The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks is concerned about the findings contained in the recently released National Park Service Work Environment Survey. It is important that the harassment issues contained in the report be promptly addressed in a comprehensive and effective way. Cultural changes must be made as nearly 40% of respondents indicated that they have suffered from some type of harassment.
For the future of the Service, it is extremely important that the National Park Service succeed. The NPS must make these issues a priority and allocate the resources necessary to make the short and long-term changes needed to create a work environment that we all can be proud of.
We are pleased to see that the Service has already begun to make changes: revamping training programs, adding more employee resource groups, and taking steps to hold employees accountable. A new Director’s Order has been issued to the field strengthening policies on sexual harassment. Acting Director Reynolds has made it clear to superintendents and managers what his expectations are and he has hired new staff to expand the capacity to investigate and resolve employee issues effectively. These are all good first steps. Much more must follow if the Service hopes to be successful. We are cautiously optimistic.