A group of local environmentalists mocked U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s suggestion to roll back National Monument protections this morning, by unofficially renaming Humboldt’s public vault toilets as “Zinkes.”
Director Tom Wheeler of the Environmental Protection Information Center and Programs Coordinator Anne Maher of the Northcoast Environmental Center spoke at the brief ribbon-cutting ceremony held outside a stinky outhouse at Arcata’s Ma-le’l Dunes.
(Left to right) Tom Wheeler, Anne Maher, Bella Waters, Briana Villalobos. | John Ferrara
“We are here to honor Secretary Ryan Zinke by renaming one of our most critical pieces of infrastructure on our public lands, the unheralded vault toilet, after the secretary,” Wheeler said — dressed in suit and tie while standing behind a podium. “We can think of no better thing to bear the Zinke name. Henceforth we encourage all people to call these toilets by their new names — Zinkes.”
Giant novelty scissors in hand, the local organizations christened the toilet with an unofficial ribbon cutting before speaking out against Zinke’s recommendations to downsize national monuments like the nearby Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.
In a press release, the environmental protection groups stated that the christening was held today in honor of National Public Lands Day.
“We’d like to remind Secretary Zinke to stop treating our public lands like crap,” Maher is quoted as saying in the press release. “On your next visit, please consider christening a Zinke in the manner most appropriate.”
Read more from the EPIC press release below:
Arcata, Calif.—In recognition of his contributions to our federal public lands, all vault toilets on our public lands are hereby renamed “Zinkes” in honor of the large legacy left by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Henceforth, when visiting public lands, we encourage folks to enjoy the “Zinkes” and while doing so, contemplate the mess that he has made. You are cordially invited to the renaming ceremony, Saturday, September 30, at 10am at the Ma-le’l Dunes South Parking Lot.
“Interior Secretary Zinke has sure left a big legacy on our public lands—his suggestion to rollback protections for National Monuments stinks,” said Tom Wheeler, Executive Director of EPIC. “While some leaders get parks and monuments named after them, we thought a toilet was a more appropriate choice for Secretary Zinke.”
September 30 marks National Public Lands Day, a day to celebrate public enjoyment and conservation of our national public lands. This year’s celebration is tempered by Secretary Zinke’s recommendation to remove protections for National Monuments. At the request of President Trump, Secretary Zinke is recommending that the administration downsize four national monuments, including the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument in Northern California, as well as removing protections from six other monuments.
“In enjoying the Zinke, the public is reminded to not throw garbage down the toilet,” said Anne Maher of the Northcoast Environmental Center. “Similarly, we’d like to remind Secretary Zinke to stop treating our public lands like crap.” On your next visit, please consider christening a Zinke in the manner most appropriate.