Cantwell: Jarvis Well-Qualified for the 'Greatest Job in the World'

Regional Director Jon Jarvis Will Bring Innovation, Vision and Experience as Director of the National Park Service

WASHINGTON, DC –Today, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced regional director of the Park Service’s Pacific West region Jon Jarvis during his nomination hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  Jarvis has been nominated by the Obama Administration to serve as Director of the National Park Service. He previously served as chief of natural and cultural resources North Cascades National Parks and as superintendent of Mount Rainier.


Senator Cantwell’s opening statement, as prepared for delivery, is below:


Chairman Bingaman and members of the Committee, I’m honored this morning to stand in support President Obama’s nomination of Jon Jarvis to serve as Director of the National Park Service.


“It is a position that one of our late Committee Chairmen, Senator Clinton Anderson of New Mexico, called ‘the greatest job in America.’ 


“There are only a few souls as talented, enterprising, or experienced as Jon Jarvis to take the reins and move our park system forward into this next century.


“Mr. Chairman, our national parks say what we’re about as a nation.  They embody our values and our heritage. Our national parks system is the envy of the world.


“At the same time, our park system faces a range of challenges--from the impacts of climate change, to billions in deferred maintenance, to the imperative of creative partnerships, to the mandate to welcome people of all ethnicities, backgrounds, and classes to the wonders of our natural places.


“It’s for all of these reasons that Jon Jarvis is so eminently qualified.


“As a trained biologist, Jarvis moved up through the ranks of the Park Service from his first days as a Park Ranger on the National Mall during the 1976 Bi-Centennial.


“Mr. Jarvis’s career includes stints as chief of natural and cultural resources at North Cascades National Parks in Washington state, and superintendent at Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho, at Mount Rainier and at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska. 


“Mr. Jarvis distinguished himself within the top ranks of superintendents nation-wide by constant innovation, open dialogue with gateway communities, and delivering project results.


“The largest project in the Pacific West is the Elwha River Restoration project, a robust and complex plan to remove two hydro electric dams and restore 70 miles of river to salmon runs within Olympic National Park. 


“Long delayed and over budget, Mr. Jarvis brought the project back into the National Park System, assigned an entire new team, updated costs, briefed Congressional appropriators, sought and gained the support of the National Park Service leadership and got the entire project back on track.


“Mr. Jarvis has also been a tremendous ambassador for Park’s gateway communities, building relationships that are so essential to the success of our park system. 


“For example, at Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho, Mr. Jarvis reached out extensively to the rural communities of the Snake River Plain.  He helped reconnect the park to community leaders that had been ‘disenfranchised’ by the Monument’s establishment.


“In his seven years as the Regional Director of the Pacific West Region, the largest in the Park Service, Mr. Jarvis as distinguished himself as a leader within the National Park Service. 


“Mr. Jarvis has been able to set a vision and guide the Region as a whole all while consistently managing the complex issues around the 58 Park units of the Pacific West Region.


“These issues have ranged from:

·         forest fires, typhoons, volcano eruptions, floods,

·         54 million visitors; and,

·         the unfortunate fatalities that come with wild land recreation.


“When faced with complex natural resources issues, Mr. Jarvis actively engages the scientific community.  In 2004, he orchestrated a series of regional workshops on climate change with top scientists in the field.


“Mr. Jarvis set the standard that the Pacific West Region would lead in environmental sustainability.  As director of the Pacific West Region, he ordered that his 56 parks be carbon neutral by 2016, when the agency celebrates its centennial.


“And for the second year running, the Region purchased enough photovoltaic systems to more than offset all Regional office travel for the year, and parks are producing 700,000 Kilowatts of green power, enough to operate 18 small parks for a year. 


“Mr. Jarvis has also developed a long standing trust relationship among western Native American tribes.  Trusted to speak the truth and be sensitive to Native American concerns, Mr. Jarvis recently facilitated the first comprehensive agreement between the eight tribes affiliated with Olympic National Park.


“Mr. Chairman, our nation is fortunate to have such a qualified nominee to lead the National Park Service. Jon Jarvis’s experience and vision perfectly align with the charge of the ‘greatest job in America.’


“Thank you.”