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Uberuaga to Step Down as Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent

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The superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park has announced his retirement. Dave Uberuaga will step down next month. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the move comes after a federal investigation of sexual abuse within the park’s river district.

Uberuaga made the announcement Tuesday morning in an e-mail to park staff. Earlier this year, the Interior Department’s Office of the Inspector General found Uberuaga and other park managers failed to investigate allegations of abuse and retaliation.

Park spokesperson Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski confirms the superintendent’s retirement is a direct result of that investigation.

“A change in leadership is something that the leadership in Washington was looking for to help ensure that the park is able to move forward and continue to work towards changing the culture,” Shedlowski says.

Last year, a group of current and former Park Service employees and volunteers filed an official complaint against the river management unit. They cited years of hostile work environments. Officials subsequently dismantled the department.

Superintendent Uberuaga met last week with the director of the National Park Service to discuss the future of park leadership. There has been no announcement yet as to who will take over the job.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.
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