Park Service official who ignored environmental rules picked for senior agency post: report

Park Service official who ignored environmental rules picked for senior agency post: report
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A former National Park Service (NPS) official who improperly helped the owner of the Washington Redskins cut down more than 130 trees near his Potomac, Md., estate in 2004 will assume the deputy director post at the agency.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that P. Daniel Smith has been chosen for the position. The decision was announced in an internal email at the agency. 

"We have a new political appointee,” Lori Mashburn, the Interior Department's White House liaison, wrote in the email. “Dan should be a familiar face at NPS. He most recently served as Superintendent of Colonial National Historical Park.”

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Smith's appointment was first reported by National Parks Traveler.

Smith previously served as a special assistant to the director of the Park Service. While serving in that role, he pressured lower-level officials to approve a deal allowing Redskins owner Daniel Snyder cut down more than 130 trees between his house and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. 

That deal shirked environmental laws and opened up the National Park Service to accusations that it had acted impartially on Snyder's behalf, according to the Post.

After that, he served as the superintendent of Colonial National Historical Park in Virginia, which protects Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas, as well as the Yorktown Battlefield, where the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War took place. Smith retired from that position in 2014.