Dems say Interior boss is withholding key facts

FILE - In this July 30, 2017, file photo, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks during a news conference near Gold Butte National Monument in Bunkerville, Nev. Zinke is recommending that four large national monuments in the West be reduced in size, potentially opening up hundreds of thousand or even millions of acres of land revered for natural beauty and historical significance to mining, logging and other development. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP, File)

Two Democratic congressmen are accusing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke of withholding key information from lawmakers while launching a massive overhaul of his department.

Reps. Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Donald McEachin of Virginia sent Zinke a letter Wednesday demanding he halt the reorganization and provide more information.

Zinke's spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The reorganization could have widespread impacts in the West, home of most of the public lands and resources the Interior Department manages.

Zinke wants to relocate many top officials from Washington, D.C., to still-undisclosed cities in the West. The plan also would reorganize the department into 13 regions based on rivers and ecosystems instead of the current state boundaries.

Western governors have expressed concerns that would weaken states' influence on department decisions.



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