Yellowstone Names New Chief of Visitor and Resource Protection
Chris Flesch has been selected as the new Yellowstone National Park chief of Visitor and Resource Protection.
According to a press release by the National Park Service, Flesch succeeds Sarah Davis, who retired at the end of April after working in the service for 23 years, is the park’s 19th chief ranger, and Flesch's appointment began on May 1.
Davis had been serving as chief since she was appointed to the position in 2019, after her predecessor, Pete Webster, who had been in the role since 2015.
Flesch will oversee a $14 million budget and more than 275 employees who perform a full range of public safety and visitor services within the park.
Superintendent Cam Sholly said:
"We're pleased to have Chris join our senior leadership team as chief ranger," Sholly said. "He has shown incredible leadership acumen throughout his career and is one of the best problem solvers and collaborators I've worked with."
In 2004, Flesch began working for the national park service as a Yellowstone seasonal law enforcement ranger after completing seasonal law enforcement training at Northern Arizona University.
After multiple assignments throughout Yellowstone, Flesch served as the Hall’s Crossing district ranger at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
He then returned to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem as the law enforcement specialist, and later acting chief ranger, at Grand Teton National Park.
Flesch has served as the deputy chief ranger at Yellowstone since 2019 and served as the park’s COVID-19 incident commander.
In the release, Flesch said:
"It is a true honor and privilege to be selected as the next chief ranger of Yellowstone National Park," said Flesch. "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as the chief ranger during the milestone 150 anniversary year and look forward to continuing to advance the park’s strategic priorities while also working to ensure the health and safety of all our visitors and employees."
Flesch, who comes from Bettendorf, Iowa, has a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Arizona State University and graduated from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in 2013.