As federal investigators probe sexual harassment allegations in Yellowstone National Park, Superintendent Dan Wenk is stressing his administration’s proactivity in the matter.
Indeed, according to KPAX, Wenk told officials the Park has been proactive in trying to prevent sexual harassment in Yellowstone because “it makes you feel bad, terrible, because all employees deserve a workplace free of harassment of any kind.” Wenk also cited the arrival of investigators as a positive turn in the case.
Late last month, a maintenance worker in the special projects division submitted a formal report to the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee alleging male coworkers regularly harassed and abused female employees. We previously reported federal investigators were dispatched to the Park; we also reported that Wenk, when the allegations were brought to his attention, immediately pursued an investigation prior to the intercession of federal investigators. From KPAX:
Wenk has been at the helm of Yellowstone for 5½ years and says that in that time there have been less than five reports of workplace harassment — with two coming this year. Wenk says those cases were dealt with internally.
He added that since reports of harassment at national parks across the country came to light, Yellowstone National Park is taking action — including the training 600 of its seasonal employees in sexual harassment.
“So I think that we’re trying to make sure that everyone is aware of what we expect of them in terms of their behavior and reporting incidents if they believe there is a difficult work environment,” said Wenk.
MTN News asked Wenk if he thought there was a culture that accepted harassment at Yellowstone National Park.
“I want to believe there is not a culture where this would be accepted or tolerated and I think the investigation will reveal to us whether or not it is something that has been tolerated and I believe we’ll be able to take appropriate action to ensure we have a culture that is inclusive and embraces, and that we all love,” said Wenk.
Wenk told KPAX he hopes the investigation will be thorough and completed quickly.