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Majority of National Park System Advisory Board Resign

by Countable | 1.18.18

What’s the story?

Nine out of the 12 members of the National Park System Advisory Board resigned late Monday. In a combined letter penned by departing board chairman and former Alaskan governor, Tony Knowles, they noted that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke did not schedule a single meeting with the board during the entirety of 2017, despite repeated requests.

Twice annual meetings of the board are required by the board’s charter, and the relationship between the board and the National Park system is stipulated by law.

The board, which has existed since 1935, has focused the vast majority of its work in recent years on responsible stewardship of the national parks — combating climate change, engaging with young people, evolving a more diverse culture of park visitors. The boards members include social and natural science academics as well as former elected officials from both parties.

However, the New York Times reports that the Board was not consulted on any of the major changes to park rules over the last year, including an increase in visitor fees, the removal of a ban on plastic water bottles in parks, and the reduction of the size of several national monuments by thousands of acres.

Though the Board is not disbanded, with the resignation of 75 percent of its members the federal government is without a functioning body to designate national historic or natural landmarks. The president also has yet to nominate a director for the National Park Service, reports NPR.

Interior Department officials are reported to have cheered the resignations, referring to the group resignation as a "political stunt". Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift accused the board members of turning a blind eye to sexual harassment experiences by Park Service staff, who when surveyed reported that 39 percent experienced workplace harassment, reports the Washington Examiner.

It is unclear what responsibility the board plays officially in responding to such issues according to their charter.

Swift maintained that the Department had been attempting to schedule a meeting, and looks forward to appointing replacement board members soon.

What do you think?

Are you concerned about these resignations, or the lack of a director for the National Park Service? Why or why not?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Pixabay / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(53)
  • Charles
    01/18/2018
    ···

    Not surprised. The Moron in Chief will not be happy until he totally destroys America and the environment. He is a sick, insecure man. Shame on anyone who voted for him.

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  • Ticktock
    01/18/2018
    ···

    Take note this is an example of the slow demise of our Democracy, our national institutions and our freedoms. How better to win a war than to convince US citizens that there is no war and our enemy to hide amongst us. Make no mistake we are at war for the ownership and stewardship of our country. Our enemy is Congressional Republican, the Trump Administration and Cabinet.

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  • Hillary
    01/18/2018
    ···

    The national parks do no belong to any government official. I feel the board should not have resigned so as to be in a better position to fight the ravages of zinke, but I understand why they felt they must. No public servant has the right to give these publicly owned lands away to their speculative cronies for oil, gas, ore, or any other so called precious commodity. We the people feel the pristine earth and pure nature are commodity enough. Ones tenure in office does not come with a free pass to destroy the earth for ones own gain.

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  • Michael n angie
    01/18/2018
    ···

    Is it a threat to national security? Is it adding to the deficit? Are American citizens in danger? Any jobs lost other than the 9 resignation? Then it’ll sort itself out won’t it? Sounds to me like someone wanted a change. If so, it worked. Seen anything REALLY INTERESTING LATELY? //////545 vs. 300,000,000 People -By Charlie Reese Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits? Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes? You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does. You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does. You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does. You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does. One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank. I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes. Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party. What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.. ( The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.) The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House?( John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. ) If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to. [The House has passed a budget but the Senate has not approved a budget in over three years. The President's proposed budgets have gotten almost unanimous rejections in the Senate in that time. ] It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist. If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red. If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan .. If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way. There are no insoluble government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do. Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power. They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees... We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess! Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper. What you do with this article now that you have read it... is up to you. This might be funny if it weren't so true. Be sure to read all the way to the end: Tax his land, Tax his bed, Tax the table, At which he's fed. Tax his tractor, Tax his mule, Teach him taxes Are the rule. Tax his work, Tax his pay, He works for peanuts anyway! Tax his cow, Tax his goat, Tax his pants, Tax his coat. Tax his ties, Tax his shirt, Tax his work, Tax his dirt. Tax his tobacco, Tax his drink, Tax him if he Tries to think. Tax his cigars, Tax his beers, If he cries Tax his tears. Tax his car, Tax his gas, Find other ways To tax his ass. Tax all he has Then let him know That you won't be done Till he has no dough. When he screams and hollers; Then tax him some more, Tax him till He's good and sore. Then tax his coffin, Tax his grave, Tax the sod in Which he's laid... Put these words Upon his tomb, 'Taxes drove me to my doom...' When he's gone, Do not relax, Its time to apply The inheritance tax. Accounts Receivable Tax Building Permit Tax CDL license Tax Cigarette Tax Corporate Income Tax Dog License Tax Excise Taxes Federal Income Tax Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) Fishing License Tax Food License Tax Fuel Permit Tax Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon) Gross Receipts Tax Hunting License Tax Inheritance Tax Inventory Tax IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax) Liquor Tax Luxury Taxes Marriage License Tax Medicare Tax Personal Property Tax Property Tax Real Estate Tax Service Charge Tax Social Security Tax Road Usage Tax Recreational Vehicle Tax Sales Tax School Tax State Income Tax State Unemployment Tax (SUTA) Telephone Federal Excise Tax Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax Telephone State and Local Tax Telephone Usage Charge Tax Utility Taxes Vehicle License Registration Tax Vehicle Sales Tax Watercraft Registration Tax Well Permit Tax Workers Compensation Tax STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What in the heck happened? Can you spell 'politicians?' I hope this goes around THE USA at least 545 times!!! YOU can help it get there!!! GO AHEAD. . . BE AN AMERICAN!!! SEND THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW Like · · Share · 2 hours ago via mobile ·

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  • Marylynn
    01/18/2018
    ···

    Who can blame them when you have a lying dirtbag for a boss. The Liar in Chief doesn't care about national parks, he sees them as his way of making money by allowing fuel companies, logging and mining companies wreak havoc in them, destroying the air, earth and water. GREED IS WHAT DRIVES THE LIAR IN CHIEF. I WON'T BE SURPRISED TO SEE MORE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES QUIT BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT TO WORK FOR THE MORON.

