Is Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke proposing transferring Dan Wenk because he spoke out against grizzly delisting? Regardless of the reason, ZInke needs to be replaced, He operates about like Pruitt does costing tax payers far too much money.
A major management shake-up could be underway at the National Park Service, including the proposed reassignment of the veteran superintendent of Yellowstone National Park and six other senior executives, according to several individuals familiar with the plan.
The transfers, which are not yet official, would come just days after the Interior Department’s inspector general found that officials failed to explain why they shuffled 35 top department employees last June. That round of reassignments, which forced those staffers to decide on short notice whether to move or step down, prompted sharp criticism from Democratic lawmakers.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his deputies have emphasized that they see shifting Senior Executive Service (SES) officials to different locations as a way to invigorate the department’s approach to decision-making. But some career staffers and outside advocacy groups have suggested such moves can, in some cases, amount to retaliation for employees who have spoken out against the administration’s policies — especially given comments by Zinke that he has “30 percent of the crew that’s not loyal to the flag.”
“These multiple moves resemble a purge and have no apparent management motivation other than to marginalize and disrupt,” said Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a frequent critic of the Interior Department during the Trump administration.
Heather Swift, a department spokeswoman, said in an email Friday that the department had no announcements about personnel moves. She added, “Regarding SES moves in general, though, the Department is continually looking at ways to better utilize our workforce and senior leaders to improve the Department.”
The individuals familiar with the changes, including some who have been briefed on the plan, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the decisions had yet to be finalized by the Interior Department’s Executive Resources Board. The board comprises political appointees and department career staffers.
The shake-up would affect at least seven executives in the park system, the individuals said. While several shifts would involve moving officials to less prestigious posts, a few would get promotions.
Margaret Goodro of Biscayne National Park in Florida would become the top executive in the Alaska regional office. Bert Frost, who holds that position, would be reassigned.
Frost is a witness in an inspector-general investigation of P. Daniel Smith, currently the top-ranking Park Service official, who allegedly made a vulgar gesture in a hallway at Interior Department headquarters this January. A letter sent by an anonymous Park Service employee to Zinke said Smith “grabbed his crotch and his penis and acted out as though he was urinating on the wall” while relaying a story to Frost.
Dan Wenk, superintendent of the Park Service’s crown jewel, Yellowstone, would be ordered to report to Washington and the office covering the National Capital Region, according to several people with knowledge of the plan. Leaving the National Capital post would be Bob Vogel, bound for the Southeast regional office in Atlanta.
Cameron “Cam” Sholly, the head of the Omaha office, would take over the Yellowstone job, to be replaced by Sue Masica, who is in charge of the Denver office. Masica’s post would be filled by Lizette Richardson, superintendent at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona and Nevada.