I’ve just received a press release from the National Parks Conservation Association, of which I am a member, informing us that 9 of the 12 members of the National Park System Advisory Board have just resigned in frustration. Despite repeated requests to meet with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the NPSAB has not had the opportunity to advise the secretary through all of 2017.
Founded in 1935, the NPSAB is entirely non-partisan. One of its major concerns, the past few years, is that our national parks currently have an $11 billion maintenance backlog.
Members of the NPSAB serve without compensation. Like me, they’re park service volunteers. Most of them, like me, are entitled to an NPS Volunteer Pass, given annually to NPS volunteers who have logged more than 200 hours the previous year in service. Year after year, around 250,000 citizens, 40% of whom are seniors, donate more than 6 million hours of service to the system.
And now we’ve lost nine of our most expert volunteers.
Journal of Natural Hist. Ed.
Natural History Institute
Center for Humans & Nature