The White House has announced the intent to nominate Northwest Power and Conservation Council member Charles F. “Chuck” Sams III as Director of the National Park Service. The nomination will now be considered by the U.S. Senate. Sams has represented Oregon on the Council since April.
“The diverse experience that Chuck brings to the National Park Service will be an incredible asset as we work to conserve and protect our national parks to make them more accessible for everyone. I look forward to working with him to welcome Americans from every corner of our country into our national park system. The outdoors are for everyone, and we have an obligation to protect them for generations to come,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.
Sams has worked in state and Tribal governments and the non-profit natural resource and conservation management fields for more than 25 years.
He has held a variety of roles with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, most recently as their Executive Director. He has also had roles as the President/Chief Executive Officer of the Indian Country Conservancy, Executive Director for the Umatilla Tribal Community Foundation, National Director of the Tribal & Native Lands Program for the Trust for Public Land, Executive Director for the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Executive Director for the Community Energy Project, and President/Chief Executive Officer for the Earth Conservation Corps.
Sams holds a bachelor’s of science degree in Business Administration from Concordia University-Portland and a master’s of legal studies in Indigenous Peoples Law from the University of Oklahoma. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Chuck is an enrolled member, Cayuse and Walla Walla, of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.