Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Lawmakers Hear Testimony on Sexual Harassment Within the National Park Service


A congressional committee recently examined the National Park Service’s response to agency-wide allegations of employee sexual harassment. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, lawmakers heard testimony from staff about a deeply imbedded culture of abuse and retaliation.

The hearing follows a federal report earlier this year that found a history of abuse and retaliation within Grand Canyon National Park’s now-disbanded River District. That led to investigations at other national parks, including Yosemite and Yellowstone.

Park Service employees told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that misconduct continues and is often covered up by managers. They say it’s led to a widespread acceptance of harassment and created hostile work environments throughout the agency. In addition, respondents felt few, if any, employees have ever been fired for harassment.

Since the investigation, the Park Service has set up a hotline to report harassment and is surveying its employees to gauge the level of abuse. The new superintendent of Grand Canyon, Christine Lehnertz, also says changing the harassment cultureat the park is one of her top priorities.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered 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 Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
Related Content