These days, anything that goes on in Washington D.C. creates a buzz, no matter what side of the aisle you prefer to view your political theater from. So the reported new director of the National Park Service, P. Daniel Smith, probably wasn’t going to be met with no comments, or in his case, significant resistance.
It’s not even 3 p.m. on a Monday, so expect more backlash, but Smith’s connection to controversial Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is trending.
Here’s more from the New York Daily News:
Smith retired from NPS in 2014, but a decade earlier he got into hot water as special assistant to the agency’s director.
He reportedly acted as middle man when Snyder wanted 130 trees removed at Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park so he could have a better view of the Potomac River from his Maryland mansion.
He told staff at the park “Snyder was not happy with the pace of negotiations with NPS concerning the scenic easement,” according to National Parks Traveler.
The inspector general for the Interior Department in 2006 found Smith “inappropriately used his position to apply pressure and circumvent NPS procedures” to get the trees cut down.
Snyder wasn’t accused of wrongdoing for removing 50,000 square feet of trees, which were replaced by saplings, in the 2006 inspector general’s report, according to the Washington Post.
Smith, however, was accused of forcing subordinates to give the clearing a greenlight without allowing environmental experts or the public to weigh in.
By that point, he’d been moved to Colonial National Historical Park. Smith told the Washington Post in 2006 he’d been reprimanded but committed “nothing tawdry.”
“It was a legitimate request by a landowner who had a legitimate issue with the Park Service,” he said.
Twitter had a field day with Smith’s reported appointment by the Trump administration: