DENVER – Charles Strickfaden, a 30-year veteran of the National Park Service (NPS), has been named interim Superintendent of the newly established Valles Caldera National Preserve in northern New Mexico, according to Intermountain Regional Director Sue Masica.
Strickfaden will assume his new duties in mid-April.
“Charles’s diverse and wide-ranging skills and knowledge in all aspects of park management have prepared him well to assist with the transition of Valles Caldera National Preserve as the newest addition to National Park Service,” Masica said. “Charles will work closely with tribal, state and local governments as well as regional constituents as we move forward in this transition.”
The Valles Caldera is currently managed by a Trust mandated by Congress. It became an NPS unit in December 2014.
Since December 2012 Strickfaden has overseen park operations at Fort Union National Monument, and worked closely with communities in Mora and San Miguel Counties to tell the story of the Santa Fe Trail and Fort Union’s role in the settlement of the New Mexico Territory.
Prior to that Strickfaden was the chief of visitor services and resources protection at Wupatki, Sunset Crater Volcano and Walnut Canyon National Monuments in northern Arizona. Strickfaden began his NPS career as a seasonal interpretive ranger at Lava Beds National Monument in northern California. He also worked as a seasonal ranger in parks as varied as Biscayne National Park in Florida and Denali National Park in Alaska, including stints in law enforcement, fire management, living history and resources management.
“I am thrilled at the opportunity to serve as Acting Superintendent at one of our nation’s newest national park units, and to work closely with other agencies, tribal governments, and Trust staff to continue to protect the resources and stories of Northern New Mexico,” Strickfaden said. “Valles Caldera National Preserve is one of three super volcanoes in the United States and is known for its rich geologic and cultural history, scenic beauty and abundant wildlife.”