Interior to publish Zinke's calendars weekly

Interior to publish Zinke's calendars weekly
© Greg Nash

The Interior Department is planning to post Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeBig-game hunters infuriated by Trump elephant trophy debacle Interior moves ahead with opening wildlife refuge next to contaminated nuclear site House panel approves bill to boost park funding MORE’s calendars regularly on the department’s website.

The first weekly calendar was published Friday afternoon, with a summary of what Zinke did July 28 through Aug. 3, which was the past week.

It shows that Zinke filmed a video July 28 in Wisconsin to mark National Shooting Sports Month, met with representatives of the Southern Ute Tribe July 31 and called or met with lawmakers Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Rep. Andy HarrisAndrew (Andy) Peter HarrisInterior to publish Zinke's calendars weekly Freedom Caucus members see openings in leadership GOP lawmaker: ‘I disregard and discount anything that involves the mainstream media' MORE (R-Md.) and Rep. Steve Knight (R-Calif.) Aug. 1.

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The department plans to make similar posts each week when possible.

“We are always looking for ways to increase transparency and communication with the press and public,” Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift said in a statement. “Posting to the website what the secretary did that week accomplishes both of those goals.”

Interior already makes proactive disclosures about certain information, including releasing travel records for Zinke every few months.

But some environmental groups have accused Zinke of running an overly opaque department.

Earthjustice, the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth filed a lawsuit in June saying that Interior didn’t produce records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) within the allowed time.

The records themselves concerned Interior’s own FOIA policies and procedures, including review by political appointees before some documents regarding Zinke can be released.