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OIG: National Park Service's Northeast Regional Director Committed Travel Fraud

Dec 24th - 08:45am | wild places

"considering disciplinary action" Wow, says volumes about the leadership (or lack there-of). My sympathies to the ethical people still working for the NPS.

Dec 24th - 06:49am | Calypso

He should be fired immediatel, arrested and tried just the same as if he were in the private sector.  The good old boys club does it again.  Until people like him are knocked off their pedestals this kind of behavior will continue to take place.

Dec 24th - 03:24am | Anonymous

As a long-time NPS employee, this behavior is another example of a generation of leaders whose sense of entitlement is no longer being accepted and that group of "good old boys" is nearly gone.  I would NOT put Mike Reynolds in that group.  He is part of the change this organization needs.

Dec 24th - 01:10am | Matt Holmes

He should try to hang on for the new interior secretary to decide since also violated travel regulations by flying his special ops team to work on his house in Montana. #swampthing

Dec 23rd - 21:34pm | Anonymous 1

No reason to mitigate intentional wrongdoings of senior managers who blatantly scoff at accountability and ethical behavior. This is a poor reflection on those of us who choose to behave otherwise.

Dec 23rd - 20:29pm | WeCare

i have to agree with SorryNotSorry. He's a great RD. That's no excusing the indiscretion. It's merely acknowledging that his contributions and his otherwise clean record should not be ignored.  Good people make mistakes. We can agree to disagree.

Dec 23rd - 19:30pm | WeCare

He's probably the best boss I've ever had. Sure, this is disappointing news but I still respect him and his meaningful contributions to the NPS. As far as I'm concerned, he's still my boss. 

Dec 23rd - 19:11pm | AreYouMikeCaldwell?

You've got some strange notions. There's nothing dedicated or honorable about using your position to steal. This automatically disqualifies you as a great RD, and only someeone born yesterday wouldn't be skeptical of his long record of public service. The idea of this person posing as a leader or god forbid disciplining his inferiors is appalling.

Dec 23rd - 18:08pm | Hot got two too...

 Well said....

Dec 23rd - 17:36pm | Anonymous

The question: Would a lower level employee be "reassigned" or would they simply be canned? is completely relevant. Shouldn't there be EQUAL treatment of employees at all levels?  Perhaps if it was a less egregious situation or an honest mistake, it could be forgiven.  But for someone at his level to be handed a waiver for behavior he admits was wrong is wrong.

Dec 23rd - 17:15pm | SorryNotSorry

From my perspective, this is awful news for the National Park Service. Personally, it saddens me to read about the very poor judgement of an otherwise dedicated and honorable leader.

Dec 23rd - 15:47pm | michael stronski

Mr. Caldwell will be sent to Washington  to work with Mr. Reynolds. Did you they are both Buddies. Reynolds work with Caldwell in Philadelphia. This will all blow over and nothing will happen to Caldwell. They all know when they are doing this kind of activity that it will all blow over.

Dec 23rd - 11:34am | Harryb3570

Another scandal to mark the administration of Director Jarvis. The man comitted fraud in the submission of his dishonest vouchers. He should be fired and not reassigned. 

Dec 23rd - 10:01am | Lee Dalton

Would a lower level employee be "reassigned" or would they simply be canned?  This guy needs to be sent packing.  Pronto. If, however, he is reassigned, it should be to cleaning restrooms at Tuzigoot or separating recyclable items from the garbage bins at Anacostia.  

Dec 23rd - 09:46am | Anon anon

From my own dealings with NER staff, particularly of the Boomer generation, I've gotten the impression that there's a culture of entitlement among them. They've expressed some bizarre opinions about what they're entitled to as employees, that they deserve the same perks that -- for example -- corporate executives often receive.

Dec 23rd - 09:04am | SmokiesBackpacker

What is noteworthy here isn't what he did.  It is that he did it during a time of heightened scrutiny of the NPS in light of all the mgmt scandals.  These guys cover each other so he wasn't too concerned about getting busted.  If there is a swamp that needs draining, it is the NPS culture of arrogance and entitlement.  They flip their noses at pesky rules.

National Park Service Director Jarvis Announces Retirement

Dec 23rd - 17:25pm | R. Wilson

Good riddance. This is an opportuntiy to change a damaged culture of the National Park Service. Let's hope 2016 was the low point.

Dec 23rd - 15:28pm | Alfred Runte

Yes, SmokiesBackpacker--universities. They run a job search and 250 people apply. The next thing you know, the spouse of the president, provost, dean,, or department chair has the job. It just so happened that out of 250 people, he or she was the most qualified. The polite term for it is "spousal insert," in which the search is just run for show.

Dec 23rd - 12:58pm | SmokiesBackpacker

Harry, I just wonder if it is even possible to change the NPS culture presently.  Aren't there so many with such an ingrained mafioso mentality?  These are lifers and Nepotism seems to be rampant.  Are other agencies this fruaght with relatives working with and for each other?  

Dec 23rd - 11:41am | Harryb3570

Mr. Jarvis's tenure as Director of the National Park Service was marked by many more low points than high points. He was a severe disappointment to the employees of the National Park Service and to the American people. We can only hope that with the new year and new administration a more capable and better person is appointed as Director.

A Winter Of Solitude Can Be Found At Acadia National Park

Dec 23rd - 16:34pm | Acadia on my mind

If you're looking to hike up Cadillac in the winter, we happened to have just answered a reader's question on our blog, about alternate routes up Acadia's highest mountain:

UPDATED: Price Of Senior Pass Going To $80; Buy It Now For $10

Dec 23rd - 16:13pm | ecbuck

 Lots of people budget their money carefully in order to afford a visit. And a $20-30 park fee is likely to be a small fraction of that budget.

