Nearly the entire National Park Advisory Board resigned en masse this week out sheer frustration with the Trump administration and especially Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. The board members said Zinke hasn’t met with them once. From 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 the resignation letter, which can be seen below, departing board chairman and former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles says he and the rest of the advisory board have “profound concerns” about the future of our national parks under the Trump administration.
These are the matters on which the Board wanted to brief you and your staff. We also wanted to present evidence of the overwhelming support and participation all across America for the National Park System and this agenda during the 2016NPS centennial celebration.For the last year we have stood by waiting for the chance to meet and continue the partnership between the NPSAB and the DOI as prescribed by law. 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. I wish the National Park System and Service well and will always be dedicated to their success. However, 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. I hope that future actions of the Department of Interior demonstrate that this is not the case.
You can read the letter in its entirety below.
National Park Advisory Board resigns en masse by dailykos on Scribd
This comes on the heels of the Trump administration giving away our public lands to their Big Oil and Big Gas benefactors at an unprecedented rate, all while slashing services at parks. There is also a proposal to raise national park entrance fees to a whopping $80 per vehicle, which will price out many American families.