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Damn It Feels Good To Be A Secretary Of The Interior

Ryan Zinke is the new head of the Department of Interior, an agency that controls the energy industry's access to public lands. He also loves taxidermy!

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Last year, President Trump plucked Montanan Ryan Zinke from relative obscurity to lead the Department of Interior.

A geology major who spent two decades in the US Navy, Zinke followed a four-year stint in Montana state politics with a two-year run in Washington at the House of Representatives.

On March 1, two-thirds of Senate voted to confirm Zinke as head of the Interior Department, which manages more than 400 million acres of the US mainland and 1.7 billion acres of off-shore fossil fuel reserves.

Over 40% of US coal comes from public lands, and it is the Interior that decides who gets to mine, and where. If an oil company wants to drill in Yellowstone or mine uranium near the Grand Canyon, offices within this agency are the gatekeepers.

Not that you'd know how serious the job is based on Zinke's Twitter account, which confirms to hikers and hunters alike that the secretary is an earnest outdoorsman with a solid appreciation for taxidermy.

When BuzzFeed News asked about Zinke's professional activities, the agency pointed to Twitter as the most complete public record. Here's what it shows he's been up to.

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March 7: Showed off some knives.

And the knives I was issued as a SEAL and a couple historic ones picked up along the way. https://t.co/edMl34bSYa

March 13: Met the rest of Trump's Cabinet.

Follow @Cabinet for updates on how @POTUS & the cabinet are working together to build a stronger, safer and more pr… https://t.co/UwaYDG00eO

March 17: Drove a snowplow in Yellowstone National Park.

The crews at @YellowstoneNPS put me to work today helping clear roads for the spring season #LearningFromFrontLines

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March 22: Posed with a stuffed bear.

Hey @UMGRIZZLIES what should I name the #grizz?

March 22: Mounted an elk.

Ron arrived from my old House office! Also called wapiti, this elk was hunted on #montana #publiclands

March 23: Turned the Interior into the nation's first dog-friendly agency.

Here's my dog Ragnar in the office on my first day. I'm looking forward to meet more Dogs of @Interior on May 5!… https://t.co/6Shw50Qbdh

(March 28: Wore special socks for the special day.)

The suspense is over for D.C. Press corps. Its #American #EnergyIndependence day so obviously I go #OldGlory socks

Nidhi Subbaraman is a Science Reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Nidhi Subbaraman at nidhi.subbaraman@buzzfeed.com.

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