Yosemite National Park, CA — After seven years on the job, the head of Yosemite National Park is retiring — under pressure.
Superintendent Don Neubacher, interviewed by Associated Press on Thursday afternoon, stated he was offered a job transfer but chose for the good of the park to leave and retire after several employees made allegations that he created a hostile workplace. In a staff email Wednesday, Neubacher did not directly address the employees’ complaints but did state he would be on leave until his last day, which is slated as Nov. 1. The position Neubacher declined was reportedly a senior adviser position to the National Park Service’s deputy director, which is based in Denver.
Over the last few days more than a dozen Yosemite staffers complained to members of a congressional oversight committee about bullying, harassment and other issues while working under Neubacher that created a toxic work environment. The allegations are turning out to be similar to others surfacing in national parks that include Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. Federal officials have investigations underway or completing at each of these three parks.
Neubacher has recently been in the news over the transfer of Ackerson Meadow, a 400-acre parcel of habitat-rich historic ranchland, to Yosemite National Park, reported here. The move generated some controversy with federal lawmakers over its legality, as reported here, since it was expressly done without seeking — or obtaining — congressional approval.