Daines Takes on Sexual Assault in National Parks

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today chaired his first U.S. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on National Parks hearing. The topic was improving the workplace in National Parks as it relates to sexual harassment.

Daines’ hearing follows a report by the U.S. Department of Interior’s inspector general outlining, “unwelcome conduct toward female workers in Yellowstone National Park.” During Daines’ opening statement, he spoke about the need for accountability to ensure that steps are being taken to combat a hostile work environment.

“But marring the successes of the Centennial that same year was the growing number of Park Service employee complaints about a workplace culture where bullying is rampant, sexual harassment goes unaddressed, complaints lead to retribution and top employees faced no accountability at some of our most high-profile parks – including at one of Montana’s crown jewels –Yellowstone National Park,” Daines stated. “At Yellowstone an investigation conducted by the inspector general documented a hostile work environment that carried on because of the actions or inactions of supervisors. These are not new problems. The Park Service has been aware of them for nearly two decades. As a son, husband, and father of four, including two young women, this is completely unacceptable.”

Click HERE to download Daines’ opening statement.

Click HERE to watch Daines’ opening statement.

Daines posed questions to Mr. Michael T. Reynolds, Acting Director, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Ms. Mary L. Kendall, Deputy Inspector General, U.S. Department of the Interior, Ms. Maria Burks, Executive Council Member, Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks. They can be watched HERE and downloaded HERE.