Both of them lived in the Flathead, an area where mountains crowd the horizon on the western side of the state. It’s more than 200 miles from the state capital, and Zinke had turned down an offer by Barkus, a Republican state senator at the time, to drive down together.
Namely, President-elect Donald J. Trump.
The Montana congressman whom President-elect Donald Trump named to head the Interior Department wants people to think of him as a Teddy Roosevelt conservationist. His Twitter bio describes him as a “Teddy Roosevelt fan.” “Like Teddy, I believe our lands are worth cherishing,” Rep. Ryan Zinke, a Republican, wrote in an opinion piece in the Billings Gazette in April.
By picking Representative Ryan Zinke (R–MT) to be secretary of the Department of the Interior, as the media have widely reported, President-elect Donald Trump is tapping into two common, and sometimes conflicting, attitudes toward federal lands in the rural West.