Eco-Group Billboard Blitz to Greet Interior Chief in Montana

Zinke is scheduled to address the Western Governors Association's annual conference Tuesday

By Justin Franz

HELENA — Environmental groups are planning to give President Donald Trump’s Interior Department secretary an unexpected homecoming when he returns to his Montana hometown next week.

Ryan Zinke is scheduled to address the Western Governors Association’s annual conference Tuesday in the town of Whitefish.

He’ll be welcomed by billboards that urge him not to touch the Upper Missouri River Breaks, one of two dozen national monuments he’s reviewing to eliminate or scale back protections.

Television ads will tell him to leave alone a conservation plan by the Obama administration and 11 Western states to protect the sage grouse, an imperiled bird.

Public land advocates also will speak in a park the day before Zinke’s address.

Various groups are hoping to get the attention of Zinke and 11 governors gathering Monday through Wednesday.