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Contact: Howard Levitt, 415-561-4730
SAN FRANCISCO –National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis has appointed Christine S. Lehnertz as superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Lehnertz, currently regional director for the bureau's Pacific West Region, will assume her new post at the beginning of May. She replaces Frank Dean who retired in February. Deputy Regional Director Patty Neubacher will serve as Acting Regional Director for the region until a permanent replacement is selected.
"Chris brings excellent leadership skills and a deep understanding of urban parks to her new role as superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area," said Jarvis. "Her passion for connecting youth to new experiences and her knack for working with partners and local communities make her a great fit for Golden Gate."
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, situated in and around San Francisco, is the most visited park in the National Park Service, hosting over 15 million visitors last year. A diverse park with abundant recreational opportunities, as well as superlative natural, cultural, and scenic resources, it encompasses more than 80,000 acres across three counties. The park also administers two other NPS areas, Fort Point National Historic Site, a Civil War era fortress built on the northernmost point of land in San Francisco, and Muir Woods National Monument, which comprises an impressive stand of old growth coastal redwoods in Marin County.
"Being the superintendent at a large urban park is an incredible opportunity that I couldn't pass up," stated Lehnertz. "It's realizing a personal dream. I'm thrilled at the chance to work with the wonderful staff and partners who care so much about these amazing park resources at Golden Gate. A connection to nature and to our nation's heritage can be an inspiring and enduring relationship. I invite everyone to come and see these special places and learn more about our shared stories."
During her tenure as the Pacific West regional director, three new units –Cesár E. Chavez National Monument, Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, and Honouliuli National Monument –were added to the region. The Pacific West Region includes 61 parks across eight states and three U.S. territories, and protects some of the nation's most treasured landscapes and historic resources.
"The Pacific West regional office is made up of very dedicated employees who provide outstanding support to parks and communities all across our area," continued Lehnertz. "It has been a tremendous honor to work with them, and bring to life projects like the removal of the Elwha Dam and the transfer of barracks from the U.S. Army to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Washington state, and the addition of new units in California and Hawaii that tell a diversity of stories."
Trained as an environmental biologist, Lehnertz started her conservation career in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where she worked as a seasonal wildlife and biological technician for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish &Wildlife Service. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Before joining the National Park Service in 2007, as Deputy Superintendent at Yellowstone National Park, Lehnertz spent 16 years with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Denver and Washington DC, working with a diverse array of environmental statutes.
An outdoor enthusiast, Lehnertz and her spouse Shari Dagg make time to explore scenic trails across the western U.S. They reside in Sonoma County with Choco, a courageous cat they rescued in Yellowstone.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more atwww.nps.gov.
*Editor's Note: Contact Howard Levitt at 415-561-4730 to arrange an interview with Chris Lehnertz.