News

NPS' Jon Jarvis: Right Man For The Job

In the face of crushing obstacles, new National Park Service director finds solace in wilderness

Whatever you think about Obama’s policies, it’s hard to argue with his pick for National Park Service director. The first park biologist to take the lead for our national parks sought out inspiration in two classic places before tackling the park system’s mounting woes: John Muir’s home and an unassisted hike up Yosemite’s Half Dome with his family.

He’ll need all the help he can get: The NPS faces a daunting $8 billion maintenance backlog to fix potholes, improve ranger living quarters, and build more visitor centers and campgrounds. But Jarvis recognizes that climate change could be “the greatest challenge ever to face national parks.”

We can all feel a little bit better knowing someone like Jarvis is in charge of some of our favorite wild places—but he’s still going to need help, and a lot of luck. Visit nps.gov to find out how you can help volunteer, and look for our upcoming interview with Jarvis in the pages of BACKPACKER.

—Ted Alvarez

Long to-do list for NPS chief (Flathead Beacon)