Board chairman Tony Knowles explained the decision to resign in a one-page letter to Zinke, stating: “For the last year we have stood by waiting for the chance to meet and continue the partnership between the NPSAB and the [Department of Interior] as prescribed by law. We understand the complexity of transition but our requests to engage have been ignored and the matters on which we wanted to brief the new Department team are clearly not part of its agenda.
“I wish the National Park System and Service well and will always be dedicated to their success. However, 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. I hope that future actions of the Department of Interior demonstrate that this is not the case.”
In addition to Knowles, a former Alaska governor, members Gretchen Long, Paul Bardacke, Carolyn Finney, Judy Burke, Stephen Pitti, Milton Chen, Belinda Faustinos and Provo-based Margaret Wheatley tendered their resignations.