Fewer federal land workers are being threatened and assaulted on the job, according to a new analysis by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
Agency workers at the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and National Park Service reported fewer incidents of assault and harassment across the board in 2017. For example, the Forest Service saw 101 incidents last year. That’s down 50 percent from the year before.
John Freemuth is a professor of public policy at Boise State University. He says attitudes, even anger towards agencies that manage public lands, often change when a new administration comes in.
“You’ve got a signal now from this administration that has probably calmed down a lot of people,” says Freemuth. “I guess you could say the more vocal opponents of the Obama Administration are probably pleased right now, so they’ve settled down.”
Freemuth points to several actions led by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, like attempts to reduce the size of national monuments, increase oil and gas drilling, and revise sage grouse plans.
Find reporter Amanda Peacher on Twitter @amandapeacher.
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This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.