supreme Court last week when the justices ruled in a 5-4 decision that government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions that repr...

Comments

Read More

Middle-schoolers make a difference

June 29, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Daily Inter Lake We’re beyond impressed with the three sixth-grade girls at Kalispell Middle School who developed an app — a computer application that can be downloaded to mobile devices — aimed at preventing suicide...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2018 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X