ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Chugach State Park will have a new superintendent Oct. 1.
Jerry Lewanski, 51, the park's chief ranger, will replace Al Meiners, who is retiring, according to the state Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.
A ranger at Chugach since 1984, Lewanski was selected above two other candidates by a division hiring committee, said chief of field operations Pete Panarese.
''He's well-qualified,'' Panarese said. Lewanski works well with the public and will be good in a job demanding lots of ''community outreach,'' said state parks director Jim Stratton.
Park users praised the move.
''Jerry knows the park intimately, he's worked day in and day out for quite a few years,'' said Jim von Bose, a member of the park's Citizens Advisory Board. ''He has a good attitude toward all users.''
Chugach State Park encompasses nearly half a million acres. With more than 1 million visitors a year, it is the most popular park in the Alaska state park system.
Lewanski said one of his biggest challenges will be to manage Chugach while state parks' funding is declining. Lewanski will make $52,000 a year in his new job.
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