Zinke lauds Utah in speech at rodeo; officials try to lure BLM headquarters to the state

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks during the Western Conservation and Hunting Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 9, 2018 | Associated Press file photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke lauded Mormon pioneers in a speech Tuesday at a rodeo in Utah where state leaders hope he’ll relocate the nation’s largest land management agency.

Zinke didn’t make any announcement about the future of the Bureau of Land Management, but the visit was another chance to tout Utah’s central location close to vast tracts the agency oversees in several Western states.

Zinke, the former Montana congressman who oversees the bureau, is considering moving its headquarters from Washington D.C., to the West. A decision could be made in the next six to eight months.

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert had a “good discussion” pitching Utah to Zinke, his Deputy Chief of Staff Paul Edwards said Tuesday.

Other states such as Colorado are also trying to lure the headquarters, he said.

Conservative Utah leaders have long chafed under the agency’s management of some 23 million acres of public land in the state and called for it to come under state control instead, but Edwards said that moving the agency headquarters West would be a step toward addressing their concerns.

The bureau manages nearly 388,000 square miles nationwide, and 99 percent is in 12 Western states.

While other Western leaders agree the headquarters should be closer to the land it manages, bureau veterans say the agency needs a presence in Washington, D.C.

Zinke’s short Utah speech recognized Pioneer Day, a state holiday that recognizes the arrival of Mormon pioneers who trekked across the country in search of religious freedom.

“Today we have a man in the White House that respects religious freedom, and that man is Donald J. Trump,” Zinke said. The crowd at the Days of ’47 Rodeo cheered in response.

He read a proclamation from the president recognizing the accomplishments of settlers with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who “worked tirelessly to transform the arid desert landscape into a blossoming new home.”

Read more: Trump, Hatch pay tribute to Utah settlers on Pioneer Day

Zinke then mounted a chestnut quarter horse named Cowboy and rode around the arena, waving to the crowd with fringed white gloves.

He was not available for questions from reporters Tuesday.

He spoke hours after a closed appearance in New Mexico at a conference of state attorneys general that was met by protests from environmental and native activists.

Though Trump foundered somewhat in Utah as voters balked at his brash style, many state officials cheered his move to downsize two national monuments last year. The decision was decried by Native American tribes and environmentalists.

Written by LINDSAY WHITEHURST, Associated Press.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • Scott July 25, 2018 at 9:02 am

    What’s amazing is that people buy into his propaganda

  • PogoStik July 25, 2018 at 10:44 am

    “Kool-Aid, Kool-Aid. Real Great. We drank Kool-Aid. Can’t Wait…” until Haliburton digs up, profits, and destroys our beautiful Color Country landscape. We don’t need “no steenkin” artifacts, sacred lands, and beautiful natural areas to hike and camp in! I say let our kids suck it up and play in the coal mine tailing piles of dirt wondering what the heck happened here.

  • Chuck July 25, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    People here with TDS too, sad.

    • PogoStik July 25, 2018 at 3:46 pm

      Explain TDS, Chuck. Never heard of it.

  • John July 25, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    The country is in the throes of a major epidemic, with no known cure and some pretty scary symptoms. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome, or TDS, and it’s rapidly spreading from the point of origin – the political class – to the population at large.

    In the first stage of the disease, victims lose all sense of proportion. The president-elect’s every tweet provokes a firestorm, as if 140 characters were all it took to change the world.

    Trump set up a single phone call with Taiwan’s president, and suddenly TDS patients were insisting that our “One China” policy was no more. But the reality is that telephonic communication isn’t the same thing as official diplomatic recognition. Besides, in their eagerness to highlight Trump’s alleged recklessness, the president-elect’s critics misunderstand our policy. “One China” means that we don’t recognize Taiwan as a sovereign country or China’s sovereignty over Taiwan. We’ve never considered Taiwan a mere province, and the Taiwan Relations Act obligates us to defend the island against attack.
    As TDS progresses, the afflicted lose the ability to distinguish fantasy from reality. Despite Trump’s expressed desire to “work something out” for the so-called Dreamers – those brought here as very young children – Trump’s critics continue to harp on this issue. Immigration advocate Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, who has a very bad case of TDS, inadvertently revealed this mind set when he said: “Before anyone falls into the trap of believing that Trump is ‘softening’ on immigration, they should remember that we’ve seen this movie before.”
    In the advanced stages of the disease, the afflicted lose touch with reality. Opinion is unmoored from fact. Life resembles a dark fairy tale in which the villain – Trump – is an amalgam of all the worst tyrants in history, past and present, while the heroes –Trump’s critics – are akin to the resistance fighters of World War II.

    TDS victims routinely compare Trump to Hitler: Time magazine ran an opinion piece that asked “Just how similar is Donald Trump to Hitler?” The answer: “The comparison between Hitler and Trump is so poignant” because “both men represent their personal character as the antidote to all social and political problems.”

    Since Hitler has been dead for more than 70 years, though, victims may feel the need for a more potent bogeyman, a tyrant with more currency. And they’ve found one in Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom they insist ordered a hacking campaign to help Trump win the election.
    The other day, Tucker Carlson of Fox News interviewed TDS-riddled Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank). Carlson asked for evidence that Putin’s alleged machinations had any effect on the election. Unable to come up with a coherent answer, Schiff morphed into J. Edgar Hoover: “You’re carrying water for the Kremlin,” he said, “you’re going to have to move your show to ‘Russia Today.'”

    If you ask a TDS victim what might help them feel better, they’ll use the word “normalize.” As in, we mustn’t “normalize” Trump. What they’re really saying is that normal means of dealing with him aren’t enough. Which raises the question: If he’s another Hitler, if he’s in league with Putin, then why is assassination out of the question? Poke a TDS victim and you’ll find they don’t think that “solution” is out of the question at all.

    This is the final stage of the TDS epidemic: violence against a democratically elected leader. Unless a cure for TDS is found, this is where we are headed.

    • PogoStik July 25, 2018 at 7:01 pm

      Thank you for that very thorough dissertation on TDS, John.

    • comments July 25, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      Johnboy, I know you’re far too dull/stupid to type something that long. It’s plagiarism to not give credit to wherever you copy/pasted that from. idiot.

    • bikeandfish July 25, 2018 at 11:12 pm

      Copy and paste plagarism as always. Looks like LA Times to me.

  • PlanetU July 25, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    Am I suppose to feel good about this ’cause I don’t…… And the photo of the stuffed buck in the crowd at a CONSERVATION and hunting expo show really tells the story of their mentality.

    • bikeandfish July 26, 2018 at 9:52 am

      You do realize American conservation started with hunters and fisherman, right? And most projects are still funded by those of us who hunt and fish.

  • Whatteverrr July 25, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    He’s wearing the Trump costume. Just as kushner and BB netanyahoo did the day of US embassey opening ceremony, speach? This 45 admin is Def sick in the head. Didn’t know it was a syndrome but it seems to be degenerative.

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