By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The current superintendent of the Natchez Trace Parkway is leaving in September for a new job.
Cam Sholly has held the parkway’s highest title for the past three years. This week, he was promoted to the National Park Service’s associate director for visitor and resource protection. The job is based in Washington.
An interim superintendent will be appointed until the position is filled on a full-time basis. Sholly said the interim person may be a senior staff member of the parkway’s team or someone from elsewhere in the National Park Service.
Sholly said the search typically takes about three months for a full-time superintendent.
During his time directing the operations of the parkway, Sholly won over many fans in the tourism industry and was an active member of several organizations, including the Natchez Trace Compact and the Mississippi Hills Heritage Area Alliance.
During his tenure, the parkway completed a multimillion dollar rehabilitation of the Meriwether Lewis death and burial site. The parkway took part in the largest Native American repatriation in the Choctaw Nation’s history and energized dormant plans for a joint tribal heritage center with the Chickasaw Nation. The heritage center will be built in Tupelo, if funds are raised.
Sholly also oversaw completion of a new resource management mapping system and completed the parkway’s first business and operations plan.
In 2011, he was named superintendent of the year for the Southeast region of the National Park Service.
At his new job, Sholly will manage a $125 million annual budget and a portfolio that includes 20 service-wide program areas including law enforcement, security and emergency services, fire and aviation management, risk management and occupational safety, public health services, regulations and special park uses, wilderness stewardship and the National Park Service component at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
“Serving as the associate director is a tremendous privilege,” Sholly said in a news release. “I look forward to working closely with the incredible National Park Service team, both in Washington and around the service.”
Sholly began his NPS career in Yellowstone National Park in 1990 and entered his first supervisory position in 1994 in Yosemite National Park.