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Trump names career official to lead National Park Service

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has named the superintendent of Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park to head the National Park Service, a job that has been filled on an acting basis since January 2017.

If confirmed by the Senate, David Vela, a 28-year career veteran of the park service, would become the first Hispanic to lead the agency.

Vela has served at parks across the country and was director of the Southeast region for four years.

The agency has not had a Senate-confirmed director since Jonathan Jarvis retired in January 2017, days before Trump took office.

Vela said in a statement that he hopes to reduce a multibillion-dollar maintenance backlog, “protect our national treasures and serve all who come to enjoy the parks.”