Jack Sinclair has been named the new Kenai-Prince William Sound area park superintendent for the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.
Sinclair will oversee all of the park operations within the state's largest park management area, encompassing more than 60 park units ranging from the Valdez-Thompson Pass area, across Prince William Sound and throughout the Kenai Peninsula.
"It's going to be real exciting," Sinclair said. "It may take some time to settle in, and there will be a lot of challenges, but I'm looking forward to the position."
All of Sinclair's Alaska State Parks experience has been gained across the Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound.
He worked his way through the ranks within State Parks, starting his career as a natural resource technician in 1984, then to jobs as Park Ranger I and II until his recent promotion.
Prior to his Alaska jobs, Sinclair gained experience with the National Park Service and California State Parks, and he received a degree in recreation administration, planning and design from California State University in Chico, Calif.
Sinclair was named to replace Chris Degernes, who after serving as area superintendent for the past 15 years, was promoted to chief of field operations for the entire state.
"Sinclair was chosen for this position due to his extensive experience managing park programs and his ability to develop effective partnerships between the state, the public and other governmental entities," Degernes said in a press release announcing Sinclair's promotion.
"With continued budget challenges forcing the Division to balance visitor services and resource management and protection with dwindling state dollars, Sinclair brings to this position the creativity and skill in seeking effective solutions to keep our parks open, safe and well maintained."
Sinclair is not entirely green to the position, since he served as the acting superintendent for a large portion of 2003.
"I've been here a long time, but I know there's a lot to learn once your looking at things from the other side of the fence," Sinclair said.
"Also, there's big shoes to fill, obviously," he added.
Unlike Degernes, who had to relocate to Anchorage to assume her new position, Sinclair is fortunate his promotion allows him to stay where he is, relatively speaking.
He will remain in the State Parks Kenai area headquarters off Lou Morgan Road in Morgan's Landing.
"I'll just be moving to a new office within the building," he said.
Sinclair assumes his new job duties this week.
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