News Release

NPS Superintendent Bob Krumenaker is Leaving Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

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Date: August 22, 2018
Contact: Bob Krumenaker, 715-779-9100
Contact: Myra Foster, 715-779-9112

Bayfield, Wisconsin – After more than 16 years as the Superintendent of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Bob Krumenaker is moving on.  The National Park Service is promoting him to become the Superintendent of Big Bend National Park in west Texas, an iconic 800,000 acre national park on the US-Mexican border.

“It’s a huge change, and leaving the Apostle Islands and the Chequamegon Bay area for a new challenge isn’t easy,” Krumenaker says.  “I’ve put down deeper roots here than any place I have ever lived, quite intentionally. This community loves and supports its national park and I hope the park, in turn, has supported its community.  I’ll miss northern Wisconsin and its good people, and the best group of NPS employees and volunteers I’ve ever worked with.  I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, the friendships I’ve made, and the things we’ve accomplished together.  Lake Superior will always be with me, even as I head to the desert. ”

Krumenaker is the longest-serving superintendent in the park’s history.  He notes that he gets more credit than he deserves for the park accomplishments on his watch, as none could have been accomplished without the dedication, hard work, and professionalism of the park staff and the strong support and involvement of the community.  He cites the major park accomplishments during his tenure as:

·Establishment of the Friends of the Apostle Islands (2003)
·Significant improvement to dock and historic lighthouse infrastructure (2003 - present)
·Congressional designation of the Gaylord Nelson Wilderness on 80% of park land, with strong bipartisan and public support (2004)
·Major emphasis on sustainability and adaptation to climate change (2006 - present)
·Completion of General Management & Wilderness Plans, setting long-term direction for the park (2011)
·Completion of an Accessibility Transition Plan (2012) and commitment to being one of the leading sites for backcountry recreational accessibility.  The park received the NPS Midwest Region Park Accessibility Award in 2016.
·Landmark agreement with 11 Chippewa tribes recognizing off-reservation treaty rights (2013)
·Successful leadership of park/community/interagency team through a highly successful record-breaking winter ice cave season which generated international conventional and social media attention (10+ times “normal” visitation in 2014)
·Legislation adding the Ashland Harbor Breakwater Light to the park and amending the park purpose to include the conservation and enjoyment of historic light stations (2014)
·First-ever prescribed fire, accomplished collaboratively with tribes to return “cultural fire” to the park (2017)
·Design and construction of the new Visitor Center, and a permanent shelter for the historic Twilite fish tug, at Little Sand Bay (2018)

Myra Foster, the park’s Chief of Interpretation and Education, will take over as Acting Superintendent upon Krumenaker’s departure the week of September 16.  The NPS regional office in Omaha will begin recruiting to fill the job permanently as soon as possible.
[NPS Intermountain Region Press Release announcing Krumenaker’s appointment as Big Bend National Park Superintendent  follows.]
Denver, Colorado — Robert “Bob” Krumenaker, a veteran National Park Service (NPS) superintendent experienced in natural resource management, has been named superintendent of Big Bend National Park by NPS Intermountain Region Director Sue Masica. Krumenaker, superintendent of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in northern Wisconsin since 2002, will assume his new duties on Sept. 17.

The promotion marks his return to Texas, where Krumenaker held his first permanent NPS job at Big Thicket National Preserve in the early 1980s. His 41-year Park Service career has taken him from half a dozen seasonal jobs in several western parks and monuments to resource and leadership roles in NPS Washington headquarters, in two regional offices and at major national parks from Zion in Utah to Shenandoah in Virginia and the Everglades in Florida.

 “Bob’s combination of strong leadership experience and resource management know- how equip him well for the challenges and opportunities at one of our most iconic parks,” Masica said. “His ability to cultivate and lead partnerships will be a special asset for both the park and the entire Big Bend community.”

 At Apostle Islands, Krumenaker has forged key partner alliances. He helped complete a landmark treaty-rights agreement with 11 Chippewa tribes, and he helped build a highly successful local partnership to handle tens of thousands of winter visitors when extended deep freezes opened access to spectacular ice caves along miles of frozen Lake Superior.

 “Big Bend is one of the world's special places, and it is an honor to be among its protectors,” Krumenaker said. “I couldn't be more excited to join the park’s team of passionate NPS employees, partners, and neighbors who call it home.”

 Krumenaker began his NPS career in 1977 as a full-time volunteer at Canyonlands National Park. He has worked in more than 10 national parks in a variety of positions, from field ranger to superintendent. He also served in leadership roles in two different NPS regional offices.

 A Senior Executive Fellows graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Krumenaker earned his bachelor’s degree in science at Brown University and his master’s in forest science at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is also a graduate of the Department of the Interior Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program.

Krumenaker enjoys woodworking and furniture craft, history and good fiction, hiking and other outdoor pursuits. 

To learn more about Big Bend National Park, visit the park’s webpages at

Last updated: March 26, 2019

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