Reflections of a National Park Manager – 42 Years on the Griddle
Event Date: Sep 30, 2009
Event Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Auditorium, Rocky Mountain National Park
Retired Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Bob Barbee spoke as part of the third Randy Jones Memorial Lecture, jointly sponsored by the University of Colorado’s Center of the American West and the National Park Service. The talk was free and open to the public.
Barbee served a long and distinguished career with the National Park System including an assignment as the Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, where he was stationed during the wildfires of 1988. With a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management from Colorado State University, he focused on resource management issues throughout his career and is well-versed on the challenges national park managers face when wrestling with tough resource decisions.
After serving in the U.S. Army, Barbee entered the National Park Service, spending 42 years in a variety of positions. He began his career at Rocky Mountain National Park as a seasonal ranger. He also served at Carlsbad Caverns, Yosemite National Park on three occasions, Point Reyes National Seashore, and Big Bend National Park. He served as superintendent at Cape Lookout National Seashore, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Redwood National Park, and Yellowstone National Park for 12 years. His last assignment was as the Regional Director for the Alaska Region of the National Park Service. Afterward, he and his wife, Carol, retired to Bozeman, Montana.
Barbee’s awards include: Department of Interior Meritorious & Distinguished Service Awards; Meritorious Executive from the Senior Executive Service; Honor Alumnus from the College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University; Lifetime Achievement Award, College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University; Cornelius Pugsley Medal from the National Park Foundation; and the Stephen P. Mather Award from the National Park & Conservation Association.
The lecture series honors former park Superintendent Randy Jones, who had a reputation for negotiation and mediation. Jones’s long and distinguished career with the federal government spanned over 30 years, primarily with the National Park Service. From 2002 until spring of 2005, he held the position of Deputy Director, the highest position for a career employee within the National Park Service, at the agency headquarters in Washington, D.C. Jones’s diverse career consisted of a number of complex and prestigious assignments including Superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park. He was among the leaders of the Natural Resource Challenge initiative for the National Park Service and was instrumental in increasing federal spending on natural resource management in the parks.