Wenk Denies Being Forced Out
Written by Andrew-Rossi on June 4, 2018
A former director of the National Park Service says Yellowstone’s superintendent is being driven out by Trump administration appointees who don’t want park officials advocating for natural resources outside the park’s boundary.
Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk announced Friday that he plans to retire early next year. He told the Associated Press that he decided months ago he would retire in early 2019, and said he went public with the decision following recent news reports that he was facing a possible transfer to a job in Washington, D.C.
In an address to Cody Chamber members in May, Wenk said he always understood that as a member of the U.S. government’s senior executive service, he could be moved to another job.
Former Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, an Obama appointee, says the proposal to transfer Wenk to a new position was meant to push him out of the agency. Jarvis alleges that it’s part of a Trump administration agenda that includes removing protections for wildlife and lowering resistance to extractive industries such as mining. Wenk has been a strong advocate for protecting wildlife that crosses back and forth over the park’s borders with Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
However, he is dismissing speculation that the Trump administration pushed him out for political reasons.
Wenk spent more than four decades with the National Park Service and says his seven years in Yellowstone marked the pinnacle of his career.