From contributed reports
Jim Northup, a 32-year National Park Service veteran with a track record of working closely with neighboring communities and organizations, has been selected as the new superintendent of Shenandoah National Park and Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park.
“Jim has a strong track record of building and communicating a vision and modeling the best qualities of a 21st-century leader,” says Dennis Reidenbach, northeast regional director for the National Park Service. “His demonstrated ability to interact and forge truly productive working relationships with a wide variety of individuals and organizations both within and outside the National Park Service makes Jim an ideal candidate to lead these two parks at this moment in time.”
Former park superintendent Martha Bogle retired Jan. 3. Bogle, who’d been with the Park Service for 33 years, began her career in as a seasonal park ranger at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1978.
Northup has served as superintendent of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for the past eight years. Unlike any other place on Lake Superior, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore preserves and protects a spectacular and diverse segment of the Lake Superior shoreline. The park includes the 200-foot high Pictured Rocks cliffs, beautiful white sand beaches; waterfalls, inland lakes; five square miles of pristine sand dunes; and numerous historic resources, including the Au Sable Light Station, built in 1874.
During his tenure at Pictured Rocks, Northup has focused on improving community relations, working with local officials on the design and reconstruction of the park’s main access road, and on designation of the Beaver Basin Wilderness. Northup started the park’s Community Partner Program, the Adopt-a-Trail/Adopt-a-Campsite Program, the Discover Your Lakeshore Program and several initiatives with the park’s gateway communities. Northup also played a key role in the establishment of the National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation, the non-profit fundraising partner of the five NPS units on Lake Superior. Other achievements have included completing a number of actions called for in the park’s 2004 General Management Plan and expanding the public programming and services.
“I am delighted and truly honored to have this opportunity to serve as the superintendent of Shenandoah National Park and Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. I look forward to working with the dedicated park staff, partners, visitors and the surrounding communities to preserve and manage the natural and cultural resources, the compelling stories and the wonderful visitor opportunities that exist at both parks. My wife Phyllis and I are both very much looking forward to moving to the area and becoming fully engaged in the communities.”
Before Pictured Rocks, Northup was the chief ranger at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Other assignments have included work as a field ranger, resources management specialist, fire and aviation specialist and in interpretation at Grand Teton, Big Bend, and Grand Canyon National Parks, Cape Hatteras and Fire Island National Seashores, and Buffalo National River.
His first seasonal ranger position with the National Park Service was at Shenandoah National Park beginning in 1979. Northup holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Education from the University of Maryland and has also completed graduate level work in public administration, and environmental law and policy. He is also a graduate of the USDA Executive Potential Program, Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Senior Executive Fellow Program, and the Department of the Interior’s Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program. Jim’s wife, Phyllis Northup, is an artist and an art teacher. Jim and Phyllis have two grown daughters, Erin and Amy.
The National Park Service anticipates announcing its selection for site manager of Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park within the next week.