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Ingram to take Rocky Mountain National Park’s reins in August

ESTES PARK – Gary Ingram, who has directed three National Park Service sites in Georgia, will become superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park in August, the agency announced Thursday.

Ingram will succeed Darla Sidles who recently retired after serving seven years as the park’s superintendent. Kyle Patterson, the park’s public affairs officer, is also serving as interim superintendent between Sidles’ departure and Ingram’s arrival.

As superintendent, Ingram will oversee 150 permanent staff and approximately 250 seasonal staff, and will manage visitation and ecosystem restoration as well as addressing complex challenges such as climate change and wildland fire.

The 265,461-acre park, founded in 1915, straddles the Continental Divide and extends into parts of Larimer, Boulder and Grand counties. One of the busiest sites in the National Park Service, it ranked third in visitation in 2019, with more than 4.6 million visitors and has experienced a 44% increase in visitation since 2012. However, last year it posted 4.3 million recreational visitors, the lowest park turnout since 2016 and partially attributable to the timed-entry system it imposed to try to rein in degradation of its landscapes and resources caused by heavy use.

“Gary is a seasoned leader who comes to Rocky with a wealth of knowledge and experience gained during his 30 years with the NPS,” said Park Service Regional Director Kate Hammond in a prepared statement. “His energy, enthusiasm, and optimism will elevate an already high-functioning, high-performing team.”
Most recently, Ingram served as the superintendent at Cumberland Island National Seashore and Fort Frederica National Monument, both in Georgia. Prior to that, he was superintendent at Jimmy Carter National Historic Park in Georgia and special assistant to the Park Service’s Alaska regional director. He began his Park Service career in Yosemite National Park in California, where he served in a variety of positions including law enforcement, horse patrol, emergency medical services, firefighter, shift supervisor, chief liaison officer and management assistant.

“I am profoundly honored to be selected as the superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park,” said Ingram in a prepared statement. “The magnificent natural wonders and rich cultural history make it one of the world’s most special places. I look forward to working with and serving the visitors, park staff, park partners, and affiliated tribes as we continue to protect and enjoy this incredible resource.”

Ingram, who earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology from California State University in Fresno, will be moving to the area with his wife, Athena.

Source: BizWest