Wenk Says He’s Being Forced Out
Written by Andrew-Rossi on June 8, 2018
The superintendent of Yellowstone National Park says he’s being forced out of his job.
Dan Wenk says that he was informed Tuesday that the National Park Service will replace him this August, despite his announced decision to retire in March of next year. He told Yellowstone Public Radio that he feels like he has devoted 43 years of his life that at the end of the day, quote, “doesn’t matter,” endquote.
Wenk announced last Friday that he would retire from the Park Service in March of 2019, rather than accept a transfer to a position in Washington, D.C. At the time, Wenk denied knowing about any political considerations behind the forced transfer, saying that he has always understood that as a member of the U.S. Government’s Senior Executive Service, he could be moved to another job.
However, this week, he told news outlets that National Park Service Acting Director P. Daniel Smith gave him an ultimatum – to either take the new position in D.C. or retire early.
Steve Iobst, former deputy superintendent of Yellowstone National Park who served under Wenk for several years, says that Wenk’s support of a policy that would control visitation ruffled feathers for gateway community business owners whose livelihoods depend on the millions of tourists who visit the park every year. And he added that many ranchers opposed Wenk’s plan to move some Yellowstone bison to Northeastern Montana.