Trump to pick Wyoming park boss to lead National Park Service: report

Trump to pick Wyoming park boss to lead National Park Service: report
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE is expected to tap David Vela, the superintendent of Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, to lead the National Park Service (NPS).

Greenwire reported the pick Tuesday, citing several sources familiar with the matter. NPS, the Interior Department and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.

Vela told the news outlet that he is “deeply humbled by the rumors and speculation and, if true, would be honored to serve.”


The Trump administration’s agenda for the NPS has centered largely on strategies for tackling its $11.6 billion maintenance backlog.

Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOvernight Energy: Zinke joins Trump-tied lobbying firm | Senators highlight threat from invasive species | Top Republican calls for Green New Deal vote in House Zinke, Lewandowski join Trump veterans’ lobbying firm Is a presidential appointment worth the risk? MORE wants to take a portion of increased energy production revenues and put them toward NPS maintenance. Numerous Republican lawmakers, as well as some Democrats, support the plan.

NPS is also trying to crack down on a decades-old pattern of alleged sexual harassment and assault among workers. Zinke has set a “zero tolerance” policy for harassment and assault and fired workers accused of misdeeds.

NPS, which manages more than 400 parks and numerous other sites, has been without a Senate-confirmed director since Jonathan Jarvis, the director throughout the Obama administration, left in January 2017.

NPS is currently being led by deputy director P. Daniel Smith, who took over in January from Michael Reynolds, the previous acting director.

Vela would be the NPS’s first Hispanic director. He has worked at NPS since 1981, save for an 11-year break to work in other government positions.

Vela has been the top official at Grand Teton and its John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway for four years. He’s also worked in a senior position at NPS headquarters in Washington, D.C., and as director of the agency’s southeast region.