"The agency tasked with safeguarding our greatest public lands has neglected to protect its workers."
"When she was growing up in the Midwest, Olivia* and her family vacationed at national parks every year. They piled into the car and drove hundreds of miles to parks and monuments and historic sites great and small — from Badlands, South Dakota, to Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, and from California’s Sequoia to Acadia in Maine. Each time she discovered a new park, particularly the remote, low-key ones everyone else seemed to forget, Olivia would exclaim, “This is it! This is the park I’m going to work at.”
In 2010, at 20 years old, she landed her dream job through the Student Conservation Association: an internship at Death Valley National Park in Southern California. A sharp-tongued, witty young woman with cascading brown hair, Olivia packed up and drove 2,200 miles from home to one of the nation’s driest and most desolate national parks. One evening, about three weeks in, she asked her 21-year-old housemate, who also worked for the National Park Service, for a ride to a coworker’s house several miles up the desert road, where she was housesitting for the weekend. When they arrived, rather than just dropping her off, the young man invited himself in."