I am literally stunned that Zinke would publicly express such a statement in the news world.

As a DOI research scientist who for almost 30 years has been involved in management decisions ranging from listing the northern spotted owl (one of the five scientists who listed the species), to wilderness designation in Utah, to being one of the two scientists who helped draw the scientific-based boundaries for Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, to current work searching for management strategies to conserve and prevent ESA listings of rare plants in Utah in relation to energy development, I feel as though all my work for this nation’s resources was supplanted by a declaration that DOI employees have no “loyalty” to an individual, Donald Trump, the secretary, or what our nation’s flag stands for.

His comment deserves a strong response. Hours after first reading his statement, I remain stunned that he would be so insulting (insensitive?) to those who work on behalf of the nation’s resources. As for the flag reference per se, too many of my family have served this nation (some have died), including a son currently on a two-year deployment to the Middle East in the same branch of service to which the secretary belonged. The flag comment by the secretary is simply beneath contempt.

At least I blew off some steam.

Thomas C. Edwards