Chip Jenkins, who has been serving as superintendent at North Cascades National Park Complex, has been named deputy regional director for resource stewardship and planning for the National Park Service in the Pacific West Region.
In his new position, Jenkins will be responsible for leading and managing park operations for 17 parks located in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, as well as the administration of four major program functions – cultural resources management, natural resources management, planning and environmental compliance. He will also serve as the regional director’s principal representative in the Pacific Northwest and be the lead official for the Seattle office of the Pacific West Regional Office.
Jenkins has been on a detail in this role since April. He replaces Rory Westberg who recently retired.
“Chip is a proven leader with an incredible track record for tackling tough issues and finding innovative solutions. Highly personable, Chip is a strong team player, well known for building collaboration among peers, employees, with partners and within the community,” Pacific West Regional Director Chris Lehnertz said in a prepared statement.
Jenkins promotion continues a leadership changeover at the state’s three national parks. Randy King took over in November as superintendent at Mount Rainier National Park, after serving eight years as deputy superintendent. Olympic National Park superintendent Karen Gustin retired March 2. She had been the superintendent since 2008. Todd Suess, the park’s deputy superintendent, is serving as interim acting superintendent.
Jenkins has worked for the National Park Service since 1985. Prior to leading North Cascades National Park, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area and Ross Lake National Recreation Area, he also served as superintendent of Lewis and Clark National Historical Park in Oregon and Washington, Chief of Strategic Planning of Yosemite National Park in California, as special assistant to the National Park Service Director, and as a resource specialist at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in California. He started his career as a seasonal ranger in North Cascades National Park.
Jenkins is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental studies.
He and his wife, Laurie Lee Jenkins, who also works for the National Park Service as an ecologist, have two young boys.
The Pacific West Regional Office is responsible for 58 varying park units across
Nevada, California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Hawai‘i, a portion of Arizona and Montana, and the territories of Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The region’s parks and programs have 56 million visitors each year. The region includes 12.8 million acres of national park land, including 8.2 million acres of wilderness, 159 federally listed threatened and endangered species, 4,418 miles of designated wild and scenic rivers, nearly 100 national natural landmarks, 241 national historic landmarks and more than 7,600 properties listed in the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.