[Vision2020] 9 of 12 National Park Service advisory board members quit in disgust

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Wed Jan 17 09:08:53 PST 2018

Courtesy of USA Today at:


9 of 12 National Park Service advisory board members quit in disgust

Nine of the 12 members of the National Park Service advisory board resigned in protest this week, saying Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has ignored pleas for a meeting and has "set aside" protection of the nation's natural treasures.

Board chairman Tony Knowles, a Democrat and former governor of Alaska, said in a resignation letter to Zinke that the group has been waiting for a year to meet and "continue the partnership" between the board and Interior officials.

"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," the letter says. "I have a profound concern that the mission of stewardship, protection, and advancement of our National Parks has been set aside."

The board's tasks included advising Zinke and the National Park Service on the designation of national historic and natural landmarks. The board also provides input on a wide range of issues from climate change to the administration of the Historic Sites, Buildings, and Antiquities Act.

Knowles told The Washington Post that the board, despite being required to meet twice a year, has not convened since President Trump took office. Knowles said members understood that the Trump administration would name its own board members. Still, he said the resignees were not consulted on recent decisions to increase visitor fees and to reverse a ban on plastic water bottles in the park system.

"We were frozen out," Knowles told the Post.

The Park Service declined comment and the Interior Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from USA TODAY.

Last spring, Zinke suspended the work of more than 200 advisory boards, committees and subcommittees pending a review. Some returned to duty, others have been altered or dropped and still others remain dormant.

Last week, Zinke announced the creation of a new panel, the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council.

“Hunters and anglers are the backbone of wildlife and habitat conservation in America," Zinke said. "Through the purchase of duck stamps, bows, ammo, firearms, and more, sportsmen and women contribute billions of dollars to conservation."

The eight members of the parks advisory board that resigned along with Knowles were Gretchen Long, Paul Bardacke, Carolyn Finney, Judy Burke, Stephen Pitti, Milton Chen, Belinda Faustinos and Margaret Wheatley

Three board members did not sign the letter and remain on the board: Rita Colwell, a science professor at the University of Maryland; Linda Bilmes, a Harvard finance professor, and Carolyn Hessler Radelet, chief executive of Project Concern International.


Those were the days, my friend . . .

Me and my dad at Overton Landing (Lake Mead) . . . Summer 1958.

Don’t take them away.

Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

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