Well, that didn’t take long: A few days after Dan Wenk said he was being forced out of the position, Cam Sholly was named new superintendent of Yellowstone National Park by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
“Cam is a proven leader, who has successfully worked at every senior level in the National Park Service including assignments as regional director, associate director, and superintendent,” said Deputy Director Smith. “Most recently, he has overseen the completion of one of the largest public/private partnership projects in NPS history – the $380 million renovation of the Gateway Arch grounds and museum in St. Louis. Cam has built productive and valuable relations with communities, landowners, and local, state, and tribal leaders throughout his career, and I am confident he will continue shaping the right vision for Yellowstone’s future.”
“I am honored to have the opportunity to work with the extraordinary staff and partners at Yellowstone,” Sholly said about the appointment. “Exceptional work has occurred there over the past years because of the dedication of the NPS staff, partners, and communities. I look forward to continuing a positive trajectory for one of the greatest park in the world.”
The appointment does come under a cloud: Wenk had warned that political considerations were forcing him from Yellowstone, and instead of accepting a reassignment to Washington, D.C., Went opted to retire — a move designed to keep him in Yellowstone through next March. But the move failed, and instead of waiting until August to name a replacement for Wenk, the Department of the Interior went ahead and named Sholly to the superintendent post today.
Sholly began his National Park Service in 1990 at Yellowstone National Park, working his way up the ladder before being named Midwest Region director in 2014, working out of Omaha. That meant overseeing 60 national park units in 13 states.
Under Wenk’s tenure, some of Yellowstone’s biggest challenges were addressed, including winter snowmobile use, bison management and endangered-species designation for wolves and grizzlies.