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Zinke Testifies On Department Of Interior Reorganization

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spoke before the House Natural Resources Committee Thursday about his proposal to reorganize the department. It was part of his testimony on Interior’s budget.

Zinke wants to move parts of the headquarters of some agencies out west, including the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and Fish and Wildlife Service. 

"We haven’t decided where we’ll go," he said, "but I would think what we would do is we would create a metrics on quality of life, good schools, hospitals, accommodation, those type of things, and target cities within these groups for candidates."

Zinke suggested Interior might have a competition between cities for landing a partial headquarters for a federal agency. He said he wants to move jobs to areas with a "high quality of life, that is affordable," in order to attract millennial employees. DOI  said 16 percent of employees are eligible for retirement and 40 percent are retirement eligible in five years. 

President Trump’s proposed budget includes $17.5 million for a reorganization of the Interior Department.

Bret Jaspers was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2017 to 2020.