Sarah Davis has been named the first female chief ranger in Yellowstone National Park's history and the 18th chief ranger in the more than 100-year history of park management by the National Park Service.
Two women, Lane Baker and Bonnie Schwartz, have served as deputy chief ranger in Yellowstone. Davis will start in her new role in December.
“Sarah is an outstanding leader with a track record of high performance, strategic thinking, and collaboration,” said Superintendent Cam Sholly. “We’re lucky to have her join the Yellowstone team.”
Davis, whose official title is Chief of Resource and Visitor Protection, is a 20-year NPS veteran with a lengthy resume. She has been the chief ranger at Natchez Trace Parkway since 2012. In that position she led law enforcement and emergency medical services, search and rescue, wildland and structural fire, special use permits, commercial use authorizations, and dispatch within the 444-mile recreational road and scenic drive that travels through three states.
Davis also managed a staff of 40 and a $3.5 million budget. In 2016 she received the first Southeast Region Excellence Award for professional leadership among chief rangers.
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Yellowstone’s Resource and Visitor Protection division has a staff of more than 275 employees that Davis will oversee. The staff perform law enforcement and emergency medical services, search and rescue, wildland and structural fire, dispatch, fee collection, special use permitting, trails, corrals, and backcountry operations.
Davis had previously served as the acting superintendent at Vicksburg and Guilford Courthouse National Military Parks, NPS branch chief of law enforcement operations, NPS acting deputy chief of operations and policy, and deputy chief ranger at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. She also held a wide range of assignments at Manassas National Battlefield Park, Independence National Historic Park, Assateague Island National Seashore, and Blue Ridge Parkway.
“It is an honor and privilege to be selected for this position," Davis said. "I’m excited to join the Yellowstone team and work together to protect our first national park and its visitors, and ensure the health, safety, and wellness of our employees."
A native of Lexington, North Carolina, Davis has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and graduated from the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy in 2013.