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For Immediate Release

Contact: [email protected]




Nearly a thousand residents plus tourists trapped by destroyed roads and bridges after 100-year flood

(WHITEFISH, MT) Today, Ryan Zinke, former Montana Congressman and U.S. Secretary of the Interior, and current candidate for Montana’s First Congressional District, called on the Biden Administration to exercise emergency powers to provide a categorical exclusion and waive certain environmental regulations in order to quickly restore access to the town of Gardiner and other small communities isolated after an historic flood on the Yellowstone River earlier this week. 


Under the 2020 Council on Environmental Quality memo titled Emergencies and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Guidance and the original 1978 law, the Federal government has the authority to provide a NEPA categorical exclusion or waive certain aspects of other regulations such as the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and Historic Preservation Act in emergency situations. Currently about a thousand residents in the town of Gardiner and countless more residents and tourists in the surrounding area are trapped with limited food, fuel and medical supplies. 


“The devastation along the Yellowstone River is historic and so should be our nation’s response to this natural and emerging humanitarian disaster,” said Zinke. “As a former Secretary of the Interior, I know the Biden Administration has the authority to grant categorical exclusions and expedite or waive certain processes. This prudent action would allow an expedited reconstruction of highway 89 and quick construction of temporary bridges while new bridges are built. There is no amount of air lifts that will be adequate to serve the people of Gardiner and other small, isolated communities in the area. The Biden Administration must act now to save lives and prevent long term crisis.”


Zinke continued, “The Biden Administration’s Forest Service must also take immediate steps to reopen and maintain the Old Yellowstone Trail Road on the west side of the Yellowstone River through Yankee Jim Canyon so residents have a reliable emergency route now and when, God forbid, another disaster strikes. These roads and bridges have been in the area for generations and rebuilding them will not cause significant environmental impact. Anyone who tries to say otherwise is more concerned about the grizzly bear than the people of Park County.” 


“Lastly, I also call on the Congress to provide quick funding through the Great Outdoors Act, Land and Water Conservation Fund, and highway dollars to rebuild roads and bridges in Yellowstone National Park, as well as replace the destroyed employee housing,” said Zinke. 


Elsewhere in Montana, flooding has eroded sections of roads and flooded areas of Livingston, Red Lodge, Stillwater County and other areas. The Governor has declared a statewide disaster to assist with rescue and recovery efforts. 


Additional Background:

The 2020 memo states, “As agencies respond to situations involving immediate threats to human health or safety, or immediate threats to valuable natural resources, they must consider whether there is sufficient time to follow the procedures for environmental review established in the CEQ National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Regulations, 40 CFRparts 1500-1508 (CEQ NEPA regulations),3 and their agency NEPA procedures.” (Link: emergencies-and-nepa-guidance-2020.pdf – National … › docs › nepa-practice › emer…)


Under NEPA, Federal agencies, in consultation with CEQ, develop CEs for categories of agency actions that they have found do not have a significant impact on the environment.  Federal agencies’ CEs cover a broad range of actions, including administrative functions, operations and maintenance activities, research and information collection, emergency preparedness and response, and certain land management and infrastructure activities.


CEs, which are not exemptions from NEPA review, reduce paperwork and allow agencies to focus their resources on actions that may significantly affect the quality of the environment.


When establishing or revising a CE, Federal agencies publish their proposed CEs in the Federal Register for public comment. Following conclusion of the comment period, the agency evaluates the comments received. CEQ reviews an agency’s proposed CE for conformity with NEPA, completing its review within 30 days of receiving the final text. 



Letter to the editor: Zinke is a supporter of life

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I am writing this letter in support of Ryan Zinke and his pro-life stance. There is a lot of mis-information out there and I want people to know the truth. Ryan carried the Fetal Homicide Bill for Montana Right to Life while he was a state senator. He also tried to get monies to support young single women who wanted to keep their babies so they could go to school or get child care support. Ryan Zinke was endorsed by Montana Right to Life while in the Montana Senate.

Ryan also has a 100 percent voting record with National Right to Life while he served in Congress. He stood up on the House floor of the U.S. Capital and was a proponent for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which would have stopped abortions at 24 weeks of gestation. Ryan has been and will continue to be a supporter of life.


Gregg Trude, Montana Director, National Right to Life Board of Directors

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Ryan Zinke gets the endorsement of former President Donald Trump

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1st District Congressional candidate Ryan Zinke introduced the former President of the United States Donald Trump to endorse him late Monday evening.

