By Tammy Gray Searles –
Brad Traver has been selected to serve as superintendent of Petrified Forest National Park.
He has more than 30 years of experience with the National Park Service. He started with the organization in 1979 as a seasonal surveyor at Yellowstone National Park and worked his way up through a wide variety of positions.
Traver is familiar with the Petrified Forest, having previously served as acting superintendent at the park following the departure of former superintendent Lee Baiza. When his assignment ended at the Petrified Forest in 2008, Traver was appointed superintendent of Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico.
He is expected to return to the Petrified Forest to begin his permanent appointment in late May or early June. The park service notes that, as superintendent, he will be responsible for “managing 108,693 acres, an annual operating budget of more than $2.8 million, and a staff of approximately 55.”
In addition to previously serving a temporary assignment at the Petrified Forest, Traver has worked at several other national parks in Arizona. He was acting superintendent of Tonto National Monument, and has held a number of positions at Grand Canyon National Park, including park engineer, project supervisor and chief of professional services. He also led the development of the general management plan for Grand Canyon. More recently, he served as project manager for a region that includes the Petrified Forest.
According to the National Park Service, Traver has a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering. He is originally from Princeton, Mass.
Traver replaces former superintendent Cliff Spencer, who was appointed to the position in January 2008 and departed the Petrified Forest approximately six months ago to become superintendent at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. According to the National Park Service, during his tenure Spencer was responsible for reducing energy consumption and planning an evaluation of climate change effects at the Petrified Forest. More than $3 million in repairs and upgrades to park facilities were also completed during his tenure.
Mitzi Frank has been serving as acting superintendent since Spencer’s departure.