9 of 12 National Park System Advisory Board Members Quit: Chairman - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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9 of 12 National Park System Advisory Board Members Quit: Chairman

"The department showed no interest in learning about or continuing to use the forward-thinking agenda of science," the panel's chairman said

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    This Nov. 2, 2009, file photo shows Tony Knowles at the White House in Washington.

    Nine of the 12 members of the National Park System Advisory Board resigned this week out of frustration that the new heads of the Interior Department hadn't met with them, NBC News reported.

    Tony Knowles, the board's chairman since 2010 and a former Democratic governor of Alaska, said in an interview with Alaska Public Radio that he and eight other members of the panel quit on Monday over their frustration that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke hadn't met with them even once. He confirmed a report in the Washington Post.

    Another contributing factor was department leaders' apparent lack of interest "in learning about or continuing to use the forward-thinking agenda of science," Knowles told Alaska Public Radio. The board advises the interior secretary and the National Park Service on matters such as designation of natural and historic landmarks.

    Interior Department Associate Deputy Secretary Todd Willens said Wednesday it's "patently false" to say the department hasn't engaged with the board, the Associated Press reported. He said the terms of two members had expired and their resignations are a "hollow and dishonest political stunt."

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    (Published Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018)