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Forestry Service Misconduct and Retaliation information

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Submitted by Lawrence Lucas

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There will be an oversight hearing Thur. Nov. 15th 10:00 am Eastern regarding misconduct in the Forestry Service. I would encourage you to share this and watch the hearing either live or archived via this link.

https://oversight.house.gov/hearing/examining-misconduct-and-retaliation-at-the-u-s-forest-service/

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy has asked the Department of Agriculture for extensive documents related to sexual harassment and misconduct at the Forest Service, citing persistent reports of such conduct and retaliation against employees who report it.

In an Oct. 22 letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen, Gowdy (R-S.C.) requested all communications regarding anti-harassment policies sent or received by top officials overseeing the Forest Service and all regional foresters since Dec. 2, 2016.

He also asked for information including the number of employees disciplined or terminated in relation to anti-harassment policies since that date, as well as an accounting of penalties imposed. And he asked for all personnel actions associated with employees who filed complaints or reported sexual misconduct or harassment since Jan. 1, 2016.

Gowdy asked the department to comply by Nov. 5. As of this morning, the committee hadn’t received a response, a spokeswoman said.

His letter comes on the heels of several Forest Service initiatives to combat a history of sexual misconduct and harassment in the agency, particularly in firefighting crews. Christiansen took over earlier this year after Tony Tooke resigned as Forest Service chief, following backlash over his own past conduct — a relationship he had a decade earlier with a lower-ranking Forest Service employee when he was a regional forester.

Addressing sexual misconduct is a top priority, USDA Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment James Hubbard has said. He oversees the Forest Service (E&E Daily, July 25). More

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