Kevin Hendricks, who has served as chief ranger at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks since 2009, has been appointed superintendent of San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
Hendricks will begin his new post in September where he is replacing Craig Kenkel. Kenkel recently became superintendent at Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northeastern Ohio.
“Kevin has a great passion and respect for maritime resources,” said Chris Lehnertz, Pacific West Regional director. “He is a proven leader who will continue the proud tradition of partnerships and innovation at San Francisco Maritime. He is well prepared for success, and we are delighted to welcome him to the San Francisco Bay Area.”
Hendricks, who has worked for the National Park Service for the past three decades, said his position at Sequoia-Kings Canyon, where he worked closely with the parks’ division chiefs and senior managers, has prepared him well for becoming a superintendent. In 2010-2011, Hendricks also served as acting superintendent at Joshua Tree National Park.
During his five years at his current position, Hendricks served on the National Wilderness Leadership Council that included a stint as the chair.
“The council looks at national wilderness policy and tries to bring consistency to all the issues,” Hendricks said. “That leadership experience will be invaluable in dealing with the unique resources of my new park.”
Admittedly a beginner when it comes to sailing, Hendricks said he has had a passionate lifelong interest in ships, sailing, and the history of those who made their living at sea. At San Francisco Maritime, Hendricks assumes the reins of a park situated along the most visited section of the San Francisco Bay.
San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park preserves ships, small boats, structures, and a multitude of artifacts associated with San Francisco’s maritime past. Among the park’s renowned collection is the Balclutha, a 300-foot-long square rigged ship with a steel hull launched in 1886 and today anchored at the Hyde Street Pier.
“I’ve been part of a crew in a Puget Sound race, sailed the South Pacific in a 36-foot sloop, and am anxious to learn more about sailing,” Hendricks said. “I’m excited to take on a new challenge and become a part of the Bay Area sailing scene.”
Hendricks, a native of Southern California, graduated from UC Berkeley in 1984 with a Zoology degree. His national park job experience began as a volunteer bear technician in Yosemite.
After landing at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in 1986 as a seasonal ranger, his permanent NPS career began three years later as a park ranger at Fort Pulaski National Monument in Georgia. At Sequoia-Kings Canyon, Hendricks has been instrumental in eradicating pot growing sites within the boundaries of the local national parks.
Hendricks has also supervised the revival of traffic checkpoints at Ash Mountain and in Grant Grove. His wife, Nancy, an environmental protection specialist, also works at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
“For now our home base will remain in Three Rivers,” Hendricks said. “I’ve had a fabulous time working at Sequoia and living here in Three Rivers.”