Dec 23rd - 16:04pm | ecbuck

And who are those people Rick?

Dec 23rd - 16:00pm | Rick B.

Marc --- some folks, misguided in my opinion, feel that the government in general and the parks in specific, should be run on a profit/loss statement and should be dollarized.

Dec 23rd - 15:52pm | Marc Norton

Ecbuck, if you think plunking down $20 or $30 to get into a National Park is "mere noise," you clearly have never been poor.

Dec 23rd - 11:54am | Kathy

The pass is for US seniors.  

Dec 23rd - 08:31am | ecbuck

Well Marc, you are quite generous .......... with other peoples money.  The price of entry to a park is mere noise when compared to the overall cost of visiting including transportation, room and board etc.  If someone is too poor to pay admission, they can't afford to get or stay there.  

Dec 23rd - 06:18am | Marc Norton

Dave, you got that right. I am serious when I say that entry to our National Parks should be free to all. There are already too many barriers to their enjoyment, especially for low-income people. Visiting our National Parks should be a right, not a privilege. We should be proud to show them of to the whole world.

Dec 22nd - 20:46pm | Dave

Great idea, William.  Show the rest of the world what greedy, unfriendly people we are in the US.

Dec 22nd - 11:27am | Alfred Runte

Windmill. A good one, EC! Of course, since we are not supposed to say Merry Christmas in Washington State (our capitol rotunda allows only the "holiday tree"), I expect someone to say Santa had it coming for daring to practice Christmas without permission.

Dec 22nd - 08:17am | Cindy

Sales of passes are not blocked.  We have been selling a lot of them since this was passed.

Dec 21st - 20:43pm | E Innis

is the price for pass per person?

Dec 21st - 20:11pm | Assistant Villa...

Because he wanted to kick a Republican for some reason.  Why bother to research the facts?

Dec 21st - 17:55pm | ecbuck

For Alfred:

Dec 21st - 16:24pm | Judy Esposito

What's wrong with paying to visit our beautiful National Parks? Nothing!

Dec 21st - 15:24pm | Linda Fritschel

I have a senior pass and feel guilty enjoying our national parks for free when I could pay something, especially since the parks are so hurting for money. I usually make a nice donation in each park we visit.

Dec 21st - 13:47pm | Shauna

You must be an American citizen

Dec 21st - 13:31pm | ecbuck

Alfred, what is in the platform is a call to transfer "certain lands".  A very reasonable statement as both you and I know there are plenty of federal lands that could be put to better use in state or private hands.  The platform DOES NOT call for the transfer of the National Parks nor does any meaningful leader in the Republican party.

Dec 21st - 13:16pm | Alfred Runte

It's in the platform, EC, and has been in the past, but yes, written nebulously and not with any specific reference to the national parks. It's a general statement about the pubic lands. No matter, Ryan Zimke as the new Interior Secretary is adamantly opposed to transferring any public lands to the states. I wish the same could have been said about Ken Salazar and Sally Jewell.

Dec 21st - 12:30pm | Rick B.

Specifically correct, but the platform itself is speciously written.

Dec 21st - 10:30am | ecbuck

Written perfectly And not written the way Claudette claimed.  No meaningful leader of the Republican party has called for getting rid of the National Parks.  Claiming so is flat out wrong.  

Grizzly Bear Shot and Killed By Hikers In Denali National Park and Preserve

Dec 22nd - 16:19pm | johnmark1989101889

they did use their head, and also made the best desicion, they are still living, and the bear is dead. any animal that trys to attack a human or attacks them should be shot dead no questions asked. i would have shot him also

Dec 21st - 19:50pm | Anonymous

i have an issue with a lot of the statement listed above.  So your telling me that you want people to figure out the judgement and thinking of a bear? If a person charges another with a knife it could take less the 3 second for a person to run up and stab a person within 7' distance.  Now with that said a bear is much faster and I am sure they can close the gap a lot faster.

Snowplay Area At Mount Rainier National Park Expected To Open Friday

Dec 22nd - 10:21am | tahoma

There was already 60" of snow at the Paradise weather station when a press release earlier this month promised the snowpay would be open by December 18.  The previous two winters, park management has closed the snowplay for the season the week before local school's spring break, even though there was plenty of snow..

Create, Or Add To, Your Digital National Park Library

Dec 22nd - 08:09am | Harryb3570

Kurt, What a wonderful service to make available to your readers. With the whole world going digital I was wondering when this would happen. These publications will make a magnificent addition to our libraries for those of us who are interested in our National Parks. 

Dec 22nd - 07:34am | Kurt Repanshek

Steve, yes, it should work. They're just PDFs. Once you pay you're provided with the download information. Let me know if there's a problem.

Dec 22nd - 06:37am | Steve Nelson

Kurt, will this work for those of us who have a tablet that is not an IPad?  Do we just download the PDF file after payment?

UPDATED: National Park Service Lays Out Four Options On Whether To Help Isle Royale National Park Wolves

Dec 21st - 16:58pm | Gregg

Let nature take its course. DO NOT reintroduce wolves. The ancestors of the wolves that are there now arrive under their own power without human intervention. Let nature continue to takes its course.   

Essay: Connections Are As Deep As Your Roots

Dec 21st - 11:37am | Cynthia Donisi

Yeah - well written and I agree.  I was also honored to have Laura Martin guide and teach me about the area during a recent visit.  She is very knowledgeable and cares about our natural resources and history.  She is a treasure!

Favorite National Park for wildlife? Tips for viewing?

Dec 21st - 10:41am | Ferrell

Wild horses on the island.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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