National Park Service Regional Director Mike Reynolds announced the selection of Patricia “Patty” Trap as superintendent of the Southeast Utah Group Area National Parks, which includes Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments, according to a statement from the Southeast Utah Group of National Parks.
Since 2012, Trap has served as the deputy regional director for the regional office in Omaha, Nebraska, overseeing 61 parks in 13 states and an array of programs in the regional office. She will assume her new role on Aug. 2.
“Patty is well versed in park operations and she has extensive experience working closely with communities to navigate challenging and complex issues,” said Reynolds. “Her commitment to employee engagement makes her well suited for the position.”
“I’ve always referred to my career in the National Park Service as an adventure of a lifetime, and I look forward to continuing my adventure in southeast Utah and the Four Corners area,” said Trap.
Trap most recently acted as the superintendent at Mount Rushmore National Memorial where she helped coordinate the 2020 Independence Day celebration. She has served two lengthy assignments as the acting regional director for the National Park Service regional office in Omaha. In May 2018, Trap was recruited to serve a 10-month assignment as the superintendent of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. She has held a number of assignments in the Four Corners area, including at Mesa Verde National Park as chief of planning and professional services, acting chief of administration, and acting deputy superintendent, and as the acting superintendent of Natural Bridges and Hovenweep national monuments.
Trap began her National Park Service career as a seasonal employee at Grand Teton National Park after graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in park management. From there, she held several seasonal positions at Joshua Tree, Yellowstone and Mount Rainier national parks, as well as Lake Mead National Recreation Area. She then received her master’s degree in landscape architecture/planning and took her first permanent position in a National Park Service regional office supporting park projects across the southeastern United States.
Married to cartoonist Paul Trap, their son Bridger recently returned from the Peace Corps stationed in the Darien Jungle in Panama, and will be heading to the University of North Carolina for a Master of Public Health this fall.