Yosemite Superintendent will step down
National Park Service spokesperson Andrew Munoz confirmed on Thursday, September 29 that Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher is retiring, following allegations that he allowed harassment to occur under his leadership and created a “toxic” work environment.
Neubacher publicly apologized on Sunday, September 25 to Yosemite National Park staff following allegations of harassment and other misconduct under his leadership for almost seven years. Last week, a congressional oversight committee heard from at least 18 Yosemite employees, some of whom singled out Neubacher for intimidating those who complained about mistreatment. Employees at other major national parks, such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, have also complained of harassment and mishandling of employee complaints, news sources across the country have reported.
Kelly Martin, Yosemite’s chief of fire and aviation management, told members of the oversight committee that she has been harassed and discriminated against throughout the 32 years she’s worked for the Park Service.
In 1987 when she was working at the Grand Canyon, Martin reported being spied upon by a park ranger while she showered, but did not file charges against the ranger for fear or being ostracized, she said in written testimony to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. She said she left the Park Service, but returned in 2006 to find the same ranger not only still working for the Park Service, but promoted. “I feel that I can no longer remain silent,” Martin told the House Committee. She said she felt that there was a “clear failure of management to take action to investigate and advocate on a victim’s behalf.”