National Parks advisory group quits, complains about lack of meetings with Zinke

The National Park Service Advisory Board members who just quit en masse said they tried unsuccessfully to engage with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke seen here at an event in Washington D.C. in September

The National Park Service Advisory Board members who just quit en masse said they tried unsuccessfully to engage with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke seen here at an event in Washington D.C. in September

Almost all members of the National Park Service advisory panel abruptly quit on Monday in protest of the Trump administration's policies, which they say have neglected science, climate change and environmental protections.

Eight of the nine who were part of the letter had terms expiring in May and suspected Interior was running out the clock.

One of the many surprises of Donald Trump's presidency is that he managed to drive the National Park Service into the resistance.

Zinke has rejected numerous requests to meet with the advisory panel, which is required to meet twice a year, despite his.

"For the previous 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", the letter reads.


According to its website, the board is a group of "citizen advisers chartered by Congress to help the National Park Service care for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage". 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.

"This discourteous and disrespectful treatment of the Board is inexcusable and, unfortunately, consistent with a decidedly anti-park pattern demonstrated by Secretary Zinke's department", Francis said in the release sent to HuffPost.

"[Zinke's Interior] department showed no interest in learning about or continuing to use the forward-thinking agenda of science, the effect of climate change, protections of the ecosystems, education", Knowles told Alaska Public Media.

Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat who is the ranking member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, issued a statement of support for the resigning board members. Some appear to be operating again, but the status of others is unclear.

Interior Department spokeswoman Heather Swift did not respond to the Post's request for comment on the board members' departure. Oh, right: all the taxpayer-funded trips and and horseback rides with the vice president.

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