Finally some great news from the Department of the Interior. Christine “Chris” Lehnertz will resume her duties as superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park following the completion of an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). It is customary that allegations not be made public during an investigation of this nature, though a report will be made public in the coming weeks.
P. Daniel Smith, Deputy Director of the National Park Service, announced the development in a February 7, message to NPS staff. “The investigation has been completed and I am extremely pleased to let you know the allegations were determined by OIG to be wholly unfounded,” said Smith. “Chris has been fully exonerated of all allegations.”
Acting Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Woody Smeck, on loan from Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park, will return home after serving since November. Chris will be transitioning back from her post in the NPS Denver Service Center by the end of February.
The announcement gives Grand Canyon enthusiasts one more reason to celebrate. The other is the February 26, Founder’s Day Celebration, which will mark the 100th anniversary of Grand Canyon National Park’s creation by the stroke of President Woodrow Wilson’s pen.
Follow these two links for more details on the return of Chris Lehnertz and the park’s calendar of events commemorating Grand Canyon’s Centennial:
- Head of Grand Canyon Cleared of Undisclosed Allegations (KNAU – NPR)
- Grand Canyon NPS – 2019 Centennial Events (Grand Canyon NPS website)