Being the chief ranger of Yellowstone National Park is a complex job that involves managing a 3,468 square mile area that extends from Wyoming into Montana and Idaho. This park covers an area larger than the size of Rhode Island or Delaware.
The National Park Service selected Pete Webster to be Yellowstone’s new chief park ranger. He became deputy chief ranger in July 2014 and served as the interim chief ranger for much of the previous year. Webster became the 17th chief ranger over the nearly 100-year period in which the National Park Service has managed Yellowstone—widely considered to be the first national park in the world.
The new chief ranger oversees more than 275 employees in the park’s Resource and Visitor Protection Division. These employees perform jobs ranging from law enforcement, EMS, search and rescue, fire fighting, and dispatch to collecting fees and arranging special use permits.
Webster brings a wealth of experience to the job from his positions as chief ranger at Denali National Park and Preserve and deputy chief ranger at Shenandoah National Park. He managed law enforcement, fire, emergency services, dispatch, visitor management, and wilderness operations at these parks and during his tenure at Yellowstone.
Webster also has additional experience from a number of different parks, too, including Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Big Cypress National Preserve, Death Valley National Park, and Mount Rainier National Park.
This current chief ranger received a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Michigan State University and started his career as a Student Conservation Association Intern at Glacier National Park in 1988.