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Zinke Reorganization Plan Moves Ahead With 12 Interior Regions

The Department of the Interior manages more than 530 million acres of federal lands, most of which are in the American West.
Bureau of Land Management
The Department of the Interior manages more than 530 million acres of federal lands, most of which are in the American West.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has released more details about his plan to reorganize the Department of Interior. The plan could have big impacts for public lands in the west.

 

The latest details reveal consolidating the existing 49 regional offices across the country to just 12. Zinke says this will improve efficiency and coordination among agencies.  "It sounds good on paper," says John Gale. He's with the nonprofit Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.

The Department of the Interior manages more than 530 million acres of federal lands, most of which are in the American West.
Credit Bureau of Land Management
The Department of the Interior manages more than 530 million acres of federal lands, most of which are in the American West.

Gale says the recreation community is watching how the reorganization could affect public lands. He has some concerns. "Is this the right time to move such an enormous transition, when we have information gaps, leadership gaps and scarce amount of resources that could be going to places that we absolutely know now that would be doing good things?"  

The plan has long included a move out west for the department’s headquarters. Zinke’s office has not yet announced a location. The department says it plans to begin moving forward with the reorganization plan this fall. 

Find reporter Amanda Peacher on Twitter  @amandapeacher .

Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Copyright 2020 Boise State Public Radio News. To see more, visit Boise State Public Radio News.

Amanda Peacher is an Arthur F. Burns fellow reporting and producing in Berlin in 2013. Amanda is from Portland, Oregon, where she works as the public insight journalist for Oregon Public Broadcasting. She produces radio and online stories, data visualizations, multimedia projects, and facilitates community engagement opportunities for OPB's newsroom.
Amanda Peacher
Amanda Peacher works for the Mountain West News Bureau out of Boise State Public Radio. She's an Idaho native who returned home after a decade of living and reporting in Oregon. She's an award-winning reporter with a background in community engagement and investigative journalism.
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