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Tue, Nov. 12

Park welcomes new acting deputy super

NPS retiree Pete Hart was recalled to duty as Grand Canyon's acting deputy superintendent.

According to Park Superintendent Joseph Alston, Hart will assume the temporary responsibilities on Sunday and will remain until a permanent replacement is hired.

Bill Wellman, superintendent at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area in Colorado, recently completed a 60-day assignment as acting deputy superintendent. The position was vacated in July, when Deputy Superintendent Kate Cannon accepted the position of superintendent for the Southeast Utah Group.

Hart retired from the Park Service in 2001, then completed a 2,168 mile hike on the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. After relocating to Livingston, Mont., he returned as interim superintendent of Glacier National Park in 2002.

In 2003 he spent several months filling in as superintendent at Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Curecanti. The following year he returned again to Glacier as acting deputy superintendent.

In 2006 from January to May he again filled in as superintendent of Big Thicket National Preserve in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita.

"I started my National Park Service career at the Albright Training Center in Grand Canyon," Hart said. "I had a great experience and truly loved everything about the Grand Canyon. This is an opportunity for me to come back, and hopefully do something positive for the park. It is also an opportunity for me to work for a superintendent that I admire and have a great deal of respect for. I look forward to working in the park once again."

Hart, a native of Connecticut, graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont and later earned a masters degree from the University of Colorado where he did research at Rocky Mountain National Park.

He served as an army engineer officer in Vietnam and was awarded a Bronze Star. Hart entered the NPS in 1968 as a park ranger at Albright Training Center. He later worked at Mount Rainier and Grand Teton national parks where he was primarily involved in search and rescue and climbing management.

Additional assignments included district ranger in Yosemite and chief ranger at both Cape Cod National Seashore and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In 1990 he became superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the badlands of North Dakota.

Hart then served in an extended detail as acting chief ranger of the NPS in Washington, D.C. In 1995 he was appointed superintendent of New River Gorge National River, Gauley River National Recreation Area and the Bluestone National Scenic River all in West Virginia.

"Pete brings a great deal of experience in management and field operations with him," said Alston. "His dedication to the National Park Service, even in retirement, continues to be highly evident. He will be a great asset to the park over the next several months. We are all looking forward to working with him."

Hart's wife, Sally, is a retired special education teacher. They have two grown children, a son Chris who is a company representative for fly fishing and river rafting equipment in Bozeman and a daughter, Wendy who is a resource management specialist at Glacier National Park.

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