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Since its inception in 1916, the National Parks Service (NPS) has grown into a network of beautiful locations visited by 275 million people each year.
In its wake, the NPS has left behind countless female victims.
Female employees of the NPS have for years entered work environments where the "good ol' boy" mentality remains prevalent. Not only has this left women vulnerable to sexual harassment; it has left women traumatized, and in fear of losing their job. Some women who spent years of their lives dreaming, and working toward, a job in the NPS are left fearing what they once loved most: the outdoors.
At Yosemite National Park alone, 18 employees have come forward with allegations of harassment or misconduct "so severe that a recent report labeled working conditions at the park 'toxic.'"And the problem extends much further than just Yosemite. It extends into many of the agencys 413 parks.
No human being should be subjected to such behavior in the workplace. What's worse is that, currently, while the NPS is under widespread investigation, there's no program within the service that attempts to heal the wounds of victims harassed, and silenced, during their time with the NPS.
These women need a place to turn, and it's beyond unacceptable for the NPS to fail them once more. Sign below to urge Jonathan B. Jarvis, Director of the NPS, to develop and implement such a program.
Dear Director Jarvis,
Writer Wallace Stegner once said of America's National Parks: "National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst."
Right now, our national parks aren't reflecting us at our best. Instead, I'm ashamed. No human being should be subjected to sexual harassment within the workplace. No human being should be forced to be silent about such trauma in order to keep their job. No human being should be living in fear, particularly of something theyve worked so hard to protect.
The National Parks Service has failed, Director Jarvis.
What's worse is that these women need a place to turn, and that the NPS has nothing to offer them.
I urge you to make the healing of these wounds your top priority, and to develop and implement a cost-free program for victims harassed and silenced within the NPS.