New Superintendent Chris Stein
Contact: Patty Rooney, 402-661-1532
Christopher Stein selected as Superintendent
for Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway
OMAHA, Neb. – Christopher (Chris) Stein has been selected as the new Superintendent for Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway, St. Croix Falls, Wis. Currently the Chief of Interpretation and Education at Yosemite National Park, Calif., he will begin the new assignment October 19. Stein replaces Tom Bradley, who is now Superintendent at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Mo.
In announcing the appointment, Ernest Quintana, Regional Director of the National Park Service (NPS) Midwest Region, stated, “Chris’ strong background in developing partnerships with the private sector, local, regional, and national groups, and other Federal Agencies, as well as foreign governments, will serve him very well in this new assignment. We look forward to welcoming him as a part of our Midwest management team.”
A 28-year veteran of Federal service, Stein began his career first as a Seasonal Park Ranger at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, N.Y., then at Fire Island National Seashore, also in New York. His first permanent position came in 1981, as a Park Ranger at Minute Man National Historical Park, Mass. Stein became Supervisory Park Ranger and Public Affairs Officer at Boston National Historical Park, also in Massachusetts, in 1984 before returning to New York as Chief Ranger at Gateway National Recreation Area. In 1991, a return to Massachusetts as Chief Ranger and Public Affairs Officer at Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor preceded a move by Stein to the position of Superintendent at the National Park of American Samoa. Stein returned to the continental U.S. to serve as Chief of Resource Education at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tenn., before he assumed his current position in 2002. During his tenure at Yosemite, Stein has had Acting assignments as Administrative Officer at Yosemite and as Superintendent at Nez Perce National Historical Park, Idaho. A detail opportunity to serve as coordinator of a “Children in Nature” initiative brought him to Washington, D.C., for 4 months early in 2008. Prior to his Federal service, Stein held seasonal and permanent park ranger positions in three state park areas in Utah -- Dead Horse Point State Park, Bear Lake State Recreation Area, and Goblin Valley State Reserve.
Stein said of his new assignment, “I am thrilled to be given this great opportunity at such an important American river system. It can be said that the whole way we view rivers made a tremendous shift in 1968 when the U.S. Congress passed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and established Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway as one of the first river systems protected by the Act. This is truly an honor to be given one of the leadership positions at such a special place. I am eagerly looking forward to meeting and working with park staff, volunteers, partners, and community members to help protect the nationally significant natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway. I look forward to getting back into a canoe again, and my wife, Meryl, is eagerly looking forward to kayaking.”
Stein, a Uniondale, Long Island, N.Y., native, graduated from Utah State University as valedictorian, with a bachelor of science degree in park management. His wife, Meryl Rose, is an NPS Ecologist at Yosemite. The Steins have three grown sons -- Jeremy, 30; Matthew, 27; and Gregory, 25 -- and two grandsons, and, in the next couple of months, will welcome a little girl from China into their lives.
Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway includes the Namekagon and St. Croix Rivers and flows 252 miles through some of the most undeveloped country in the upper Midwest. The upper 200 miles offer superb canoeing and camping. Power boating is popular on the lower river, which is wider, deeper, and slower. The riverway is flanked by several state parks and, in addition to boating and camping, visitors enjoy fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing in the area, renowned for spectacular scenery. The states of Minnesota and Wisconsin manage the lower 25 miles of the St. Croix River to its confluence with the Mississippi River. The 92,735-acre park was authorized October 2, 1968.
Did You Know?
Before the invention of refrigerators, people harvested ice from rivers and lakes in the winter and stored the ice, covered in sawdust, in buildings. An ice house, storing ice from the river, once stood near the site of the park headquarters for St. Croix NSR, in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin.