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 ZinkeExclusive: Trump administration delayed releasing documents related to Yellowstone superintendent's firing Exclusive: Trump administration delayed releasing documents related to Yellowstone superintendent's firing Trump's order to trim science advisory panels sparks outrage 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 Harris58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill Overnight Defense — Presented by Huntington Ingalls Industries — Trump nominates Shanahan as Pentagon chief | House panel advances bill to block military funds for border wall | Trump defends Bolton despite differences House panel advances bill to block military construction funds for border wall 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.