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Analysis: Is DOI strong-arming USNPS senior officials?

When I reached Superintendent Dan Wenk at his office in Yellowstone recently, I was half expecting a gloves-off rant from a man who is known as a cool head. Earlier in the month, Wenk had received a memorandum from National Park Service Deputy Director Dan Smith saying he was being reassigned to an executive position in Washington, D.C., despite his request to serve out his career at Yellowstone until his March 2019 retirement date.


“It’s a hell of a way to be treated at the end of four decades spent trying to do my best for the Park Service and places like Yellowstone, but that’s how these guys are,” Wenk told the Bozeman-based Mountain Journal. By the time I caught up with Wenk, he was candid but a little more reserved. “I expected a conversation,” he told me, referring to his retirement proposal to his superiors. “I expressed many times, ‘Can we just sit down and talk?’ The conversation I requested never happened.”


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