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Superintendent Cartwright to Retire

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News Release Date: November 19, 2012
Contact: Denise Germann, 406-888-5838

After 40 years of government service, Glacier National Park Superintendent Chas Cartwright has announced his retirement, effective at the end December.

Cartwright joined Glacier National Park in the spring of 2008 and has been responsible for the management of over 1 million acres, a staff of approximately 130 permanent and 360 seasonal employees and numerous volunteers, an annual operating budget of almost $14 million, and partnership with four park partners, concessioners, Blackfeet and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, landowners within the park, and local and regional communities and businesses.

Cartwright said he will miss the relationships and all the people that have been part of his job for the past 4 ½ years. "I am so fortunate to have worked with so many great people, internally and externally, that have a passion for Glacier National Park," said Cartwright. He has been especially impressed with the employees that care for it on a daily basis, as well as the many partners and neighbors that are actively involved.

Some of his highlights during his tenure at Glacier National Park include the resolution of mining issues in the North Fork, progress on the Going-to-the-Sun Road rehabilitation, leadership of the Flathead Basin Commission and the pro-active response to aquatic invasive species (AIS) and protecting the region's water, and the merger of park partners in an effort to grow private support and provide a more seamless way of connecting others with the park.

Cartwright said, "It has been an honor to be involved with public land management and public service for the past 40 years. I've enjoyed my career and protecting many of the nation's special places."

His career with the National Park Service has included superintendent positions at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado, Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming, Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site in North Dakota, and Hovenweep National Monument in Utah and Colorado. He held acting superintendent positions at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico and National Bridges National Monument in Utah. He also served as the Associate to the Deputy Director of the National Park Service in Washington, D.C.

Cartwright began his career with the National Park Service at Canyonlands and Arches National Parks and Natural Bridges National Monument as the group's first permanent archaeologist. Prior to joining the National Park Service, he worked for the Bureau of Land Management as an archaeologist and the US Forest Service as a fire lookout, river ranger and firefighter.

After graduating from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology in 1972, Cartwright traveled west to begin his career in public land management

He is an avid athlete who regularly bikes, skis, swims, hikes and kayaks. He says working for the National Park Service has been a great way to explore some of our country's greatest outdoor areas. "Getting out and interacting with employees, partners and visitors on the trail has been a priority for me," said Cartwright.

Cartwright and his wife Lynda plan to stay in the Flathead Valley and continue exploring and enjoying the many outdoor recreational activities.

A reception to honor Cartwright is planned for Thursday, December 13, 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. at Glacier's Community Building in West Glacier. For more information or to schedule a presentation, please contact Connie Stahr at 406-888-7901.

It is unknown at this time who will serve in the interim as Acting Glacier National Park Superintendent until the position is filled.

Did You Know?

U-shaped valley carved by a glacier

Glacier National park was named for the glaciers that carved, sculpted, and formed this landscape millions of years ago. Despite the recession of current glaciers, the park's name will not change when the glaciers are gone.