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  • Jim
    01/18/2018
    ···

    Glad they are gone. They keep stealing from the people to give to government so no citizens get to see it or use it. Except maybe some backpackers. Release more land to the people.

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  • Gary
    01/18/2018
    ···

    Having read most of the comments on this subject I am struck with one major point. No one has mentioned how not having a meeting of this group caused one iota of a problem for anyone at all. We are left with one more example of the democrat policy of creating a crisis to manage, And we are left with one more example of how less government is not only better but potentially cheaper than another in a long line of credibility starved committees that the democrats always find so needed. The only bright spot here is that we can all rejoice in seeing for perhaps the first time in history a government agency where the employees actually quit for Lack of work, or supposed principle.

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  • S
    01/18/2018
    ···

    Zinke doesn’t want anyone questioning his rape of the national parks. He is doing everything possible to decimate these parks from allowing plastic water bottles to drilling to not providing funding to address climate changes like ridding the parks of invasive species. Another notch in his belt for environmental damage. He and Pruitt are both focused on the same goal ruination of the environment. They won’t be happy until all the land is open for businesses to pollute and destroy as they want. The Interior Dept is responsible for addressing its sexual harassment charges. It can’t be pawned off on an advisory board.

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  • verymary
    01/18/2018
    ···

    Since our President is intent on destroying the environment, he will of course want to rid our country of its national parks. "We hold these truths to be self-evident," but Donald Trump and his appointees obviously do not. Our certain unalienable rights are becoming less certain with every distressing day.

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  • Sky
    01/19/2018
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    Get rid of any department head who can’t listen to experts in their field!

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  • Gerald
    01/18/2018
    ···

    Good for the board. Resistance is futile. The new sheriff in town doesn’t like scientists and never convening a meeting is his way of saying you are worthless. He’ll just assign the role to someone in his family and we will see renaming begin. Everglades to Evertrump, The Badlands to Badhillary lands, the Washington Monument to the Trumpdick Monument and so on. Remember he and he alone will make America great again. We just need to understand that filling in the Grand Trump Canyon creates jobs for those receiving Medicaid and will make a great golf course one day. What a stupid reason for a park anyway...just a big shithole.

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  • Brian
    01/18/2018
    ···

    The Republican motto rings true with every headline rape and pillage the environment and take from the poor to give to the rich.. 2018 the wave builds will you be swept away a resounding yes

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  • Rhonda
    01/18/2018
    ···

    Stop the rape of our national parks. This administration looks only for profit - there is zero respect for environment, land, people - nothing! Only the all mighty dollar matters to our current government. I totally understand why anyone who has an ethical compass cannot stay-I just hope we can find a way to stop this rose before it is too late.

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  • Charles
    01/20/2018
    ···

    Do not sell out our national treasures. Federal land was acquired through various treaties and acts including the Louisiana Purchase, Spanish Cessions, Mexican Cession, Oregon Territory Treaty with Great Britain, and the Gadsden Purchase, before states were states. The national parks, forests, monuments, and BLM lands belong to all Americans.

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  • Donna
    01/18/2018
    ···

    I told my daughter before the election in November, 2016, that I would be leaving the country for four years if DJT was actually elected. She called the day after the election to ask where I would be living. I told her I chose to stay and fight because this is MY country and he WORKS FOR ME. It has been a struggle at times, but I have managed not to pick up my passport and just disappear into some friendlier place, as I am not sure any exists now due to the words and actions of DJT. I understand the frustration these board members feel. Giving up is not the answer. The complicit members of the Senate confirmed this idiot to destroy our public lands and National Parks. It is up to the board to help the American people insure his actions are brought to light and he is held accountable. ZINKE WORKS FOR US. The Senate that hired him WORKS FOR US. DJT WORKS FOR US. Giving in and resigning only emboldens this already tyrannical administration. I want my grandchildren to have national parks and monuments to visit in the future. I want our lands protected. I WANT ZINKE FIRED. We managed to create enough bad publicity for DJT around Price to get his resignation. We can do it again with this jackass. These board members will be replaced with DJT flunkies who do not believe in public land, science, facts or truth. That should be completely unacceptable to all Americans.

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  • Leon
    01/18/2018
    ···

    When the going gets tough... I’m sure we can do better.

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  • Dennis
    01/19/2018
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    That will teach him, You on welfare now, lol

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  • Amy
    01/18/2018
    ···

    I understand their reasoning for resigning, but now the parks are in more danger. It is more important than ever for our representatives to do their part and preserve our National Parks.

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  • IMJae
    01/21/2018
    ···

    The board should be made up of people with degrees in science and the environment as well as an environmental lawyer, sociology and 1 each Rep & Dem. Our parks are the greatest natural resource this nation has and they need to have a board that is proactively working to do they’re job the best that can be done. I am one citizen that’s damn tired of people being put in jobs that not only are they not qualified for, but they systematically work to dismantle from the inside. No more shills being placed at posts so something the wealthy & powerful don’t want in place can be taken apart by the very people holding the position for their sugar daddies.

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  • Sam
    01/18/2018
    ···

    Who can blame them? This administration's every move has been degrading to the preservation of public lands. When it feels like someone who you're supposed to be working with is actively attacking your organization, of course you want to get out.

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