WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Monongalia County native is taking over as acting director of the National Park Service.
David Bernhardt, secretary for the U.S. Department of the Interior which oversees the National Park Service, has chosen Margaret Everson to replace outgoing Acting Director David Vela who announced his retirement Friday.
Since 2018, Everson, a graduate of University High School, has worked as principle deputy director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Prior to that, she was chief policy officer for Ducks Unlimited and previously worked in the Department of the Interior under President George W. Bush.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, released the following statement about Everson’s selection:
“West Virginians understand the importance of our public lands. In the Mountain State we take great pride in our Nationals Rivers and Forests,” he said.
“I trust that as a native West Virginian, Margaret Everson shares this commitment to our National Park Service and I look forward to working with her to ensure our National Parks are protected for generations to come.”
Vela, who had worked with the National Park Service for 30 years, was nominated but never confirmed to lead the agency.
He has continued to serve under President Donald Trump through a series of temporary orders, like the one used for Everson, that were being challenged in a lawsuit from the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.