Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has extended a ban on mining on thousands of acres of public land near Yellowstone National Park.
Zinke signed the 20-year ban during a ceremony in Montana's Paradise Valley Monday. He told reporters, "I'm a pro-mining guy. I love hardrock. But there are places to mine and places not to mine."
The order extends a temporary ban put into place by former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in 2016.
The ban blocks any new mining claims for gold, silver and other minerals on about 30,000 acres of land in the area. But it doesn't apply to pre-existing mining claims or mining on private land.
Zinke has been working to prevent mining in the area since he was a congressman. His effort has support from both sides of the aisle in Montana.