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Contact: Patty Sanford, 575-536-9461
National Park Service (NPS) Acting Regional Director Lisa Carrico announced the selection of Fermin Salas as superintendent of Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Salas will begin his new assignment at the park on February 27. He has worked for the National Park Service for over 40 years, most recently as the division manager of interpretation and visitor services at Pipe Spring National Monument.
“I am pleased to welcome Fermin into the superintendent role at Gila Cliff Dwellings,” said Carrico. “He has a varied and extensive background in community outreach, park operations and law enforcement and will be a great fit to lead the team at the park.”
At Gila Cliff Dwellings, Salas will be responsible for managing the daily operations and staff of the national monument. The park, located in western New Mexico, protects cliff dwellings built by people of the agricultural Mogollon (Southern Ancestral Pueblo) culture in the late 1200’s. They built rooms, crafted pottery and raised children in the cliff dwellings for one or two generations. By approximately 1300, the Mogollon had moved on, leaving the walls behind. The park is in rugged terrain, among steep-sided canyons, shallow rivers, hot springs, and forests of pine and juniper. Salas succeeds Kevin Tillman who served in the position for nearly four years before becoming superintendent of Jewel Cave National Monument.
“I am excited and honored to be joining the Gila Cliff Dwellings team,” said Salas. “I look forward to working at this culturally rich site and meeting and collaborating with the community, partners and Tribes.”
Salas began his NPS career in 1976 as an interpretive ranger at Yosemite National Park. Since then, he has worked at El Morro, Capulin Volcano, Pipe Springs and Petroglyph national monuments, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Virgin Islands, Grand Canyon, and Guadalupe Mountains national parks. He has also worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Larimer County in Colorado.
Salas earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California in Sacramento. He will be moving to the area with his wife Raechelle.
Last updated: February 21, 2023