Today, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk announced his decision to retire on March 30, 2019. At that time, Wenk will have more than 43 years of public service dedicated to the national park system.
“I’ve had an amazing career with the National Park Service,” said Superintendent Wenk. “It is an honor and a privilege to preserve national park resources and provide incredible visitor experiences, and I’m not done yet. I’m in the midst of several important projects that I will finish before I depart to ensure the smoothest transition for Yellowstone.”
Over Wenk’s remaining tenure, his areas of focus will be: implementing the bison quarantine program by sending live animals to the tribes at Fort Peck; collecting data and developing community support for the long-term visitor use management planning effort; negotiating concessions contracts; managing transboundary wildlife issues; and working with park staff to improve workplace culture.
As the current Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park since 2011, Wenk manages more than 2.2 million acres, a staff of 800, and an annual budget of more than $60 million.
Wenk served as Deputy Director of Operations for the National Park Service in Washington D.C. from 2007 through 2011. He served as Acting Director of the National Park Service for nine months in 2009. In these national roles, Wenk received the Department of the Interior Secretary’s Executive Leadership Award and the Presidential Rank Award.
Wenk’s career with the National Park Service began in 1975 as a landscape architect. He was named Superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Memorial in 1985 where he served for 16 years. In 2001, he was appointed the Director of the Denver Service Center, which is the National Park Service’s central office with responsibility for planning, design and construction.