The National Park Service Southeast Region in Atlanta announced on Monday, Dec. 9 that Pedro Ramos has been selected as the acting superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park for 90 days, effective Jan. 12, 2014. Ramos has been the superintendent at Big Cypress National Preserve since 2009.
In September, the current superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Dale Ditmanson, announced his plans to retire on Jan. 3, 2014, after 36 years with the National Park Service (NPS). Ditmanson has served as superintendent there since May 2004.
“We are very pleased that Pedro has agreed to step in as the acting superintendent at the Smokies,” said Stan Austin, regional director for the Southeast Region. “He has great experience as a superintendent and is very knowledgeable in protecting resources and taking care of visitors. We know he will do a superb job as we conduct a search for a permanent superintendent.”
Ramos said, “I am excited about this opportunity to serve in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited National Park in the country. I look forward to working with the park’s employees, volunteers and partners to continue serving the public.”
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ramos attended the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where he graduated with a bachelor of science in 1990. He began his Federal career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farmers Home Administration, in Vermont. In 2001, Ramos transferred to the National Park Service as Administrative Officer at Big Cypress National Preserve. In 2005, he was named Deputy Superintendent there and devoted much of his time to establishing strong community relations with the many partners in South Florida. His career has also included acting superintendent assignments at Jimmy Carter and Andersonville National Historic Sites in Georgia, and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the largest protected land areas east of the Rocky Mountains, with more than 500,000 acres of forests and more than 2,000 miles of streams. It spans eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina along the high peaks of the Appalachian Mountains. It is the nation’s most visited national park, with more than nine million visitors a year.