New Superintendent at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

New Superintendent at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Written by on July 14, 2021

James Hill has been named the new superintendent of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area while overseeing other local gems within the National Park Service.

National Park Service (NPS) Regional Director Mike Reynolds announced the selection of James Hill as superintendent of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.

Hill most recently served as the superintendent of Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in North Carolina for the last two years. Before his position at Guilford Courthouse, he served as the superintendent at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in Nebraska for 10 years.

“I’m honored and excited to join the amazing team of employees, partners, neighbors, and nations who care for Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. Together with the talented teams of the Powder River Group, we’re privileged to be stewards of such an incredible collection of cultural, natural, and recreational resources,” said Hill. “My wife and I are eager to return to the High Plains and Mountain West to explore and learn more about the stories, places, and people who call it home.”

Superintendent James Hill

Courtesy Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Hill will assume his new role at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area on July 18, 2021.

Hill will also serve as the superintendent lead for the Powder River group of parks, including Devils Tower National Monument, Fort Laramie National Historic Site, and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.

“We are thrilled to welcome James to the team. He has worked in many cultural resource management positions inside and outside of the National Park Service,” said Reynolds. “His extensive experience in collaborative park management, along with his calm demeanor and commitment to teamwork, makes him a great fit for Bighorn Canyon and the Powder River group.”

Hill is familiar with Powder River country, having completed two details as acting superintendent at Fort Laramie National Historic Site in 2013 and 2019.

Before becoming a superintendent, Hill served as the Midwest Region program manager for the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program. He practiced civic engagement and worked with numerous community partners to empower and elevate stories of those historically excluded from the national narrative.

He has also worked at several other N.P.S. sites around the nation, including:

  • Badlands National Park in South Dakota
  • Scotts Bluff National Monument in Nebraska
  • Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Illinois
  • Fort Scott National Historic Site in Kansas

Hill has received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from the University of South Carolina.

Hill will be moving to Bighorn Canyon with his wife, Dena Sanford (a Montanan), an N.P.S. architectural historian. The couple enjoys hiking, gardening, reading, and baseball. In addition, Hill is an avid fly-fisherman.

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