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ryan zinke

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Interior Department is increasing fees at the most popular national parks to $35 per vehicle, backing down from an earlier plan that would have forced visitors to pay $70 per vehicle to visit the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and other iconic parks.

Too many decisions about the West get made in Washington, D.C. At least, that's what the Secretary of the Interior thinks. Ryan Zinke plans to move thousands of the department’s employees out west to manage water, public lands and energy from there. How might this seemingly dull, bureaucratic plan affect the West in interesting ways? Here's how people with a vested interest responded–starting in Wyoming.  


Courtesy / Matthew Allen

Matthew Allen used to lead the communications team at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Washington headquarters a couple of blocks from the White House.

Then he got demoted.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Drones were brought into Gettysburg. A pregnant elk was poached in Zion National Park. And in Yellowstone, commercial snowmobile tour guides encouraged other riders to pass the legal boundary and get up close to the geyser, Old Faithful.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke attacked critics of the Trump administration’s decision to shrink two national monuments in Utah. He called them “angry people” and “nefarious.”

National Park Service

They felt like the Interior Department had snubbed their valuable work, so most members of the National Park System Advisory Board resigned last week.

Josh Ewing/Friends of Cedar Mesa

A new education center is taking shape to protect the rich cultural resources around the Bears Ears in southeastern Utah.

Judy Fahys / KUER

President Donald Trump told Utah lawmakers recently that the Bear’s Ears National Monument - designated in the waning days of the Obama administration - would be downsized.  

Department of Interior

New information emerged over the weekend on the advice Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is giving president Donald Trump on two national monuments in Utah.