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Theodore Roosevelt National Park superintendent pegged for Midwest deputy regional director

The superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park Wendy Hart Ross tagged as next Deputy Regional Director for Management and Administration of Interior Regions for the Midwest region.

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The superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park Wendy Hart Ross tagged as next Deputy Regional Director for Management and Administration of Interior Regions for the Midwest region. (Photo courtesy of the National Park Service)

National Park Service's Regional Director Bert Frost announced on Tuesday the appointment of Wendy Hart Ross as the next Deputy Regional Director for Management and Administration of Interior for America's Midwest. Ross will move into the position this November after having served for the past seven years as Superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota.

“Wendy is an outstanding leader with broad experience gained through serving in a variety of National Park Service positions,” Frost said. “I look forward to working with her in this new capacity. Wendy has a proven track record of problem solving, and a comprehensive understanding of park operations and regional programs that will serve her well in her new position.”

In her new role, Ross will be part of the senior leadership team overseeing 58 national park units, 3 national trails and 8 national heritage areas located across 13 states in the Midwest region. The region employs approximately 2,300 people and almost 39,000 volunteers, while averaging nearly 23 million visitors.

“I look forward to expanding my current role to support the incredible staff, superior programs and unique parks that make this region unparalleled in the National Park Service,” Ross said of her appointment. “It is a privilege to continue serving the public and the parks in this way.”

The area Ross will directly oversee contribute approximately $1.6 billion to the local economies annually.

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Service in the National Park Service is somewhat of a family tradition for Ross, who is a second generation ranger after following in the footsteps of her father who also served as superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Over her 29-year government career in parks throughout the country, Ross has served in a variety of management positions including Management Assistant at Glacier National Park and Superintendent at Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site.

Ross, who will leave Theodore Roosevelt National Park for her new position, detailed her personal love and connection to the area and the beauty of the badlands.

"I have an intense personal connection to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Like President Roosevelt, I found solace in the badlands when I was young and impressionable," Ross said. "My father's ashes rest among the colorful buttes overlooking the Little Missouri River at Wind Canyon. Words cannot express how honored I (was) to manage this magnificent landscape."

Born in Tacoma, Washington, Ross earned her Bachelor of Arts in Northern Studies through Middlebury College in Vermont before beginning her NPS career as an Air Quality Technician and later a Visitor Use Assistant at Yellowstone National Park. She served as a Resource Management Specialist at Shiloh National Military Park, North Cascades National Park Complex and Glacier National Park.

Ross was a Management Assistant at Glacier National Park before becoming Superintendent at Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site.

A 21-year National Park Service veteran, she began her career in public service as a Peace Corps Volunteer facilitating an agricultural loan program for rural farmers in Radawana, Sri Lanka — as a result, she speaks the Singhalese language fluently.

The National Park Service will begin recruiting for a permanent superintendent at a later date for the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, with further information available at www.usajobs.gov/.

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