W.Va. Native Takes Reins As New National Park Service Head


On this West Virginia Morning, the National Park Service has a new person in charge, and she’s from West Virginia. We have a conversation with Margaret Everson, the organization’s new leader. Also, in this show, we hear about a new book titled “The Southern Wildlife Watcher: Notes of a Naturalist” written by author Rob Simbek.

‌The‌ ‌National‌ ‌Park‌ ‌Service‌ hired ‌a‌ ‌new‌ ‌leader‌ ‌last month.‌ ‌Margaret‌ ‌Everson‌ ‌grew‌ ‌up‌ ‌in‌ ‌West‌ ‌Virginia‌ ‌and‌ ‌has‌ ‌decades‌ ‌of‌ ‌natural‌ ‌resources‌ ‌experience.‌ ‌Most‌ ‌recently‌ ‌she‌ ‌was‌ ‌principal‌ ‌deputy‌ ‌director‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ U.S. ‌Fish‌ ‌and‌ ‌Wildlife‌ ‌Service,‌ ‌but‌ ‌has‌ ‌also‌ ‌worked‌ ‌for‌ ‌Ducks‌ ‌Unlimited‌ ‌and‌ ‌as‌ ‌general‌ ‌counsel‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌Kentucky‌ ‌Department‌ ‌of‌ ‌Fish‌ ‌and‌ ‌Wildlife‌ ‌Resources.

Reporter‌ ‌Brittany‌ ‌Patterson‌ ‌spoke‌ ‌with‌ ‌Everson‌ ‌about‌ ‌how‌ ‌growing‌ ‌up‌ ‌in‌ ‌West‌ ‌Virginia‌ ‌affected‌ ‌her‌ ‌outlook‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌natural‌ ‌world,‌ ‌how‌ ‌the‌ ‌agency‌ ‌is‌ ‌balancing‌ ‌newfound‌ ‌interest‌ ‌in‌ ‌its‌ parks‌ ‌during‌ ‌the‌ ‌COVID-19‌ ‌pandemic‌ ‌and‌ ‌how‌ ‌a‌ ‌recently-passed‌ ‌law‌ ‌could‌ ‌bring‌ ‌big‌ ‌changes‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌National‌ ‌Park‌ ‌Service.‌

In a new book titled “The Southern Wildlife Watcher: Notes of a Naturalist,” author Rob Simbek explores the wonders and curiosities of wild animals you might be taking for granted, like coyotes, American Robins, or even often underappreciated earthworms.

The book features essays about 36 animals — 12 each that closely share land, water and air with humans throughout the southeastern United States. Eric Douglas spoke with him to learn more.

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