9 of 12 Members of National Parks Service Board Resign in Protest

Nine of the 12 members of the National Parks System Advisory Board have resigned to protest Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s policies, which they say neglect science and climate change. The mass exodus from the panel—which advises the federal government on how to manage the country’s national parks—leaves the White House without a functioning body to designate natural landmarks and historic lands. “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,” the head of the panel, Tony Knowles, wrote in a resignation letter dated Monday, The Washington Post reports. Eight other members of the board co-signed the resignation letter, which noted that Zinke has refused to meet with them during his tenure. Knowles told The New York Times the group resigned because they are “deeply disappointed with the department” and “concerned” that Zinke “appears to have no interest in continuing the agenda of science, the effect of climate change, pursuing the protection of the ecosystem.”