A few years ago, the Zinke family foundation announced plans to build a public veterans park along with a public sledding hill and a skating pond on land it owned in Whitefish. The park has not been built, but in the meantime, the surrounding area has become a hot spot for wealthy tourists and second-home buyers.
…According to reporting by Politico, the Zinke foundation and 95 Karrow have made a deal that would allow the real estate project to build a shared parking lot on the land owned by Zinke’s family foundation.
But 95 Karrow is backed by an investment group that includes the chairman and former CEO of Halliburton.
…Halliburton is one of the world’s largest oil field service companies. The Department of the Interior regulates oil and gas drilling on hundreds of millions of acres of public land in the U.S.
Newly surfaced emails are raising questions about that timing.
They show Zinke was still in touch with 95 Karrow’s chief project developer, Casey Malmquist, six months after becoming interior secretary and six months after he resigned from the foundation.
In those emails to Zinke from Malmquist, the developer told Zinke, “our development project and your park plan are an absolute grand slam.”
…”What this email suggests is that Ryan Zinke was not removed from negotiations of the project,” he says. “Instead we are seeing the 95 Karrow project developers negotiating directly with Ryan Zinke.”