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Date: July 16, 2009
Contact: Tracy Fortmann, Superintendent, 360-816-6205
Contact: Greg Shine, Chief Ranger & Historian, 360-816-6231

VANCOUVER, WA.— President Barack Obama’s announcement last week that he intends to nominate Jonathan Jarvis to be director of the National Park Service has been widely praised by those familiar with his work in Washington State, including Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and the Vancouver National Historic Reserve.

Jarvis, a 30-year veteran of the Park Service, is currently the regional director of the agency’s Pacific West Region, including Fort Vancouver National Historic Site and the 53 other units of the National Park System in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands of Guam, Saipan and American Samoa. He oversees 3,000 employees with a $350 million annual budget.

Jarvis is very familiar with Fort Vancouver, and has long been a supporter of the park and its partnership efforts in the Historic Reserve. Prior to becoming regional director in 2002, Jarvis spent three years as the superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park in Ashford, Washington, where he managed the 235,000 acre National Park with a staff of 300 and a $14 million budget.

In the 1990s, Jarvis served as superintendent of Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve in Alaska.

A trained biologist, he also served as Chief of Natural and Cultural Resources at North Cascades National Park where he was the chief biologist of the 684,000 acre complex of two recreation areas and one national park. Jarvis is currently the co-leader of the Children in Nature taskforce with the National Association of State Park Directors. He is proud of his work with the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor in an effort to provide a quality visitor experience to the USS Arizona Memorial and associated states.

A native of Virginia, Jarvis has a B.S. in biology from the College of William and Mary and completed the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Program in 2001.

"The President has made a superb choice in selecting Jon Jarvis as the Director of the National Park Service," exclaimed U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, Chairman of the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee. "Throughout his long career in the Park Service, Jon has been a consensus builder and a problem solver whose top concern has always been to improve the visitor experience in all of our national park units. He was a great Superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park, taking over in the park’s centennial year (1999) and overseeing the update of the park’s general management plan. Since becoming the director of the western region, he has demonstrated enlightened leadership over the diverse park units in the western states and Hawaii, and I have appreciated his personal involvement in critical Pacific Northwest issues including recovery from the devastating storms in 2007 that damaged all our parks in Washington."

"As our regional director, Jon is a stalwart supporter of Fort Vancouver," noted Tracy Fortmann, superintendent at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. "He is very keenly aware of the complex nature of this nationally significant urban national park. He also clearly understands and supports partnerships, and recognizes our ability to be relevant and serve as a gateway to the other units of the national park system throughout the Pacific Northwest. We couldn’t be more pleased with President Obama’s selection."

"Jon is very familiar with and supports the mission of our site," stated Elson Strahan, president and CEO of the Fort Vancouver National Trust. "Equally important is the fact that Jon is absolutely committed to making partnerships with the National Park Service work effectively, and he looks upon as a model. In fact, during a visit to our site last month Jon met with me to speak about the importance of our work and his endorsement of our efforts."

"I'm very pleased that Jon Jarvis has been nominated for this position," exclaimed Royce Pollard, mayor of America’s Vancouver. "I've had the pleasure of working with Jon on Historic Reserve projects and found him to be a problem-solver who truly understands the complexity and the value of partnerships. And it doesn't hurt to have someone in DC that truly understands our vision for the Historic Reserve."


BACKGROUND: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, is the heart of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. The Vancouver National Historic Reserve brings together a national park, a premier archaeological site, the region's first military post, an international fur trade emporium, one of the oldest operating airfields, the first national historic site west of the Mississippi River, and a waterfront trail and environmental center on the banks of the Columbia River. The partners of the Reserve teach visitors about the fur trade, early military life, natural history, and pioneers in aviation, all within the context of Vancouver’s role in regional and national development. The Reserve's vast array of public programs -- including living history events, festivals, cultural demonstrations, exhibits, active archaeology, and other special activities -- create a dynamic, fun, and unique tourist destination for people of all ages.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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