On Monday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke finalized the withdrawal of more than 30,000 acres of federal lands in southwest Montana’s Paradise Valley from mining for 20 years, subject to valid existing rights.

Zinke spoke with Aaron Flint on the Montana Talks radio show before the announcement on Monday morning.

“There are places that are sensitive that should be looked at with a more careful eye,” said Zinke. “When I was a Congressman, the Paradise Valley was first brought to my attention. Chico and the community leaders looked at it and we determined that this is not a place to mine.”

The area covered by this action is generally known as the historic Emigrant gulch and crevice mining districts in a region known as the Paradise Valley at the northern gates of Yellowstone National Park. A press release states that Zinke has worked toward securing a withdrawal in this area for several years as both a member of congress and the Secretary of the Interior.

More From KMMS-KPRK 1450 AM