Most Members Quit National Park Service Advisory Panel in Protest

John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California.  Muir wrote: "Any fool can destroy trees.  Through all the wonderful, eventful centuries ...  God has cared for these trees...but he cannot save them from fools -- only Uncle Sam can do that." - Our National Parks (1901) chapter 10.
John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California. Muir wrote: "Any fool can destroy trees. Through all the wonderful, eventful centuries ... God has cared for these trees...but he cannot save them from fools -- only Uncle Sam can do that." - Our National Parks (1901) chapter 10.
(National Park Service)
  • Longfellow National Historic Site, Cambridge, MA.

    Longfellow National Historic Site, Cambridge, MA.

    ARTFIXdaily photo

  • A Puebloan granary in Utah's Bears Ears National Monument from which Interior Secretary Zinke recommends that a staggering 1.1 million acres be trimmed from monument status.  This sacred Native American land contains 100,000 archeologically significant sites along with stunning red rock scenery--unprotected parts could be opened up now for industrial uses.

    A Puebloan granary in Utah's Bears Ears National Monument from which Interior Secretary Zinke recommends that a staggering 1.1 million acres be trimmed from monument status. This sacred Native American land contains 100,000 archeologically significant sites along with stunning red rock scenery--unprotected parts could be opened up now for industrial uses.

    Bureau of Land Management

This week, 10 out of 12 National Park System Advisory Board members have resigned, leaving the federal government without a functioning body to designate national historic or natural landmarks, reports the Washington Post.

In a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, departing board chairman Tony Knowles, a former Alaska governor, wrote: “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.” The volunteer board, and local councils, cited frustration over Zinke's refusal to meet with them regarding national park issues for over a year, "as prescribed by law," said Knowles.

New historical and natural landmarks, which are subject to the board’s approval, have not been declared since 2016, according to the Post. (The existing Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, Georgia, was simply upgraded to national park status this month.) 

Decisions on a steep increase to visitor fees and to reverse a ban on plastic water bottles in the park system were not run by the board; nor were advisors consulted on the decision to alter climate change directives and other policies.

Since January 2017, a new National Park Service Director has not been named, leaving a deputy director currently in the role.

Board member Carolyn “Carrie” Hessler Radelet submitted a separate resignation letter on Wednesday. “[F]rom 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,” wrote Radelet, whose term was not set to expire until 2021. 

After his four-month review of federal lands and waters, Zinke has recommended the modification of 10 national monuments. This rollback of public lands (which is unprecedented in scale) opens them up to possible drilling and mining uses, by reversing Antiquities Act protections that are the legacy of Teddy Roosevelt. 

Zinke has also come under fire for his wildly unpopular plan to open up U.S. coastal waters to more offshore drilling, exempting only Florida in a show of support for its Republican governor.

The National Park System Advisory Board comprises "citizen advisors chartered by Congress to help the National Park Service," and has been an active and nonpartisan institution since 1935.

More News Feed Headlines

"Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" (1972) by David Hockney

David Hockney Painting Snags $90.3 Million in New York; Bidder Wants to Whitewash Banksy He Bought in LA

  • November 15, 2018 23:03

David Hockney's sensual pool painting with two male figures became the most expensive work by a ...

Read More

Detail of Salvator Mundi by da Vinci.

Russian Art Collector Dmitry Rybolovlev Detained in Monaco

  • November 08, 2018 13:39

Update 11/9/18: Unspecified charges have been filed, via Bloomberg. Dmitry Rybolovlev, the ...

Read More

Romare Bearden, Cotton, 1964.  Gelatin silver print (photostat) on fiberboard (Ed.  1/6), 39 x 49 in.  (99.1 x 124.5 cm).  Colby College Museum of Art.  The Lunder Collection, 2017.003.  © 2018 Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.

Arts Initiative Across Maine Brings Forward Artists' Perspectives on Migration

  • November 01, 2018 19:09

“…and when she went out it seemed to her that she too had migrated, that everyone migrates, even ...

Read More

Hank Willis Thomas and Emily Shur—For Freedoms

Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms Are Remade by Artists to Reflect America Today

  • October 28, 2018 22:43

Some 75 years after Norman Rockwell created his iconic Four Freedoms images in response to ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire