Press Release Oct 1, 2019

Trump Administration Continues to Ignore Park Service Director Nomination

Our national park rangers, and the American people, deserve a fully empowered leader.

Washington, DC – Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced that beginning October 1, 2019, David Vela will serve as the deputy director exercising the authority of director for the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS has now been without a Park Service Director for more than two and a half years. The Trump administration continues to keep Park Service leadership in place without an official nomination, disregarding the requirement for congressional approval and leaving thousands of park staff without an empowered leader.

Statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for National Parks Conservation Association:

“Despite the Trump administration having every opportunity to formally advance a National Park Service Director nomination, thousands of National Park Service employees have gone more than two and a half years without an empowered leader. Park Superintendents aren’t getting support to fulfill their stewardship responsibilities and the public is shut out of one decision after another.

“The administration continues to treat these ‘acting’ posts as rubber stamps for their egregious policy decisions. NPCA supports the nomination of David Vela to Park Service Director, and we believe he should be re-nominated and given the authority to manage this essential agency.

“Our national park rangers, and the American people, deserve a fully empowered leader approved by Congress to perform his or her duties to ensure the protection and future of our national parks.”


About National Parks Conservation Association: For 100 years, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit