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Tracy Swartout is new superintendent of Blue Ridge Parkway

Last Updated Apr 19, 2021 at 9:47 am PDT

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A 21-year veteran of the National Park Service has been named as the new superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

According to a news release from the park service says Tracy Swartout will take over as superintendent on May 23. She will work from the parkway’s headquarters in Asheville. Swartout will replace J.D. Lee, who retired last summer.

Since 2012, Swartout has served as the deputy superintendent at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington, where she was responsible for operations and leadership at the iconic 250,000-acre national park with designated wilderness, six affiliated tribes and a National Historic Landmark District. Before that, she was superintendent for Congaree National Park in South Carolina.

Swartout will overseethe parkway’s 469-mile route through the mountains of North Carolina and Virginia. Last year, the parkway had an estimated 14 million recreational visitors, making it one of the most-visited national parks in the U.S. .

The Associated Press