National Park Service hires firm to study employee morale, then shelved report for 2 years

Published: Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 5:35pm
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The National Park Service has faced allegations of harassment for years, including accusations of sexual assault in the Grand Canyon. The blowback from those allegations led Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga to retire in 2016.

But the agency’s problems with employee morale have continued.

In 2017, nearly 40% of the Park Service employees said in a survey they had faced some form of harassment.

The Park Service hired a consultant to do a more in-depth study, but it shelved it until recently, when it was leaked to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

“The core message of the report, that openness and transparency, were the best things that they could do moving forward, and their reaction to that was to simply put it on a shelf for two years,” said PEER spokesman Kevin Bell said.

He said he’s optimistic that Park Service Director Chuck Sams will work to improve agency morale.

The Park Service did not respond to a request for comment.