Laura Joss has been appointed regional director for the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service as of Monday, Feb. 1 and will begin her new job in the spring. Joss currently serves as the deputy regional director and chief of staff for the Intermountain Region in Lakewood, Colo.
Joss will be responsible for overseeing operations for 60 units of the National Park System and other associated sites within the states of California, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, parts of Arizona and Montana, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. She succeeds former regional director Christine Lehnertz, who is now superintendent at Golden Gate National Recreation Area (San Francisco Bay Area).
Laura started with the NPS as a volunteer and has since served as superintendent at three park units and worked in several capacites in the Intermountain regional office.
Joss met her husband, Skip Meehan, while they were both working for the NPS at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. They have two daughters.
The Pacific West Region consists of 12.5 million acres of national park land of which 8.5 million acres is wilderness, more than 150 federally listed threatened and endangered species, over 4,400 miles of designated wild and scenic rivers, nearly 100 national natural landmarks, more than 235 national historic landmarks, and more than 7,800 properties listed in the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.
The Pacific West Region has a budget of nearly $300 million and more than 3,600 employees.