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Contact: David Nemeth, 907-697-2230
National Park Service Regional Director Marcia Blaszak announced today that Cherry Payne was selected to be the next superintendent at Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. Former Superintendent Tomie Lee recently retired from the National Park Service. “Cherry brings a wealth of experience in park management, park operations, interpretation, and partnerships to the Alaska Region,” stated Blaszak. “She will be a wonderful asset to us as Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve continues to offer excellent opportunities for visitors to experience Southeast Alaska.”
Cherry has served as the Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services at Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks since 2000, during which time she also completed temporary assignments as an Acting Superintendent at Cape Lookout National Seashore in North Carolina and at Canaveral National Seashore in Florida. Cherry’s 30-year career with the National Park Service spans posts at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park; the Long Distance Trails Office in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Yosemite National Park; the Water Resources Division in Fort Collins, Colorado; Grand Teton National Park; the C&O Canal; and the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
“I have always hoped to live in Alaska, and I am honored and humbled to have this opportunity,” said Payne. “I am anxious to work with the local community, partners, stakeholders, and the excellent staff at Glacier Bay to preserve this precious resource and to foster public understanding of its many stories.”
As its name implies, much of Glacier Bay National Park is water. Most of the land within the park is mountainous, covered with dense rain forest or alder thickets, and without roads or trails. While a few hardy travelers hike, raft, or climb the mountains, the vast majority of visitors travel by salt water. Glacier Bay is a natural waterway from Alaska's Inside Passage to the tidewater glaciers that are the park's main attraction. Its numerous branches, inlets, lagoons, islands, and passages offer virtually limitless opportunities for exploration.
Cherry is married to Bob Howard, who is retired from the National Park Service. They have one daughter, Kate, a senior at Clemson University. Payne begins her new assignment in November.