BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is in southwestern Montana, where he’s expected to approve a plan to block new mining claims on public lands near Yellowstone National Park.
Zinke’s office says the former Montana congressman will make a major announcement during his visit Monday to the Paradise Valley north of the park.
Colin Davis of the Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition has been asked to speak at the event. He says he expects Zinke to approve the 20-year mining ban for lands in the Paradise Valley and the Gardiner Basin.
The ban would include new claims for gold, silver and other minerals across 30,000 acres (12,140 hectares).
The new ban would extend a two-year ban imposed by former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell that was set to expire next month.