WASHINGTON (AP) — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has named a retired park superintendent as acting director of the National Park Service.
P. Daniel Smith retired in 2015 after serving as superintendent of Colonial National Historical Park in Virginia. Smith gained notoriety after helping Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder cut down trees near his home along the Potomac River. An inspector general's report said Smith pressured officials to approve a 2004 deal that disregarded federal environmental laws. Smith was an assistant to the park service director at the time.
Zinke named Smith as deputy director Jan. 9 and said Wednesday he'll lead the agency until a permanent director is nominated by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate.
Zinke said he "can think of no one better equipped to help lead our efforts."