Interior Secretary David Bernhardt announced the surprise replacement of the National Park Service's acting director, naming one of his advisers to run the agency.
Friday’s change puts an adviser to Bernhardt in charge of the park service as it begins to help divvy up a new multi-billion dollar annual bequest from Congress.
The move comes after David Vela, a 30-year park service veteran and the first Latino to run the service, unexpectedly announced his retirement.
Bernhardt put Margaret Everson, who serves as Bernhardt’s counselor, in charge.
The job is one of several at Interior that have been filled by a series of acting heads rather than by Senate-confirmed appointments.