Native American confirmed as head of National Park Service

ANDREW SELSKY Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. — The U.S. Senate has unanimously approved the nomination of Charles “Chuck” Sams III as National Park Service director, which will make him the first Native American to lead the agency.

Some conservationists hailed Sams’ confirmation Thursday night as a commitment to equitable partnership with tribes, the original stewards of the land.

“I am deeply honored,” Sams told the Confederated Umatilla Journal on Friday. “I am also very deeply appreciative of the support, guidance and counsel of my tribal elders and friends throughout my professional career.”

The National Park Service oversees more than 131,000 square miles (339,000 square kilometers) of parks, monuments, battlefields and other landmarks. It employs about 20,000 people in permanent, temporary and seasonal jobs, according to its website.

Sams is the agency’s first Senate-confirmed parks director in nearly five years. It was led by acting heads for years under the Trump administration, and for the first 10 months of Biden’s presidency. Jonathan Jarvis, who was confirmed as park service director in 2009, left the agency in January 2017.

During confirmation hearings, Sam noted his experience with nonprofit work that included facilitating land transfers and working with volunteers on conservation and invasive species management, according to

View Source