The National Park Service Advisory Board members who quit en masse on 16 January 2018 said they tried unsuccessfully to engage with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, seen here at an event in December 2017 in Salt Lake City. Photo: George Frey / Getty Images

By Juliet Eilperin
16 January 2018

(The Washington Post) – Three-quarters of the members of a federally chartered board advising the National Park Service abruptly quit Monday night out of frustration that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had refused to meet with them or convene a single meeting last year.

The resignation of nine out of 12 National Park System Advisory Board members leaves the federal government without a functioning body to designate national historic or natural landmarks. It also underscores the extent to which federal advisory bodies have become marginalized under the Trump administration. In May 2017, Zinke suspended all outside committees while his staff reviewed their composition and work.

In a letter to the secretary, departing board chairman Tony Knowles, a former Alaska governor, wrote that he and eight other members “have stood by waiting for the chance to meet and continue the partnership … as prescribed by law.” All of the signatories had terms set to expire in May.

“We understand the complexity of transition but our requests to engage have been ignored and the matters on which we wanted to brief the new Department team are clearly not part of its agenda,” Knowles wrote. “I wish the National Park System and Service well and will always be dedicated to their success.”

In an email earlier this month inquiring about the status of the more than 200 boards that had come under review, Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift said, “Boards have restarted.” She did not provide any further details and did not respond to an inquiry Tuesday. […]

“It’s concerning that our advisory council has been unable to meet for over a year,” said Scott Braden, a member of the Rocky Mountain RAC who is a wilderness and public lands advocate at Conservation Colorado. “Secretary Zinke has said that local input is important for BLM to consider, and yet these councils, which provide just such input, have been sidelined.” […]

The National Park System Advisory Board, which was established in 1935, has typically included social and natural science academics as well as former elected officials from both parties. In recent years, it has advised Interior on how to address climate change, among other issues, and how to encourage younger visitors to frequent the parks. [more]

Nearly all members of National Park Service advisory panel resign in frustration


  1. Anonymous said...

    The Trump Administration is going to set America back by 100 years on environmental, racial, equality, gender and foreign affair issues. At least.

    The man is not fit to be President, that should be abundantly clear now. As a functioning moron, Donald Trump exhibits the very worst of the American character. I can not think of a more unqualified, unfit person to be in office right now.  

  2. Jude Lieber said...

    Our government was a battered car, running pretty rough but it would get you there. Now our government is in the chop shop. They will sell every part that doesn’t benefit a corporation or a hedge fund.  

  3. Anonymous said...

    I'm sure there's plenty of water for the golf courses.



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