Rick Mossman Selected as Chief Ranger
April 22, 2003
Tom Farrell, 605/745-1130
Wind Cave National Park Superintendent Linda L. Stoll has appointed Rick Mossman as the park’s new Chief of Visitor and Resource Protection. He will manage the protection/law enforcement program, fire and aviation management programs, emergency services, structural fire, backcountry management, special park uses, safety, concessions, tort claims and campground operations. He will serve as the senior law enforcement officer and advisor to the Superintendent. Mossman is currently the Snake River Sub-District Ranger at Yellowstone National Park. Mossman’s new assignment takes effect on May 4.
“Rick’s degree in wildlife biology as well as his varied experiences in law enforcement and resource protection, wildland fire, search and rescue, incident management, emergency medical services, supervision and basic park operations gives him an excellent background for this new assignment,” said Superintendent Stoll. He graduated from Topeka West High School in Kansas and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State University.
Mossman has been at Yellowstone since 1996. Prior to that, he worked at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Grand Canyon National Park, Bandelier National Monument, Ford’s Theater National Historic Site, Petrified Forest National Park, and Buffalo National River. He currently serves as the Lead Operations Chief on the National Park Service Midwest/Intermountain Regional Type II Incident Management Team that was assigned to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City 2002, the Mt. Rushmore Freedom 2002 event, and rehab on the Cerro Grande Fire in New Mexico in 2000. He is also an instructor for the National Association of Search and Rescue.
When informed of his appointment, Mossman said, “My family and I are excited about moving to the Black Hills and especially Wind Cave National Park. The mixed-grass prairie and abundant wildlife reminds me of the prairies of Kansas I grew up on. I am looking forward to this new assignment.”
Congress established Wind Cave National Park in 1903. This limestone cavern is an intricate three-dimensional maze of passages that branch in many directions at almost every step. The cave is known for its boxwork formations. The cave is presently the sixth longest in the world and the fourth longest in the United States. The park’s purpose also includes the protection and preservation of a mixed-grass prairie and the wildlife therein, such as bison, elk, pronghorn, deer, and prairie dogs.
Did You Know?
Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.