“I remember when President Trump was President, we had two dollar gas, the border was secure, and he was fighting the swamp,” began Zinke. “There isn’t any better defender of American freedoms than President Donald J. Trump. And it’s my honor to introduce the 45th president United States, Donald J. Trump, sir.”

Trump began by emphasizing the importance of the upcoming Congressional election.

“I just want to talk to you for a few minutes about a critical primary election taking place in your state on Tuesday, June 7, that’s coming up right around the corner and absentee voting is already underway,” began President Trump. “The big day is June 7, and it’s very important. I’d like to ask each of you to get out and vote for Ryan. He’s a great friend of mine. He’s a great person with a great family, great everything. It’s Montana’s first Congressional district, as everyone knows, and he was my interior secretary, as you know, and he did an incredible job in terms of energy dominance and also energy independence, and we actually became dominant and increased our federal energy revenues.”

President Trump praised Zinke specifically for his work as Interior Secretary.

“He opened up acreage for the production of energy and all sorts of other things, including for people’s use,” said Trump. “Together, we built our national parks, forest infrastructure, and expanded access to public lands and we opened up millions and millions of acres for hunting and fishing. It was incredible what we did in a reasonably short period of time.”

The former president wrapped up with a glowing endorsement of Ryan Zinke.

“Ryan has my complete and total endorsement,” he said. “With his help and with everybody’s help, this country will be turned around. We’re going to get rid of crazy Nancy Pelosi’s political career once and for all. I just want to again remind you the absentee voting has already started so you could do that, but Election Day is June 7. I’ll be out to see you. I love that part of the world and I love your state, and please vote for Ryan Zinke, and we’ll see you all very soon.”

Zinke is one of five primary candidates for the Republican nomination for the new 1st District Congressional seat, along with Dr. Al Olszewski, Mary Todd, Mitch Heuer and Matt Jette.

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Zinke talks wildfire, forest management in Belgrade

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The Bozeman Daily Chronicle

With the days winding down to the June 7 primary, Republican congressional candidate Ryan Zinke made a stop in Belgrade Sunday to discuss forest management, wildfire and Montana’s place in the upcoming federal farm bill.

Zinke, the former congressman and interior secretary, brought Rep. Glenn Thompson, a Republican from Pennsylvania, to discuss the bill — the last version became law in 2018 under the Trump administration. A new one could appear in 2023.

The pair made a previous stop in Great Falls for a similar discussion focusing on agriculture.

“This is important because when you start building the farm bill, you want to be included in the House and foundation in the beginning,” Zinke said.

The pair held a roundtable discussion with representatives from various organizations and businesses connected to forestry and wildfire at aerial firefighting company Bridger Aerospace’s headquarters.

Participants included representatives from Bridger Aerospace, the Property and Environment Research Center, the Montana Wood Products Association, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Missoula-based Bashoor Land Management and Bozeman-based Wildfire Defense Systems.

Thompson, the ranking Republican member of the House Agriculture Committee, would play a role in shaping the bill, Zinke said.

Zinke said that Thompson could be the next chairman of that committee, which would depend on Republicans regaining the majority in the House.

The Pennsylvania congressman said he came to Montana at Zinke’s request for two reasons: To support the Republican congressional candidate and to include voices from Montana on agriculture and forest management issues.

Zinke said that he has always been an advocate of getting out quickly to deal with wildfires. He said that prescribed burns should be done in shoulder seasons that could help to put “out of control fires” to an end.

Better technology, better decisions on the frontlines of wildfires and an empowered frontline are solutions Zinke offered for dealing with fires.

Thompson said that bureaucratic barriers, regulations and lawsuits stand in the way of forest management.

Just over two weeks remain before the June 7 primary election.

Zinke is running for the Republican nomination for the newly-created western congressional district against Dr. Al Olszewski, Mary Todd, Matt Jette and Mitch Heuer.

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Montana Ag Network: Zinke hosts ag-focused forum in Great Falls

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GREAT FALLS — Ryan Zinke, a candidate in the Republican primary for Montana’s first Congressional district, hosted a forum in Great Falls on Thursday, May 19, 2022.

He was joined by leaders from the agriculture community, including grain growers, pulse crop growers, fertilizer sellers, and producers of other ag products and services.

Topics discussed by attendees included agriculture, drought, and crop insurance.

U.S. House Agriculture Committee ranking member Glenn Thompson (R-PA) was scheduled to attend, but a flight delay prevented him from being at the forum.

