Report alleges sexual harassment fostered ‘toxic’ working conditions at America’s national parks

Park rangers meet in front of Yosemite FallsSexual harassment and bullying are rampant among the flagship national parks in the United States, according to reports from the Associated Press and The Washington Post published on Thursday.

Eighteen employees at Yosemite National Park have filed complaints of harassment, bullying and other misconduct, the Associated Press noted.

Here’s more from the AP: 

The complaints follow a report by the Interior Department’s inspector general that found male employees at the Grand Canyon preyed on female colleagues, demanded sex and retaliated against women who refused.

I feel that I can no longer remain silent,” said Kelly Martin, Yosemite’s chief of fire and aviation management, at a congressional hearing on the matter that was cited by The Washington Post.

Martin, who told lawmakers she has been sexually harassed throughout her 32-year career in the National Park Service, recalled three cases of sexual misconduct, adding that there’s been a “clear failure of management to take action to investigate and advocate on a victim’s behalf.”

When Martin described an incident in which a park ranger leered at her through a bathroom window, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said, “You don’t need a new memo to deal with this, you need handcuffs and a trip to the sex-offender registry,” Gowdy said, referring to the alleged offender.

At Yellowstone National Park, an investigation is underway over allegations that female employees were subjected to sexual harassment for years at the hands of their supervisors — including one incident in which an employee was allegedly paid for sex.

Read the full story at The Washington Post» 

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