Tags: don neubacher | resigning | harassment | yosemite

Don Neubacher, Yosemite Official, Resigning Amid Harassment Allegations

Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher, seen in this July 28, 2014, file photo, is retiring after employees complained he created a hostile workplace by allowing bullying, harassment, and other misconduct, allegations also raised in other popular national parks, officials said. (Mark Crosse/The Fresno Bee via AP, File)

By    |   Friday, 30 Sep 2016 05:38 PM

Don Neubacher, superintendent of Yosemite National Park, has announced his retirement after at least 18 staff members complained of a hostile and toxic work environment in recent Congressional testimony.

The investigation into his leadership led National Park Service regional officials to decide new leadership was necessary at Yosemite, according to an email from Neubacher reported by The Associated Press.

Neubacher was offered a transfer to Denver but decided to retire as of Nov. 1. He will be on leave until his retirement, effective immediately. 

Yosemite Fire Chief Kelly Martin testified before Congress last week that Neubacher created a toxic work environment for her and other staffers by intimidating and humiliating them. “In Yosemite National Park today, dozens of people, the majority of whom are women, are being bullied, belittled, disenfranchised, and marginalized,” Martin’s written testimony said.

The inspector general of the U.S. Interior Department is investigating conditions at Yosemite and Yellowstone after getting numerous complaints.

A task force appointed in 1999 found  52 percent of National Park Service female employees surveyed had experienced sexual harassment at work.

U.S. House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said last week that he was concerned about a “corrosive culture” allowing sexual harassment that has been going on for a long time, The Associated Press reported.

Neubacher apologized in an email to all park employees after the hearing. Neubacher’s wife, Patricia Neubacher, is deputy director for the Pacific region that includes Yosemite, which Chaffetz said might have contributed to the problems there.

In his email about retiring, Neubacher also mentioned some of the successes he has spearheaded since taking over in 2010, including Mariposa Grove restoration, the Ackerson Meadow addition, and the buildup of several endangered species at the park, McClatchy DC reported.

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Don Neubacher, superintendent of Yosemite National Park, has announced his retirement after at least 18 staff members complained of a hostile and toxic work environment in recent Congressional testimony.
don neubacher, resigning, harassment, yosemite
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2016-38-30
Friday, 30 Sep 2016 05:38 PM
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