Yellowstone National Park has received a new chief ranger in the form of veteran ranger Pete Webster.
Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk announced Webster would assume the post, after previous chief ranger Tim Reid left to become Superintendent of Devils Tower National Monument. Webster previously held the post of deputy chief ranger, a role he had occupied since July 2014. Since Reid’s departure, Webster had also previously acted as interim chief ranger (on an intermittent basis) for most of the past year.
“I am very pleased that Pete accepted this challenge,” said Wenk in a press release. “He brings a wealth of experience to this position, including proven leadership and a strong institutional knowledge of Yellowstone’s resources and operations. His background as a field ranger, front-line supervisor, and chief ranger in a variety of parks across the country will serve him well in this complex position.”
Webster is the 17th ranger to assume the post since the National Park Service was established in 1916.
The chief ranger in Yellowstone National Park oversees over 275 employees through the Resources and Visitor Protection Division. Said employees work in the domains of law enforcement, search and rescue, dispatch, emergency medical services, wildland and structural fire, fee collection, trails, corrals, special use permitting, and backcountry operations.
Webster, originally a native of Detroit Michigan, who received a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Michigan State University in 1989, currently lives in Mammoth, Wyoming with his wife and three children (17, 15, 10).
Webster has worked extensively with the National Park Service since 1988, when he was a Student Conservation Association intern in Glacier National Park. Webster has also served as district and sub-district ranger at Glacier and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. He gained law enforcement experience working in Yellowstone, Glacier, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Big Cypress National Preserve, Mount Rainier National Park, and Death Valley National Park.
In the last seven years, Webster has worked in law enforcement, emergency services, fire, dispatch, wilderness operations and visitor management as deputy chief ranger in Yellowstone, as well as chief ranger at Denali National Park and Preserve, and as deputy chief ranger at Shenandoah National Park.