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Outgoing Yellowstone National Park superintendent reflects on his career

Posted at 3:29 PM, Aug 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-10 17:38:27-04

Dan Wenk, the superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, reflected on his career with the U.S. Forest Service in a call with reporters Thursday.

Wenk announced several months ago that he would retire as Yellowstone National Park Superintendent 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.”

As the 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.