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Yellowstone National Park superintendent announces retirement

Posted at 7:45 AM, Jun 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-01 09:45:36-04

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. –  After more than 43 years of service in the national park system, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk announced his decision to retire on March 30, 2019.

“I’ve had an amazing career with the National Park Service,” said Wenk. “It is an honor and a privilege to preserve national park resources and provide incredible visitor experiences, and I’m not done yet. I’m in the midst of several important projects that I will finish before I depart to ensure the smoothest transition for Yellowstone.”

According to a press release, Wenk’s remaining tenure at the park will be:implementing the bison quarantine program by sending live animals to the tribes at Fort Peck; collecting data and developing community support for the long-term visitor use management planning effort; negotiating concessions contracts; managing transboundary wildlife issues; and working with park staff to improve workplace culture.  

As the current Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park since 2011, Wenk manages more than 2.2 million acres, a staff of 800, and an annual budget of more than $60 million.

Wenk served as Deputy Director of Operations for the National Park Service in Washington D.C. from 2007 through 2011. He served as Acting Director of the National Park Service for nine months in 2009. In these national roles, Wenk received the Department of the Interior Secretary’s Executive Leadership Award and the Presidential Rank Award.

Wenk’s career with the National Park Service began in 1975 as a landscape architect. He was named Superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Memorial in 1985 where he served for 16 years. In 2001, he was appointed the Director of the Denver Service Center, which is the National Park Service’s central office with responsibility for planning, design, and construction.

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