Dan Foster has been named superintendent of the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area and Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail, it was announced last week.
Foster is currently superintendent at Niobrara National Scenic River in Nebraska, a 76-mile-long free flowing river recreation area.
Chris Lehnertz, Pacific West Regional NPS director, made the announcement and said Foster will take over his new duties here in February.
Foster said last Thursday that he knows the area well, having lived in the Spokane area with his parents during their military days, and serving for six years at the Nez Perce National Historic Park near Lewiston, Idaho, for six years.
Other assignments during his 20 years with the NPS have put him in Bryce Canyon National Park and Wind Cave National Park. He has been at his present location in Nebraska since 2008.
Prior to his time with the NPS, Foster was a wildlife biologist and geologist for the Utah Department of Natural Resources for 11 years.
“His depth of experience working with neighboring communities, multiple agencies, tribal governments, military branches and the public will serve him well in this new assignment,” Lehnertz said in making the announcement.
“I like small towns,” Foster remarked. “The town we live in is about 2,500, and the Niobrara River caters to kayakers and canoe enthusiasts.”
He said the visitor base there is about 75,000 people a year, compared to the 1.5 million visitors to the Lake Roosevelt area.
Foster loves to fly fish, and both he and his wife Trena have been mentors at local schools. His wife has been involved with the local library and is an enthusiastic knitter and crocheter.
“We plan to come out to the area and look for a place to live soon,” Foster said last week.
The couple have three children, all married.
Foster was awarded both the NPS Director’s and Pacific West Region’s awards for resource management in a small park. He has authored numerous publications and environmental papers on topics ranging from coal production and oil and gas monitoring to vegetation distribution, geographic information systems and automated mapping.
Here, Foster will manage a 151-mile lake, with historic Fort Spokane as part of it, and even submerged cultural resources beneath the lake’s waters. The park was established in 1946, upon completion of Grand Coulee Dam.
He will also manage the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail, created less than a decade ago.
“We look forward to being there and our new assignment,” Foster stated.