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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 ZinkeHUD official quits amid Interior Department watchdog controversy Overnight Energy: Outdoor retailer Patagonia makes first Senate endorsements | EPA withdraws Obama uranium milling rule | NASA chief sees 'no reason' to dismiss UN climate report Interior Department sued over withholding details on trophy permits, endangered species 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 HarrisMarijuana activists arrested for smoking outside GOP lawmaker's office Interior to publish Zinke's calendars weekly Freedom Caucus members see openings in leadership 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.