National Parks advisors resign, frustrated by treatment from Zinke

After waiting in vain to meet with U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for a full year, 10 out of 12 members of the National Park System Advisory Board have resigned in protest. Commissioned in 1935, the role of the bipartisan board is to advise the Interior secretary and the National Park Service director on the “care for special places saved by the American people…so that all may experience our heritage.” It comes as no surprise that Zinke has ignored the board, considering his preference for rolling back protections for public lands and waters, and his penchant for shutting out voices of reasonable dissent. Without seeking input from the board, the Interior has already moved to increase visitor fees and reverse climate change policies. Former Alaska governor and board chair Tony Knowles wrote in the resignation letter: “From all of the events of this past year, I have a profound concern that the mission of stewardship, protection, and advancement of our National Parks has been set aside.” That’s right, Knowles— “set aside” for oil, gas, and mineral extraction.

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