Seashore superintendent to leave for temporary post at Yosemite by year's end

10/30/2019

Point Reyes National Seashore superintendent Cicely Muldoon will move to Yosemite National Park by the end of the year to serve temporarily as the acting superintendent. Her transfer follows the reassignment of Yosemite superintendent Mike Reynolds, who is set to become the regional director of the agency’s Lower Colorado Basin, Upper Colorado Basin and Arkansas-Rio Grande-Texas-Gulf regions. Seashore spokeswoman Jennifer Stock said the park has yet to name an acting superintendent in her place; although it does not have a timeline for Ms. Muldoon’s absence, her move “is expected to be temporary.” Ms. Muldoon has taken several temporary reassignments during her decade at the seashore, including in 2016, when she filled in as acting deputy superintendent in Yosemite for three months after the resignation of Don Neubacher, the former seashore superintendent of 15 years who ultimately retired due to accusations of gender discrimination and a hostile work environment at Yosemite. Mr. Reynolds, who previously worked as an acting director of the park service in Washington, D.C., took Mr. Neubacher’s place as the permanent appointment in Yosemite after he was pushed aside from his top leadership position during Trump administration staffing overhauls. The park service describes the most recent change for Mr. Reynolds as a promotion, yet it comes amid controversial proposals for increasing recreation and tourism in Yosemite, including to newly allow boats on the park’s Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. (It is unclear if Mr. Reynolds was supportive of the proposal reportedly put forward by the Secretary of the Interior, according to a story published by the Los Angeles Times last week.) Other hot-topic issues in Yosemite include increasing congestion and overcrowding; the number of visitors to the park rose from 3 million in 1986 to more than 5 million in 2016. Ms. Muldoon will arrive in Yosemite amid pressing issues at home, where seashore officials are in the middle of a process of amending the general management plan to address the future of ranching and elk. A final environmental impact statement on the proposed amendment is anticipated to be released early next year. Ms. Stock said that Ms. Muldoon will be in “close contact” with whoever fills her shoes, “but will be primarily focused on Yosemite.”