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Contact: Patty Rooney, 402-661-1532
Jim Northup, a 25-year career veteran of the National Park Service, has been selected as the new superintendent of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Currently the chief ranger at Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina, he will begin the new assignment on May 1, 2005. Northup succeeds Karen Gustin, who has been selected as the new superintendent of Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida.
In announcing the change in leadership, NPS Midwest Regional Director Ernie Quintana stated, "Karen Gustin has done an excellent job at Pictured Rocks and we will miss her. We welcome Jim Northup to the Midwest Region. Jim has a proven track record of effective leadership in many different positions and parks and we will be glad to have him at Pictured Rocks."
For the past four years, Northup has been serving as the chief ranger at Great Smoky Mountains, where he has been a key member of the park management team and led a division of over 70 employees in America's most visited national park. Previous NPS assignments have included Grand Canyon, Big Bend, Grand Teton and Shenandoah National Parks, Fire Island and Cape Hatteras National Seashores, and Buffalo National River. Northup has also served as acting superintendent at Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and as the incident commander for the NPS National Incident Management Team. His background includes work in the full spectrum of ranger activities, wildland fire management, resource management, and interpretation.
Northup holds a bachelor of science degree in environmental education from the University of Maryland and has completed graduate level work in environmental law and policy and public administration. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School's Executive Potential Program.
In accepting the position, Northup said "I am thrilled to have an opportunity to work with the park staff, the NPS partners, and the community to continue to preserve and protect Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, a very special place."
Northup will relocate to Pictured Rocks in early May. His wife Phyllis, an artist and art teacher, will join him in June following the end of her current teaching contract. The Northups have two daughters - Erin is a senior at Colorado State University, and Amy is in her freshman year at Virginia Tech University.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was authorized in 1966. The 73,235-acre park has 40 miles of Lake Superior shoreline with multicolored sandstone cliffs, towering sand dunes, hardwood and coniferous forests, wetlands, inland lakes and waterfalls, and a variety of wildlife. Hiking trails run the length of the park, connecting 13 backcountry hike-in campsites. Three vehicle-accessible campgrounds are available. Lake Superior boat tours operate from nearby Munising. Winter activities include cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Park gateways are Munising on the west and Grand Marais on the east.