Interior cheers resignations of national park advisers

Interior cheers resignations of national park advisers
© Greg Nash

The Interior Department said it welcomes the resignations of most members of an advisory committee on national parks.

In letters first reported Tuesday by The Washington Post, advisory committee members said Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeTrump flails as audience dwindles and ratings plummet OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senior Interior official contacted former employer, violating ethics pledge: watchdog | Ag secretary orders environmental rollbacks for Forest Service | Senate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Senior Interior official contacted former employer, violating ethics pledge: watchdog MORE wasn’t meeting with them or consulting them on key issues like his proposal to increase some parks’ fees.

But Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift said in a statement the nine members of the 12-person National Park System Advisory Board had ignored sexual assault problems at the National Park Service (NPS) while supporting former Director Jonathan Jarvis despite ethics violations, among other problems.

“We welcome their resignations and would expect nothing less than quitting from members who found it convenient to turn a blind eye to women being sexually harassed at National Parks and praise a man as 'inspiring' who had been blasted by the inspector general for ethics and management failures, all while taking credit for the extensive work of private companies during the NPS centennial celebration,” Swift told the Examiner Wednesday.

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Swift disputed the idea that Interior was not engaging with the committee, saying that officials had spoken with the advisers as recent last this month.

“Their hollow and dishonest political stunt should be a clear indicator of the intention of this group,” she said.