Zinke, who was Montana’s sole U.S. Representative from 2015 to early 2017, also served as Secretary of the Interior under then-President Trump.

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Zinke a True Montana Conservative

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The Flathead Beacon

Recently, losing candidates and members of the media have been spreading false narratives that Ryan Zinke lives in California. I have known Ryan Zinke for close to 20 years. I first met Ryan when he returned from serving his country as a Navy SEAL and we became friends during his first congressional race in 2014. He lives here in Montana, in Whitefish, on the property that was his childhood home. He is as Montanan as they come and has dedicated his entire life in service to both our country and state. It troubles me to think that candidates and the media have resorted to peddling baseless lies to tarnish a great candidate and a great man. If candidates are willing to lie about Ryan Zinke’s record to get elected, what would stop them from lying and cheating once they’re in office? I would suggest that the voters of Western Montana do their due diligence and know the facts before they cast their ballots. The fact is that Ryan Zinke is a true Montana conservative and the right choice to represent us in Congress.

Bob Herron

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Letter to the editor: Zinke will defend our right to bear arms

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The Missoulian

Out of all of the freedoms we hold dear as Americans, the right to bear arms stands supreme. That’s why I’m supporting Ryan Zinke for Congress in Montana’s new Congressional district. As Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke fought tirelessly for the rights of sportsmen, hunters and gun owners. That’s why he’s endorsed by the NRA and was given an A+ rating. As a member of SEAL Team Six Ryan Zinke saw first-hand what happens in countries that have given up their gun rights. Montana’s way of life is under threat from the radical left in Washington and we need a true Montana conservative like Ryan Zinke to defend our rights in Congress.

Brian Reid,


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Zinke and Trump Doing Monday Night Montana “Tele-Rally”

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President Donald Trump is hosting a Montana “tele-rally” alongside his former US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Monday night.

Zinke is a former congressman and Navy SEAL who is running for the newly created Western district now that Montana gained a second seat in the US House of Representatives. He’s already been endorsed by Gov. Greg Gianforte (R-MT), Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and President Trump, despite facing a competitive primary in June.

The “tele-rally” takes place Monday night at 6 p.m. Mountain time. Click here for details.

Zinke was one of the first big names to come out in support of then-candidate Trump in the 2016 election. Here is Zinke, his wife Lola, and his campaign manager Heather Swift during their first surprise appearance at Trump Tower following the 2016 election.

Shortly after that meeting, Zinke was tapped by Trump to serve as the first-ever cabinet member from Montana. That’s where he led the Department of Interior and worked with Trump to not only lower America’s dependence on foreign oil, but made America energy dominant.

Speaking of energy…I think this tweet sums up the difference between the Trump Administration and the Biden Administration

Could it be any more clear of a difference? Cancelling leases and higher prices under Biden. Opening leases and lower prices under Trump. And don’t even get me started on the baby formula for illegals while American moms are seeing empty shelves…

On the Trail With Z: April 7, 2022

Endorsement Alert! NRA Endorses Ryan Zinke for Congress and Awards A+ Rating!

Yesterday, the National Rifle Association endorsed Ryan Zinke for Congress. Ryan Zinke has a lifelong record defending the Second Amendment rights of all Americans as Congressman for Montana’s at-large district and as US Secretary of the Interior under President Trump. On his first day as Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke overturned the Obama-era ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle used on US Fish and Wildlife Service lands. He expanded hunting access to 30 of America’s National Wildlife Refuges, eliminated the policy that barred BLM lands from being managed as shooting ranges, and established the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council to expand access, education, and awareness programs for sportsmen.

Watch: America isn’t weak, our administration is

Check out this message from Ryan Zinke! Although our leadership in Washington is weak, the American spirit is as strong as ever. Every problem America faces is fixable if we get the right leadership in Washington. Ryan Zinke has fixed it before and he will fix it again.

Ryan on the Road

This week Ryan had the opportunity to meet and speak with voters around western Montana!

In Kalispell, Ryan stopped by the Flathead County GOP office for a barbeque with local candidates and the good people of Flathead County!

In Polson, Ryan visited the Lake County Central Committee to talk about bringing back energy dominance, defunding the radical left’s agenda, and protecting Montana’s way of life!

In Bozeman, Team Zinke waved signs and joined Trump Economic advisor Stephen Moore, Governor Gianforte, and the Gallatin County GOP at the Gallatin County Lincoln Reagan Day Dinner!

If you would like to volunteer or pick up a yard sign email [email protected]!