Wanted: National Park Service Director

The change in administrations has created an opening for a new director of the National Park Service. Mary Bomar officially ended her tenure at the top on Tuesday, and one of her deputies, Dan Wenk, is holding down the job on an acting basis.

In issuing her retirement notice last week, Ms. Bomar announced that she was looking forward to returning to her Texas home to spend more time with her extended family.

How long Mr. Wenk will serve as acting director is a good question, and whether he stays on in any capacity under the Obama administration will be interesting to see. Mr. Wenk was appointed deputy director of operations by Ms. Bomar in March 2007 to succeed Steve Martin, who landed a job as superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park.

According to his NPS bio, Mr. Wenk was director of the NPS Denver Service Center from December 2001 until his appointment as deputy director. At the Service Center he oversaw the agency’s centralized planning, design, and construction services, and provided parks and regional offices with services including contracting and project management.

Prior to working at the Denver Service Center, Mr. Wenk was superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Memorial from 1985 to 2001. As superintendent, he oversaw development of natural and cultural resource management programs to ensure the long-term preservation of the sculpture and the natural area of the surrounding forest.

Mr. Wenk began his National Park Service career in 1975 as a landscape architect at the Denver Service Center and was a management assistant at Yellowstone National Park from 1979 to 1984.