Governors say Interior Department shift didn't include them

Posted at 2:44 PM, Feb 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-08 16:44:30-05

DENVER (AP) — A bipartisan group of 19 Western governors says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke didn't consult with them about major plans for reorganizing the agency.

In a Feb. 1 letter, the Western Governors Association asked Zinke to delay implementing the proposal until he speaks with them.

Zinke said last month he wants to reorganize the department's regions along river basins and other natural boundaries instead of state lines.

Much of the department's authority involves Western lands.

The governors want to know why the changes are necessary and how the new regions would coordinate with states, especially ones that would be split among two or three regions.

The association said Thursday Zinke hasn't replied.

An Interior Department spokeswoman says the governors are welcome to submit their ideas to Zinke.