Yellowstone National Park Selects New Superintendent
The U.S. Department of the Interior issued the following press release, alerting the public to the fact that outgoing Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk will be replaced by Cameron (Cam) Sholly. Sholly is credited with working on several high-profile projects within the national parks system in recent years.
Pictured below is newly appointed YNP Superintendent Cam Sholly (left) and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.
From the U.S. Department of the Interior:
Today, National Park Service (NPS) Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith announced the selection of Cameron (Cam) Sholly to be the new Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park.
"As a veteran of the National Park Service, Cam has a track record of working with local communities and Tribes on important wildlife and conservation work and he's overseen some of the park service's most high-profile park infrastructure projects in recent years," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. "Managing our National Parks is a responsibility and a privilege, and I'm confident Cam Sholly will do a fantastic job at Yellowstone."
“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.”
“Cam has great experience and an understanding of what will make Yellowstone National Park a family destination for all Montanans and its visitors," said Senator Steve Daines. "We discussed many critical issues facing the park service and I look forward to working with Cam. As a Gardner High School graduate I know he will bring Montana common sense to the job every day.”
“Yellowstone National Park is one of America’s most treasured parks. Together with Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone is home to a wide variety of wildlife and stunning landscapes, and hosts of thousands of visitors each year. As Cam takes the reins as the incoming superintendent, I look forward to working with him to ensure Yellowstone remains a shining example of our national park system,” said Senator John Barrasso.
“I’m pleased Secretary Zinke moved quickly to name Cam Sholly as the new Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park," said Congressman Liz Cheney. "Superintendent Sholly’s extensive resume and background within the Park Service will serve him well as he transitions into his new role. I’m looking forward to working closely with the Superintendent to keep Yellowstone one of the Nation’s most beloved parks.”
“Cam has a record of success that will help him manage the first of our nation’s national parks," said Congressman Greg Gianforte. "Having worked with Cam, I know he understands the importance of being a good partner with neighboring communities. I am confident in Cam’s leadership and am certain he will do at outstanding job at Yellowstone.”
Since early 2015, Sholly has served as the NPS Midwest Regional Director, and he manages a team of 2000 employees, a budget of over $250 million, and the operations of 61 national park units spread across 13 states. Over the past three years, national parks within the Midwest transferred nearly 800 bison to state and tribal governments through a transparent and collaborative process. During his tenure in the Midwest Region, Sholly also has overseen several major planning processes, including the recent signing of the record of decision to reintroduce wolves to Isle Royale National Park. The region also supported efforts with states to develop wildlife and land management plans, including a plan to address Chronic Wasting Disease in elk populations in South Dakota. He has improved business processes in the region and collaborated with partners on a variety of complex and important park issues.In 2016, Sholly also established a regional Office of American Indian Affairs, to build stronger tribal relations across the region.
From 2012-2015, Sholly served as the Associate Director for Visitor and Resource Protection at NPS headquarters, where he managed a national portfolio that included wilderness stewardship, fire and aviation management, risk management, public health, ranger law enforcement, regulations, and the United States Park Police. As Associate Director, Sholly guided the development and implementation of a national employee safety strategy which has helped dramatically reduce employee fatalities across the bureau. He also approved new national policies for wilderness stewardship, law enforcement, wildland fire, and many other NPS programs.
From 2009-2012, Sholly served as the Superintendent of the Natchez Trace Parkway, overseeing NPS operations within a 444- mile, three-state corridor that includes 25 counties and 20 communities, with approximately 6 million visitors annually. In 2011, Sholly was named superintendent of the year in the Southeast Region for his sustained partnership and business planning efforts within the corridor.
Sholly’s other previous assignments include: Chief of Staff and deputy to the Associate Director for Visitor and Resource Protection; detail as Special Assistant to the NPS Director; and Chief of the Ranger Operations Branch in Yosemite National Park. Sholly is a U.S. Army veteran who served in both infantry and combat military police assignments. He was deployed to Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991.
Sholly has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from Duke University with curriculum concentrations in environmental economics and law and policy. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from St. Mary’s College of California, and is a graduate of the Harvard University Senior Executive Fellows Program.
In 2015, Sholly was awarded the Department of the Interior’s Meritorious Service Award for his executive leadership actions. He has been married for the past 21 years to Jill Walston Sholly. They have a high school-aged son.