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US Secretary of Interior rides horse on first day of work

04 March 2017

'Secretary Zinke was proud to accept an invitation by the U.S. Park Police to stand shoulder to shoulder with their officers on his first day at Interior, ' said Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift. The order was meant to protect birds from lead poisoning, the Obama administration said. "There are a range of substitutes on the market today".

Secretary Zinke is preserving his image as an avid outdoorsman.

The phaseout of lead ammunition is nothing new.

That sort of talk worries environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, which said a "key concern" about the former Montana lawmaker is his history of supporting "extractive development" on public lands for oil, gas, coal and other mining interests over the protection of those lands.

"Having less lead in the water and soil is better for wildlife", O'Mara said to the Huffington Post. "But rather than rushing a policy a few days before the end of an administration, we need to have an honest conversation about the science with sportsmen, wildlife professionals, government, and industry to find common-sense and science-based solutions that will survive the test of time".

Maybe Ryan Zinke wanted to make sure everyone knew that he was from Montana.

Back in January, WNEP broke a story of a bald eagle that died from lead poisoning.

He listed three main priorities for the department.

Studies using radiographs show that lead ammunition leaves fragments and numerous imperceptible, dust-sized particles of lead that contaminate game meat far from a bullet track, causing significant health risks to people eating wild game. The report found 59 of 100 randomly selected packages of ground venison donated to the Community Action Food Pantry in North Dakota in the fall of 2007 were contaminated with lead fragments.

Young said he is looking forward to Zinke's "efforts to restore a level of certainty and sanity within the Department of Interior". An adopted member of the Assiniboine-Sioux from Northeast Montana, Zinke has repeatedly stressed his commitment to respecting tribal sovereignty.

The order reverses a decision by the Obama administration to phase out use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on wildlife refuges by 2022. After greeting staff, Zinke got down to business by signing a pair of directives, 3346 and 3347, halting a planned ban on lead ammunition and expanding access to public lands.