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  Comments (2) Total Friday Apr. 18, 2014
 
Cartwright Retiring as Glacier National Park Superintendent
Chas Cartwright plans to step down at the end of December after almost five years
Glacier National Park Superintendent Chas Cartwright, center, speaks at the unveiling ceremony of the Glacier National Park quarter at Columbia Falls High School in April. - File photo by Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon
The superintendent of Glacier National Park is retiring at the end of December, a park spokesperson confirmed Thursday night.

Chas Cartwright announced his plans this week to step down at the end of the year. Park officials will release further details in the near future, including who will serve as interim superintendent in Cartwright's absence, Glacier Park Spokesperson Denise Germann told the Beacon.

Cartwright was named superintendent in March 2008 and took over the position a few months later. He replaced Mick Holm, who retired as superintendent after six years.

Under Cartwright, Glacier Park underwent major rehabilitation along the Going-to-the-Sun Road and attracted more than 2 million visitors for three of the past four years. Glacier attracted a record 2.2 million visitors in its centennial year in 2010.

While facing federal budget cuts, Cartwright was also instrumental in implementing defensive measures against aquatic invasive species and prompting a new multi-year study that will look at how growth should be managed in the park and how higher visitation is impacting resources.

But the most widely discussed topic during Cartwright's tenure has been the status of the iconic thoroughfare winding through the heart of the park. In May, Cartwright said rehabilitation along sections of the 80-year-old Sun Road, which began five years ago, could be finished in time for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016. The west side of the road to Logan Pass is scheduled to remain open into October next year for the first time since construction began.

Cartwright, a native of Detroit, Mich., is in his 25th year working for the NPS. Before moving to Glacier, he served as superintendent at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. He has also served as superintendent at several park units, including Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado and Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming.

Cartwright's career with the NPS began in 1987 as an archaeologist at Canyonlands and Arches National Parks and Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah. Before that he was an archeologist for the Bureau of Land Management and a fire lookout, river ranger and wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service.

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