New superintendent of SJI National Park

Lee Taylor, a 30-year career employee of the National Park Service (NPS), has been named superintendent at San Juan Island National Historical Park. Taylor is currently the Chief of Interpretation and Education at Mount Rainier National Park. She replaces former superintendent Peter Dederich who recently transferred to the NPS’s Pacific West Regional Office in Seattle.

“Lee has a great deal of energy, creativity and passion, and excels at engaging communities,” said Pacific West Regional Director Chris Lehnertz. “She has a collaborative approach that will lend itself well to working with the community to prepare the park for its next century of stewardship and engagement."

For the past three years, Taylor has managed the Information and Education Program at Mount Rainier National Park, which included the development of a number of exhibits, publications and the park website. Taylor and her staff operated all the park visitor centers, developed and presented educational programs for park visitors, school groups and area communities, and managed a volunteer program comprised of 1,800 volunteers each year. In her previous position, Taylor served as District Interpreter at Mount Rainier, supervising visitor information and interpretive services in the park’s busy Paradise area. In addition, Taylor has provided visitor services in other national parks including Fort Vancouver National Historic Preserve, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area and Craters of the Moon National Monument, among others.

“I am looking forward to working with the park staff and partners to maximize the value of the park to visitors and the community,” said Taylor upon hearing of her selection. “It is a fascinating park in a beautiful location and I am honored to serve as superintendent.”

Taylor intends to explore her new home by riding her bike on the island’s scenic roads, walking the trails and learning to kayak. Taylor will assume her new duties April 22, 2012.

San Juan Island National Historical Park is located off the northwest corner of Washington State, at the juncture of the straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca. The park was established by Congress in 1966 for the purpose of “…interpreting and preserving the sites of the American and English camps on the island, and of commemorating the historic events that occurred from 1853 to 1871 on the island in connection with the final settlement of the Oregon Territory boundary dispute, including the so-called Pig War of 1859.” In addition to the American and English camps, in 2010 the NPS acquired the Mitchell Hill unit from the Washington Department of Natural Resources which contains part of the original historic military road spur and potentially other artifacts dating to the encampment period.

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