Charles Sams

By Kurt Repanshek – October 24th, 2021

We are on the cusp of having the first Senate-confirmed director of the National Park Service since Jonathan Jarvis retired at the end of the Obama administration in January 2017. Since then there’s been a revolving cast of individuals serving as acting director. But now the Biden Administration has nominated Charles F. Sams III to be the next director of the venerable agency.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee questioned Mr. Sams this past week during his confirmation hearing. When the full Senate will hold a vote on his nomination is yet to surface, but he’s an interesting nominee. He’s from outside the National Park Service, and if confirmed he would be the first Native American director of the Park Service.

To discuss his nomination, we’re joined by Phil Francis of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, and Kristen Brengel of the National Parks Conservation Association.

Click here to listen to the National Parks Traveler Podcast.