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Contact: Jennifer Parker, 303-969-2321
DENVER, CO — Eric R. Smith, an 18-year veteran of the National Park Service (NPS), has been named superintendent of Lake Meredith National Recreation Area and Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument. Smith has served as deputy superintendent of Glacier National Park in Montana since 2015. He will begin his new assignment on Nov. 11.
Smith’s new assignment marks a return to Texas where he worked in federal law enforcement for the Department of Justice earlier in his 24-year public service career. He joined the NPS in 2000 as a maintenance supervisor at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. While there, he transitioned into facilities management, served on the park’s dive team, and piloted missions aboard the park’s airplane. He also has served temporary details as acting superintendent at a number of parks and managed facilities at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in Tennessee. He left the NPS in 2007 to work for the U.S. Public Building Service and returned to the NPS in 2011 as Deputy Superintendent at Denali National Park & Preserve in Alaska.
“The breadth and variety of Eric’s previous experience equip him well to lead our National Park Service team at these popular Texas Panhandle locations for freshwater recreation and ancient cultural resources,” Hammond said.
“While leaving Glacier and its great team will be hard, I feel very privileged to join our NPS colleagues and partners at Lake Meredith and Alibates Flint Quarries,” Smith said. “I look forward to continuing close relationships with the local communities, affiliated tribes, and the State of Texas, in managing our two parks for recreational opportunities and cultural experiences.”
Smith grew up in southern Georgia and northern Florida. He studied criminal justice at Lively Criminal Justice Training Academy and aviation maintenance at Lively School of Aviation Technology in Tallahassee, gaining a commercial pilot’s license. After working as a sheriff’s deputy and correctional officer in Gadsden County, FL, Smith enlisted in the Navy, where he served on the nuclear submarine USS Honolulu. He then returned to Florida and joined the Justice Department where he trained as a hostage negotiator and served on the department’s crisis negotiation team.
Smith will be joined in Texas by his wife and two sons.
For more information about Lake Meredith National Recreation Area and Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, visit the two parks’ websites at www.nps.gov/lamr and www.nps.gov/alfi.