Daines to National Park Service Director Nominee: Culture Change Comes from the Top

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today questioned President Trump’s nominee for the National Park Service (NPS) Director, David Vela, on the numerous accounts of sexual assault in our national parks, and demanded leadership on the issue going forward.

Vela told Daines he is committed to fixing the lack of accountability in the NPS on the accounts of sexual assault throughout the organization.

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“Culture change starts at the top… the tone and tenor at the top matters,” said Daines. “We all want a zero-tolerance policy and Park Service employees to feel safe and enjoy waking up and going to work every day,”

“On the accountability piece there is more that we can do, we know how to go about doing that and if confirmed, I look forward to achieving that,” said Vela.


According to Office of Inspector General, from January 2016-June 2017, there have been 8 reports from detailing sexual harassment and hostile work environments at our National Parks, including Yellowstone National Park.

NPS has a history of issues of this nature in the past. In 1999, the Women in Law Enforcement Task Force was created to investigate various reports at the NPS – the Task Force found that there was a prevalent issue of sexual harassment and gender discrimination within NPS law enforcement.