WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) — Glacier National Park's No. 2 official will take over for retiring superintendent Chas Cartwright at the end of the year with an eye toward filling the position permanently.
Kym Hall will become the northwestern Montana park's interim superintendent when Cartwright steps down Dec. 28, Cartwright said Friday.
The National Park Service plans to name a permanent replacement for Cartwright by late spring 2013, and Hall said she will throw her name in the ring.
"It's one of the top four or five most coveted positions in the National Park Service," Hall said.
Hall has been Glacier's deputy superintendent since July 2011. Before that, she spent six years as the superintendent of three smaller park service sites in Arizona: Coronado National Memorial, Chiricahua National Monument and Fort Bowe National Historic Site.
She began her career at Olympic National Park in Washington and worked at National Park Service headquarters in Washington, D.C.
She worked for the park service for more than 25 years, and has a husband and three children.
Cartwright is retiring after more than four years as Glacier's superintendent. During that time, Montana and Canadian officials agreed to retire natural resource development leases to the west of the park, and he has overseen a yearslong repair project to the centerpiece of the park, the Going to the Sun Road.
He has spent 40 years in government service and was previously the superintendent at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and Colorado, Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming and other locations in North Dakota, Utah and Colorado.
Cartwright, a Detroit native, and his wife Lynda plan to live in the Flathead Valley next to the park.
The 1,500-square-mile park has 130 permanent and 360 seasonal employees and a budget of $14 million. Last year, 1.8 million people visited Glacier to see its massive peaks carved by glaciers, and wildlife that includes mountain goats and grizzly bears.