The National Park Service is moving closer to welcoming a new Director.  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing today to consider the nomination of David Vela to be the Director of the National Park Service (NPS).  During the hearing, Mr. Vela discussed a wide range of topics, including: the growing maintenance backlog, fees, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and more.  If confirmed, he will be the first Hispanic American to head NPS.  The hearing can be viewed on the Committee’s website.  At the conclusion of the hearing, Committee Chairman Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) expressed hope that the full Senate will approve the nomination by the close of the lame duck session in early December.

Mr. Vela’s nomination is supported by numerous organizations, including the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR).  “We believe that David Vela can be an effective leader of the National Park Service early in its Second Century,” said ORR in a letter to Committee Chairman Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA).  “He has familiarity with both the opportunities and challenges of urban and rural park units and as the first-ever Hispanic-American nominated to serve as Director, an understanding of the need for and challenges of diversity in staff and visitation. He understands the importance of national parks to sustainable local economies and protection of key park attributes.”  Read ORR’s full letter here.

David Vela is just one of the federal leaders in outdoor recreation you need to know!  These key decision makers are responsible for lands and waters that hosted some 900 million recreation visits in 2017.  Learn more about these influential people – including how to contact them – at the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’s “Meet the Federal Leaders in Outdoor Recreation” page.  Bookmark it, because every month we’ll be updating you on the movers and shakers for federal lands and waters here in Washington, D.C.  November’s additions include:

  • The nominee for Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • The Director of the Office of Policy Analysis for the Department of the Interior
  • The Chief for the Division of Recreation and Visitor Services for the Bureau of Land Management

Stay tuned for next month’s update!