Secretary Ryan Zinke Pushes for Reorganization of ‘Marshmallow’ Management System
Former Montana Congressman, now Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke says he is working on restructuring the Department of the Interior and its multiple bureaucracies. To illustrate the need for the restructuring Zinke describes a not-uncommon management situation, in which a stream with salmon and trout flows from a dam past some Forest Service land.
"The salmon are managed by the Department of Commerce, other fish are Department of the Interior through Fish and Wildlife," Zinke said. "Upstream water flow and temperature is Army Corps of Engineers. Downstream is Bureau of Reclamation for irrigation. The surface is department of Agriculture through the Forest Service, the subsurface is BLM, through the Interior."
Zinke says the complex management system currently in use, leads to confusion and ineffective spending of taxpayer dollars.
"This is exactly why, this coming year, we are going to reorganize," Zinke said. "We're going to do unified regions. Who do you talk to with the system I just laid out? Who do you hold accountable? It's like a marshmallow: you try to get an answer and it's all soft... well this bureau or that bureau... and it's angering people, because nothing's getting done."
Zinke says he hopes the reorganization will lead to better communication with local communities and give the federal government less of a "heavy hand."