Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Tue, Sept. 28

Charles F. Sams III nominated to be next NPS director
Sams is the first Native American to be nominated as National Park Service director

Charles F. Sams III was recently nominated for the position of director of the National Park Service. (Photo/state of Oregon)

Charles F. Sams III was recently nominated for the position of director of the National Park Service. (Photo/state of Oregon)

WASHINGTON ⁠— The White House announced Aug. 18 the intent to nominate Charles F. Sams III as director of the National Park Service.

The nomination now goes before the U.S. Senate for consideration.

“The diverse experience that Chuck brings to the National Park Service will be an incredible asset as we work to conserve and protect our national parks to make them more accessible for everyone. I look forward to working with him to welcome Americans from every corner of our country into our national park system. The outdoors are for everyone, and we have an obligation to protect them for generations to come,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

Sams, who is from Oregon, was congratulated on the nomination by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

“Today is a proud day for Oregon,” Brown said. “Chuck Sams is among Oregon’s finest, and I can’t think of a better person for the important role of National Park Service Director. I have worked closely with Chuck for many years, and have witnessed firsthand his unparalleled devotion and service to his Tribe, our state, and our nation.”

Sams has worked in state and tribal governments and non-profit natural resource and conservation management fields for more than 25 years. He currently serves as a council member to the Northwest Power and conservation council, appointed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

He has held a variety of roles with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, most recently as their executive director. He has also had roles as the president/chief executive officer of the Indian Country Conservancy, executive director for the Umatilla Tribal Community Foundation, national director of the Tribal & Native Lands Program for the Trust for Public Land, executive director for the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, executive director for the Community Energy Project and president/chief executive officer for the Earth Conservation Corps.

Sams holds a bachelors in business administration from Concordia University-Portland and a masters in Indigenous Peoples Law from the University of Oklahoma. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Sams is an enrolled member, Cayuse and Walla Walla, of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, where he lives with his wife and their four children.

Information provided by NPS

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