The National Park Service’s choice for the next superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park was already in the position.
The NPS on Wednesday officially announced Wendy Ross the new head of the park.
She had assumed the role of acting superintendent on Nov. 1 following former Superintendent Valerie Naylor’s Oct. 31 retirement. Her full-time assignment is scheduled to begin July 12, according a news release.
Ross, a 21-year veteran of the NPS, had served as the superintendent of Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site in Stanton since April 2011.
“I have an intense personal connection to Theodore Roosevelt National Park,” Ross said in a statement. “Like President Roosevelt, I found solace in the Badlands when I was young and impressionable. My father’s ashes rest among the colorful buttes overlooking the Little Missouri River at Wind Canyon. Words cannot express how honored I am to manage this magnificent landscape.”
Her father, Pete Hart, was a 33-year veteran park ranger when he retired from the NPS in 2001. He served at TRNP from 1990 to 1995.
Ross first worked at the park in the summer of 1990 when she was a volunteer research assistant for the feral horse study.
“I am pleased to welcome Wendy Ross as the next Superintendent of Theodore Roosevelt National Park,” NPS Midwest Regional Director Cameron Sholly said in a statement. “Wendy is an outstanding leader and will do a tremendous job in this position. She has a great blend of experiences and a proven track record of solving complex problems through innovation and relationship building.”
She is a native of Tacoma, Wash., and is a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont. She worked at Shiloh National Military Park, North Cascades National Park Complex, Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park prior to taking over at Knife River four years ago.
Before joining the NPS, she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Radawana, Sri Lanka.
Ross and her husband Scott, a journeyman electrician, are avid outdoor enthusiasts.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park has three units and are located in the Little Missouri National Grasslands. The South Unit is located directly north of Medora and Interstate 94. The Elkhorn Ranch Unit is located in northwestern Billings County. The North Unit is 15 miles south of Watford City off Highway 85.