Secretary Kempthorne, Consider Me for NPS Director

The Honorable Dirk Kempthorne
Secretary of the Interior
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C St NW
Washington, D.C. 20240-0001

Dear Secretary Kempthorne:

Before Stephen Mather became the first Director of the National Park Service he was a concerned citizen who in 1915 wrote to Secretary of Interior Franklin Lane addressing management concerns he had within the parks. I'm hoping your response to this letter will be the same as Lane's response was to Mather, an invitation to Washington D.C. to lead the Park Service as its new Director.

I have three specific concerns that could impact the longterm well being of the nation's parks. These concerns are: (1) the National Park Service budget; (2) park pollution and warming; (3) community outreach and education.

1. The National Park Service Budget
The Park Service, like most federal agencies, has had to adapt to a conservative budget in recent years. It may be unrealistic to expect a significant increase in funding during the short term. In this environment, budget priorities must be made for park conservation, and for visitor safety and welfare. There are pressures from well funded gateway communities, the recreation lobby, concessionaires, and fund raising organizations to change these priorities. And while all voices should be heard, these groups should not have undue influence on where and how federal dollars are spent within the Park Service.

2. Park Pollution and Warming
Our National Parks, like the rest of the world, are facing unexpected challenges to their preservation from the growing global warming trend. The Park Service should be a model for the rest of the world in energy conservation, and adopt a policy of carbon neutrality. We will lead by example: move away from carbon based fuels towards hybrid, ethanol, biodiesel, or electric sources where appropriate; create or buy energy from renewable sources like solar, wind, or geothermal; have new construction and remodels adopt the federal "green" standards for energy efficiency.

3. Community Outreach and Education
Our nation's population is increasingly urban. We need to reach this audience before we lose them. With innovative outreach programs, like the NPS Tent of Many Voices traveling the Lewis & Clark trail, whole generations of these city dwelling Americans can learn of the important national resources contained within the Park Service. The future protection of our parks will greatly depend on the success of these outreach programs tailored for a younger urban generation.

I would be honored if you considered my request to be the next National Park Service Director. My career has not been grounded in politics, leaving me the opportunity to arrive in Washington, D.C. with a fresh perspective and keen focus on leading the National Park Service in its core mission of conservation, and towards the ultimate goal of leaving the parks unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.


Jeremy Sullivan
Kenmore, Washington