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Contact: Michael Larson, 684 633-7082 ext 20
PAGO PAGO, American Samoa – Scott Burch has been selected as the new superintendent of the National Park of American Samoa located on the islands of Tutuila, Ofu, and Ta’ū in a remote part of the South Pacific. He replaces Jim Bacon who will be moving to the National Park Service’s Denver Service Center. Burch will begin his new assignment in summer 2015. “Scott has a lot of experience with Pacific island issues, having lived in Hawai’i much of his life,” said Pacific West Regional Director Chris Lehnertz. “He also has a strong background in managing large and diverse workloads, and in building successful partnerships. He’s a great fit for this position.” Burch is currently the Management Assistant at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, and previously served as a Concessions Management Specialist at Denali National Park and Preserve. He brings a wealth of knowledge in sustainable economic development on public lands informed by his academic and professional work experience from both the private and public sectors.
During his graduate work at the University of Hawai’i Burch analyzed impacts of recreational use on Hawaiian off-shore island wildlife sanctuaries and designed a commercial recreation permit and fee system for those areas. He also founded a non-profit organization and a commercial ocean eco-tour company that were both based on collaborative work with local communities to conduct natural resource monitoring, advance sustainable low impact ecotourism, and implement education programs in fragile island ecosystems. These efforts earned him the Mayor of Honolulu Special Recognition Award and a nomination for the Hawai’i Living Reef Award.
“I am excited to have the chance to contribute to the work of the dedicated staff at National Park of American Samoa, our partners, and the neighboring communities in finding that balance in the best interest of the people and unique ecosystems of American Samoa,” said Burch. “I am also delighted to be moving once again to a Pacific island. Snorkeling, outrigger canoe paddling and surfing are some of my family’s favorite past times; and having grown up in Hawai’i, I feel most at home where I can live, work and play in and near the ocean.”