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Yellowstone names new chief ranger

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On Sept. 23, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk announced Pete Webster will be the park’s new chief ranger. Webster has been the deputy chief ranger since July 2014, and has intermittently shared the role of interim chief ranger for much of the past year.

Webster succeeds Tim Reid who became the superintendent at Wyoming’s Devils Tower National Monument in fall 2014. Webster is the park’s 17th chief ranger in the nearly 100 years it has been managed by the National Park Service.

As chief ranger, Webster is responsible for overseeing more than 275 employees in the Resource and Visitor Protection Division who perform law enforcement, emergency medical services, and search and rescue. The division also manages wildland and structural fire; fee collection; special-use permitting; and backcountry operations, among other duties.

“I am very pleased that Pete accepted this challenge,” Wenk said. “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.”

During the past seven years, Webster has managed law enforcement, emergency services, fire, visitor management, dispatch, and wilderness operations in his role as Yellowstone’s deputy chief ranger. He previously served as chief ranger at Alaska’s Denali National Park and Preserve, and deputy chief ranger at Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park.

Webster began his NPS career in 1988 as a Student Conservation Association intern at Glacier National Park. During his career, he has also served as the district and sub-district ranger at Glacier and at California’s Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. Webster has worked as a field law enforcement park ranger at Yellowstone and Glacier, as well as four other national parks and preserves.

A native of the Detroit, Mich. area, Webster received a bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Michigan State University in 1989.

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