The concessions chief at Yosemite National Park in California has been named the permanent superintendent of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which includes Hanford’s historic B Reactor.
Kris Kirby is expected to start her assignment with the new park in mid-October. She will be the first permanent employee of the park, which officially opened in November.
“Kris brings park experience from her work at Yosemite National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area to the equation, as well as business savvy and strong relationship skills,” said Sue Masica, the director of the the National Park Service’s Intermountain Region, in a statement.
Masica recently introduced Kirby as the new superintendent at a meeting of the Energy Communities Alliance in Lakewood, Colo.
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A Colorado native, Kirby will be based in Lakewood, overseeing the new national park operations in three states from there. The park includes historic areas at Hanford, Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Los Alamos, N.M., where work was done during World War II to create the world’s first atomic weapons.
Park service officials have previously said that within a year or two, each of the three sites of the park could have site managers.
The park now has an interim superintendent, Charles Strickfaden, who is also the superintendent of Fort Union National Monument in New Mexico. He recently replaced Tracy Atkins, who is based at the Denver Service Center.
Kirby will be supported by dozens of park service staff across the country, including Atkins and Strickfaden.
She is familiar with the Mid-Columbia, after serving for a time in 2012 as the acting superintendent at the Whitman Mission National Historic Site in Walla Walla.
To tour B Reactor or other historic areas of Hanford included in the new national park, call 509-376-1647.