What You Missed: Park Service Harassment Study Reveals Culture of Fear

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An internal study on harassment conducted by the National Park Service has leaked to the press and confirms previous reports of discrimination and abuse within the organization.

Monday the High Country News (HCN) published papers from the NPS Voices Tour Report, a 2018 study of NPS behavior conducted by human resources consultancy Sepler and Associates. Comprised of over 50 in-person sessions, 27 digital sessions, and 200 anonymous submissions from full-time and seasonal NPS employees, the report details a wide range of problematic activities, including first-hand accounts of sexual harassment. and abuse by employees. The report also detailed employees’ fear of retaliation from managers for reporting violations.

“My advice to anyone who is harassed or unfairly disciplined would be to say nothing and leave the NPS as quickly, silently and graciously as possible,” read an anonymous statement in the Storybook section of the report.

“Management has authorized the harassing individual in my case to write the summary of the investigation into his own wrongdoing,” read another statement. “Yes that is correct. The harassing individual was allowed to determine whether he was responsible for his own wrongdoing.

This is not the first time that the NPS has reviewed its own policies on harassment and abuse. In 2017, it published an internal survey showing that 38% of employees had experienced harassment at work in the previous 12 months.

Unlike the 2017 study, however, the NPS withheld the Voices Tour Report results from the public and employees, the story that erupted. HCN. Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, a spokeswoman for the NPS, told HCN that the organization intended to distribute the report after its completion in late 2019, but the pandemic disrupted those plans.

“We recognize that our delay in releasing the report could have the unintended consequence of impacting our efforts to build trust with employees,” said Anzelmo-Sarles. HCN. “One of the most important things we can do is be transparent about what is going on in the workforce and help remove barriers that deter or prevent people from coming forward when they do. ‘they are the subjects or witnesses of inappropriate behavior. “

The summary and conclusion of the report paint a startling picture of NPS internal policies on harassment and abuse and the impact of these failures on employees. According to the report, those interviewed witnessed harassment based on age, sex, religion, race, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Participants strongly believe that the NPS is not following its stated policy of zero tolerance and that some leaders are not dealing with harassment,” the report said. “In the anonymous submissions, we heard about many harassment and discrimination complaints that went unaddressed as well as retaliation for filing complaints.”

In total, the Voices Tour Report includes testimonials from over 1,200 people and covers topics ranging from sexual harassment and abuse to lack of career advancement opportunities for women, LGBTQ + people and those who identify as Blacks, Aboriginals and people of color. . As of 2021, the NPS employed more than 12,000 people, and the report says all employees were invited to participate in the report.

The report confirmed the multitude of reports from former and current employees of abuse in the country’s national parks. In 2018, collaborator Annette McGivney spoke about the culture of harassment and bullying among staff at Grand Canyon National Park in a feature article for Outside.

More ski resorts delay opening day

If you’ve just canceled your Thanksgiving ski plans, you’re not alone.

Ski resorts from Colorado to Vermont this week delayed their opening for the 2021-2022 season due to unusually hot and dry weather. On Tuesday, Telluride and Steamboat Resorts in Colorado both announced plans to postpone their opening after Thanksgiving. The news came after Vermont’s Stowe Mountain Resort announced Monday that it had repelled its opening on November 19 until further notice.

Mount Snow and Okemo Resorts in Vermont have also revealed plans to delay their respective door drops, which were originally scheduled for this week. Brian Head, Utah, also canceled plans to open on Nov. 19, pushing the date back until further notice.

Ski areas attribute delays to hot temperatures and lack of humidity. In Steamboat Springs, daytime temperatures still hover around the fifties.

“Normally at this time of year we have over 20 inches of snow that has remained (not melted) a mid-mountain base of 10 to 20 inches and 200 hours of snowmaking under our belt,” said Dave Hunter, Vice President of Steamboat. president of the station’s operations in a statement. “This year we weren’t able to capitalize on prolonged temperatures and snow windows with only eight hours of total snowfall.

Memories of the 2017-2018 dry winter are still fresh in the minds of many skiers, but there is still hope this winter. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association predicts a La Niña year in the West, which could see above-average snowfall in the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies.

Bear story of the year

In a story with many twists and turns, rangers in Glacier National Park reunited a teddy bear with its owner more than a year after it was lost in Montana park.

Membership exclusivity

The contributor to “My Worst Hike: My Boyfriend Left Me Stranded on the Trail” recounts the hike that changed her perception of outdoor partnership forever. Outside

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“This Colorado resort was the perfect location during the pandemic“How the Silverton Ski Area has helped skiers come together while remaining socially distant. Ski

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