Former Governor worries about the future of National Parks
Former Governor Tony Knowles said he has some serious concerns about the future of the National Park System. Knowles was one of 10 members of the National Park Service Advisory Board who resigned earlier this week in protest over a lack of communication with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Knowles said the board tried to meet with Zinke for nearly a year before they gave up in frustration.
"It's like when you are on the phone and you're put on hold," said Knowles. "After a year, it's time to hang up."
Knowles said the message Zinke was sending by ignoring board members was "obvious".
"The message that we were being given is that there wasn't interest in the board's work and what we had accomplished."
Knowles said the board was particularly concerned that Zinke, a Trump appointee, rescinded many of the programs relating to science and education that were set up under the former National Park Service director. Knowles said it seemed more like a political move than good public policy.
"They were just dismissed, these orders that had come down from the previous director. That's okay, that's what a Secretary can do," said Knowles. "But you should talk to somebody, consult with somebody. And if you don't like this [then] what do you like?"
Knowles shared a statement released by Interior Department Spokeswoman Heather Swift shortly after the resignations. In it, she said the board resignations were "welcome" and that the Department was working quickly to fill the vacant seats.
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